‘Get the bids in,’ says Benn

Hilary Benn encouraged the gardening industry to ‘get the bids in’ for the next round of government funding for research. His priorities are reducing carbon emissions, offsetting the impact of climate change and encouraging people to grow food. See more... Read more - members only

Major expansion for Gates Nursery and Garden Centre

Gates Nursery and Garden Centre has won permission to extend the retail area by 2500 sq m, which will include increasing seating in the restaurant to 450. See more... Read more - members only

Planners recommend approval for Dobbies in Carlisle

According to Carlisle’s News & Star, Dobbies is hoping to overturn earlier objections and win planning permission for a new garden centre in competition with Klondyke’s Houghton Hall. See more... Read more - members only

Scotts Miracle-Gro pushes sales above $3bn

Scotts Miracle-Gro have had a good year, thanks to stronger than expected consumer demand in the US. Total sales hit $3.14 billion and they bounced back to profit. See more… Read more - members only

Briggs & Stratton to double European mower sales

Briggs & Stratton intends to double sales of mowers and garden equipment in the next 3 years and has opened a new European HQ and training centre to help achieve this goal. See more... Read more - members only

Stewarts nominated twice for Plant Area of the Year

The national judging of plant areas at GCA garden centres has been completed and the regional winners announced. The national winners will be announced at the Garden Centre Association conference at the end of January. See more... Read more - members only

Profits recover at Homebase while margins fall

Profits increased 66% at Homebase despite a 3% fall in gross margin. The successful Argos system for ‘click and collect’ will be rolled out to all Homebase stores. See more... Read more - members only

Retailers blamed for level of rose sales

Garden retailers are to blame for the fact that rose sales are not increasing as much as they should be.  If retailers put the effort in and maintain their roses in peak condition it could transform the market. See more... Read more - members only

Avoncrop in administration - stock to be sold at discounted prices

Avoncrop in administration is to continue to sell stock items at discounts of 40% w/c 19th October, rising to 60% w/c 26th October. Growers are encouraged to take advantage by calling 01934 820 363 or e mailing sales@avoncrop.co.uk Read more - open to all

Restaurants now biggest earner for garden centres

According to the GCA, this is the second consecutive month that restaurant/café sales, with revenue up 14%, have outsold in value all other categories including outdoor plants at the UK’s leading garden centres. See more... Read more - members only

“We walked into a complete meltdown...” Nicholas Marshall

In the last of 3 presentations at the recent GIMA meeting from leading retailers, Nicholas Marshall, CEO of The Garden Centre Group, described the changes he has made since taking control of Wyevale in September 2008. He found the management had not got a clue and morale was as flat as a pancake. See more... Read more - members only

TV merchandising screens “Shift product like no tomorrow”

This week’s meeting of the garden suppliers association, GIMA, enjoyed revealing insights from 3 of the industry’s leading retailers. The first of three articles covers comments from Bob Hewitt, CEO of the Klondyke Group of 24 garden centres and former CX of Wyevale. See more... Read more - members only

Directors to wind down Nova Garden Furniture

Faversham Furniture Ltd has surprised the garden industry with news that it is to wind down Nova Garden Furniture, which has not traded profitably for the last five years. See more... Read more - members only

Gardening Which? awards ‘Best buy’ to Suttons and Dobies

Gardening Which? completed a survey of leading seed suppliers, scoring each company on how well their seed germinated and on the quality of instructions on the packet. See more... Read more - members only

Dobbies accounts reshaped to fit Tesco mould - UPDATED

The latest results published by Dobbies cover the 16 month period to the end of February 2009, when Tesco out-manoeuvred Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital to take control of the Scottish garden centre group. Since February, sales have been ahead of budget and it’s not just because of the weather. See more… Read more - members only

Webbs to join Garden Organic at Ryton

News has been released today that discussions between Webbs Garden Centres and Garden Organic are at an advanced stage for Webbs to take over the commercial operations at Ryton Gardens. See more… Read more - members only

14% growth in garden centre sales during October

GCA figures confirm that October was a good month for garden centres. Outdoor plants have continued to sell well and there has been a strong start for Christmas lines. See more... Read more - members only

Industry promises to label bags with peat content

Defra will be actively promoting peat reduction in 2010 and welcomes industry’s undertaking to begin labelling bags with peat content. See more... Read more - members only

A novel addition to Christmas

Visitors to Beckworth Emporium will soon be enjoying the ultimate winter experience as the owners prepare to unveil an open-air ice rink at the Mears Ashby farm shop and plant centre. Read more - members only

More losers than winners in 2008 for garden companies

The latest updates in Company Results show the difficult trading conditions of 2008. Nurseries: Roundstone, Allensmore and Burston showed lower profits or losses, as did manufacturers: Hozelock, Plum Products, Solus, Scotts UK, Grange Fencing and Westland Horticulture. Several garden centres also suffered including Garden and Leisure, Tong, Country Homes & Gardens and Shoots. For further results, see more... (This article is open to all readers)... Read more - open to all

Interest free loans of up to £400k to save energy

Having raised £400,000 for themselves, the Stewart Company is helping to publicise the £100 million of interest-free loans that are available from the Carbon Trust to cut energy costs at small and medium sized businesses. See more... Read more - members only

Planning success for Forest Lodge Garden Centre and Birdworld

Malcolm Scott Consultants Ltd has gained double planning permissions for ambitious development at the 14-hectare joint Forest Lodge and Birdworld site. See more... Read more - members only

Kernock Park Plants join A.L.P.

Kernock Park Plants are the latest nursery to join A.L.P. (The Association of Liner Producers). The Association already consists of 7 of the country's leading liner producers including Aline Fairweather, Fromefield Nursery, New Place Nursery, Seiont Nursery, The Northern Liner Company, West End Nursery and Wyeplants Ltd. Read more - members only

Flying Brands raises £1.76m

Flying Brands, the company that operates the mail-order brands Flying Flowers and Gardening Direct, has raised £1.76 million by way of a rights issue. See more... Read more - members only

Fire damages Gordon Rigg

Gordon Rigg Garden Centre on Moss Bridge Road, Rochdale, one of three in the group, was damaged by fire on Saturday night. The centre is trading again, but with no houseplants, pets or aquatics. Read more - members only

Perfectly positioned for the revival of Grow Your Own

The second of 3 prominent retailers to address this weeks GIMA meeting was David Herbert of Mole Valley Group and Scats, with sales of £270m in S of England. He says they are perfectly placed for GYO; Scats is about living life outdoors. See more... Read more - members only

Webbs opens two Christmas shops

For the second year, Webbs will open two Christmas shops in Midlands shopping centres. One will be at the Pavilions Shopping Centre, in the heart of Birmingham. See more... Read more - members only

Sinclair expects profits to double this year

William Sinclair, whose trading year ended on the 30th of September, say that trading has been in line with expectations. It has lifted enough peat for 2010 and is pleased that it maintained just-in-time deliveries throughout the season. See more... Read more - members only

Strategic changes at Flying Flowers 

Troubled mail-order group Flying Brands has announced a number of changes to Flying Flowers. It has also appointed a new sales and marketing director. See more… Read more - members only

Glee 2009 New Product Awards

There were over 250 products and plants competing for the New Product awards at Glee 2009. Top product is a Grow Tent from Grow Camp of Denmark that will encourage grow-your-own enthusiasts next year. For all the winners see more... Read more - members only

To see earlier stories - Look in the News Archive