Applications open for 2024 Rising Stars programme

When Haydon Walters from British Garden Centres’ Thatcham Garden Centre was crowned the winner of 2023’s Westland Horticulture sponsored Rising Stars recently applications also opened for this year’s programme too (2024). Read more - open to all

Rising Stars finalists with their certificates (L-R) Shelly Harrison, Kerry Barrett, Haydon Walters,

A close shave nets £7.5k for charities

Ian Flounders, sales manager at Woodlodge Garden Products, raised over £7500 when he was persuaded to sacrifice his whiskers for industry charities. Read more - open to all

Ian Flounders before his close shave

GCA adds two new awards to 2024 conference schedule

Attendees at next week’s Garden Centre Association (GCA) conference in the Cotswolds will see two new awards added to the roster this year (2024). Read more - open to all

Peter Burks, GCA Chief Executive

New date for the GIMA Awards

GIMA has confirmed that its annual awards ceremony – one of the most anticipated nights of the year – will take place on November 7th at the five-star Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales. Read more - open to all

LOFA warns of cost rises and shipping delays

LOFA warns of surcharges and delays in outdoor living products due to the actions of Yemen Houthis, who have forced shipping to detour around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope Read more - members only

2023 news roundup

We highlight the main events of 2023 including the collapse of Wilko, juggling of the trade shows calendar and the deaths of some notable pioneers in the industry. Read more - open to all

YPHA hold meeting at Coolings as tribute for their mentor Paul Cooling

Nine finalists 9 named for IGOTY 2024

Nine growers from around the world, including one from the UK, have reached the finals for the AIPH International Grower of the Year (IGOTY) Awards 2024. Read more - members only

Garden Centres an investment opportunity?

A new report by Savills suggests that there is still strong investment potential in garden centres.  Acquisition activity is increasing as individual sites are “snapped up”. Read more - members only

Haskins to redevelop Forest Lodge & Birdworld

Haskins has revealed plans to redevelop Farnham and Birdworld, building a new adventure park and indoor play area, creating a year-round destination. Read more - members only

Potential new attractions

Mixed signals despite October growth at Garden Centres

Although October was a growth month for Garden Centres with strong early Christmas and Gift sales.  40% of sites experienced a dip in sales says the GCA. Read more - members only

The future of plant retailing

Following the success of this year’s open day event “Plant Retailing: A Sustainable Future”, held in February, we are pleased to announce Frank P Matthews have joined forces with The Bransford Webbs Plant Company and New Leaf Plants to host another retail focused event. Read more - open to all

Evergreen GC calls for compost regulation

Evergreen Garden Care is asking the industry to back an open letter that it plans to present to Defra calling for regulation of peat-free composts to protect gardeners and prevent greenwashing. Read more - members only

Colin Stephens, managing director of Evergreen Garden Care UK

Auction of Newton’s Apple raises £30,000

More than 1,800 bids were placed in the auction, held jointly by the National Trust and Blue Diamond Garden Centres, for 10 saplings propagated from Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree. Read more - members only

Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree

Sipcam wield the GIMA Sword of Honour

Top honours at last night’s GIMA Awards were won by Sipcam Home & Garden and Smart Garden Products with many other companies becoming first time winners of the category awards. Read more - members only

The Sipcam team with the GIMA Sword of Honour

Allensmore is HTA Grower of the Year

Allensmore, Majestic Trees and Greenwood Plants led the list of UK nurseries that were honoured at the 2023 HTA Grower of the Year Awards last night. Read more - open to all

Mark Taylor, MD of Allensmore Nurseries

Chairman of Lawn Association Calls for Ban on Lawn Chemicals

David Hedges-Gower, an expert in sustainable lawn care, has made a passionate appeal for a nationwide ban on all pesticides used in lawn maintenance. Read more - members only

David Hedges-Gower

GCA votes to add third tier garden centre category

The Garden Centre Association (GCA) voted at its AGM today to add a third tier garden centre category for members and to reduce its regions to four. Read more - open to all

 Peter Burks, GCA CEO

The YPHA seeks support for its inaugural Accelerator Programme

Following its successful launch and meteoric growth in membership in the past 2 years, The Young People in Horticulture Association (YPHA) is excited to reveal the upcoming launch of “Launch Success”, its inaugural Accelerator Programme, designed to empower and cultivate the next generation of leaders in the horticulture industry. Read more - members only

Garden centres cautious about 2024

Most garden centres were satisfied with relatively strong Christmas trading. But there’s concern about 2024 with rising costs and thefts. We gather the views of garden centre leaders. Read more - members only

Restaurants - the success story of 2023

Countdown to the BPOA Technical Conference 2024

The British Protected Ornamentals Association (BPOA) is in the final stages of preparing for its flagship event, the Technical Conference, taking place on 31st January 2024 at the National Farmers Union (NFU), NFU Conference Centre. 20% discount for Gardenforum readers. Read more - open to all

Best Christmas displays in the UK

Castle Gardens and Garsons Garden Centre, Esher have been declared the national winners of the GCA’s Christmas display competition for 2023.  See the Regional winners. Read more - members only

New Associate Directors for Pleydell Smithyman

Specialist consultants Pleydell Smithyman have announced the promotion of Kathryn Farden and the appointment of Andrew Burton as Associate Directors. Read more - open to all

Katkryn Farden and Andrew Burton

Summary and comment on the Autumn Statement

We summarise the main measures announced in the autumn statement with comments from the HTA. Read more - members only

5 special care tips for retailers to maximise poinsettia sales in-store

The poinsettia experts at SfE are here to give five top tips to help you, your staff, and your customers care for poinsettias correctly, so they can be enjoyed throughout the autumn and winter months. Read more - open to all

New Plant Heritage website for rare plants

Having just won a top prize at the UK IT Industry Awards 2023, the charity Plant Heritage has unveiled an online catalogue of rare plants. Read more - members only

Dahlia 'Union Jack'. Credit David Simpson

The early bird catches...a GCA conference saving!

Delegates booking for the 2024 Garden Centre Association (GCA) annual conference in the Cotswolds in January can take advantage of an early bird discount when they sign-up this month (November 2023). Read more - open to all

Peter Burks

Restaurants drive garden centre growth in September

Restaurants powered garden centre growth in September with farm shop and early Christmas sales showing promise. Read more - members only

GCA Conference booking NOW OPEN on GCA website

Booking is now open for our annual conference next January (2024) and we’re revealing our 21st Century themes and top-quality speaker line-up too. Read more - open to all

Chairman Elect for 2024/25, Will Blake

2024 GCA conference themes & speakers revealed

Booking has now opened for the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) annual conference next January (2024) and the organisation has also revealed its 21st century themes and its top-quality speaker line-up too. Read more - open to all

Managing Director of St Peters Garden Centre and GCA Chairman Elect for 2024-25 Will Blake

Retail crime crisis: Garden centres lost £16m in the last year

The HTA has joined the BRC and other major retailers to call for action on the escalating crisis of retail crime affecting over 70% of garden centres. Read more - members only

Fran Barnes

To see earlier stories - Look in the News Archive