2009 Review - Part 2: July to December

With trade strong, attention turned to the battle between the increased number of trade shows in 2010. Many garden centres won planning permission to extend. Corporate activity continued among suppliers. See more... (This article is open to all) Read more - open to all

Coping with the change in VAT

At midnight on 31st December the standard rate of VAT reverts to 17.5%. Does this mean garden centre staff will cancel their New Year's Eve parties in order to re-price their stock? Or will garden centres accept a 5.5% reduction in gross profit? Gardenforum has been talking to retailers. See more... Read more - members only

Garden centres create free publicity

Some garden centres are winning free publicity by creating newsworthy events and passing the news to their local press. Read some of the stories published in the last week. Many cover unusual ways to launch Christmas. See more... Read more - members only

Peter Dawson previews Four Oaks

Traditionally September has been a busy month for plant buyers, first with Four Oaks and then a couple of weeks later Glee Nursery. But this year things appear to be different. See more... Read more - members only

Views sought on natural predator for Japanese Knotweed

Defra is consulting about its plans to introduce a predator for Japanese Knotweed next summer. The insect feeds only on the invasive plant, which has proved almost impossible to control by digging or poison and is classed as controlled waste for disposal. See more... Read more - members only

Dig Together Day to unearth the nations gardening knowledge

The RHS is coordinating its first Dig Together Day, this September; bringing together thousands of gardening clubs across the UK, to celebrate the knowledge they hold and to inspire new generations to keep the traditions of gardening alive. See more... Read more - members only

They are friendly and dynamic at Howard Nurseries

Double success for Howard Nurseries and GPS-controlled planting in Holland are covered in this month's nursery column. See more... Read more - members only

Non-food prices down 1.9%

The latest Nielsen shop price index shows that prices of non-food items have fallen 1.9% this year. See more... Read more - members only

Mexican scam targets Totally DIY exhibitors

DIY Week has issued a warning after exhibitors at Totally DIY received mailings inviting them to update their “free listings” in Expo Guide. See more... Read more - members only

Wyevale tops poll in first Gardeners' World Awards

Wyevale Garden Centres have been named best garden centre in the first Gardeners' World Awards while roses topped the polls in the best loved and the most hated plant categories. See more.... Read more - members only

Garden centres compliment suppliers after an exciting spring

Garden centres have complimented suppliers on how well they managed an exciting and frustrating spring. Garden centres report that 2009 sales are 6% – 17% ahead of last year but are cautious about Christmas. See more... Read more - members only

It's Gold for Crocus and Hillier

Crocus constructed two of the three gold medal winning gardens including ‘Best in Show’ for the Daily Telegraph. There were golds also for Hillier, David Domoney and Taylors Bulbs. For all the winners, see more…(this article is open to all) Read more - open to all

Don’t miss The Big Lunch

Garden centres that ignore The Big Lunch will be losing out on an important opportunity to connect with their community. July 19th is likely to become a national focal point of the summer. See more... Read more - members only

Easter boost for UK Garden Centres

The mixed weather across the country this Easter weekend appears not to have deterred gardeners as many garden centres report strong trading – particularly with regard to grow your own, plants and core gardening products. See more - This story is open to all... Read more - open to all

5% U-turn too late for rates bills

The Chancellor has made a last-minute decision to defer the full 5% increase in business rates. This year rates will increase by 2%, the remaining 3% will be phased in over the next two years. However, businesses will have to pay the full 5% for at least the next four months. See more... Read more - members only

2009 Review - Part 1: January to June

There was a nervous feel to the start of 2009.  The Banking crisis was in full swing.  No one knew whether consumer demand would come to an abrupt halt after Christmas and garden suppliers were anxiously waiting for confirmation of Wyevale’s financial restructuring.   This review is open to all. See more... Read more - open to all

Retailers back attempt at tree planting world record

Garden retailers across the country including almost 1000 members of the HTA, will be supporting the BBC’s attempt to coordinate the world record planting of 650,000 trees in one hour on 5th December. Read more - members only

Going tough in the amenity sector

In his monthly nursery column Peter Dawson has been speaking to Andrew Richardson of Johnsons and Whixley about problems facing growers supplying the amenity sector. Read more - members only

Fraudulent Refunds

Just to let everyone know that it has come to my notice that there is a man going around the Southeast trying to get a refund for 2 5lt bottles of Roundup. The man concerned has no receipt/proof of purchase, gives an address that is not real and a phone number that is unobtainable.... See more... Read more - open to all

Urgent industry support needed for children's hospice

Webbs of Wychbold has stepped in with £5,000 to kick start a Greenfingers appeal for £29,000 by September for two urgently needed gardens for limited life children in a Birmingham children's hospice. See more... Read more - members only

Smaller garden centres have performed best this year

A good gardening autumn and an expected increase in the price of Christmas trees should give garden centres a good start to the new gardening year. Sales since last July have increased by over 5% according to the GCA, with smaller garden centres improving the most. See more... Read more - members only

Window Food campaign targets 600 acres of window ledges

The grow your own campaign gets further impetus as the National Trust launches ‘Window Food’ campaign to turn 600 acres of urban window ledges into vertical vegetable gardens. There will be over 300 events across the country and some great display ideas for garden centres. See more... Read more - members only

GC Teams win Greatest Awards

The winners of The Greatest Awards, organised by Garden Trade News, were announced yesterday at a glittering garden party. Sir Henry Cooper handed over the trophies to the garden centre teams with the most votes, Davids Nurseries, Birkacre Nurseries, Coolings and Baytree Garden Centre. See more...
Read more - members only

Monthly Nursery Round-up

Among the topics covered by Peter Dawson in his monthly nursery column are the HTA's opposition to the new AWB settlement for England and Wales. See more.... Read more - members only

HTA Conference takes to the rooftops

Last year it was at the Stock Exchange, this year the HTA Conference will be at the Kensington Roof Gardens. Celebrity speakers led by ex-BBC political editor John Sergeant will be joined by key figures from the trade. See more... Read more - members only

Masked raiders hit Midlands garden centre

Masked raiders armed with handguns and a crowbar attacked a security guard and tied him up outside a Wyevale garden centre on bank holiday Monday. See more... Read more - members only

Odds on for a barbecue summer

"After two disappointingly-wet summers, the signs are much more promising this year. We can expect times when temperatures will be above 30 °C, something we hardly saw at all last year." So says the Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office. See more... Read more - open to all

Total Retail +1.2%, Garden Retail +7%

BRC-KPMG figures for the first 3 months of 2009 show retail sales grew 1.2%. Provisional figures from the HTA show garden centre sales grew 7% over the same period. The difference is most dramatic in March. See more... Read more - members only

Watch BBC Gardeners' World Special on peat

If you missed the BBC Gardeners' World Special on peat, which featured several industry leaders, watch it now. Click on the link below. Read more - members only

Nurseries see first signs of re-ordering

Cautious optimism about the state of the liner market; news that Wyevale plans plant production at 13 locations; results from the second British Plant Fair and an update from Hillier Nurseries all feature in the latest round-up of UK growers from Peter Dawson. See more... Read more - members only

To see earlier stories - Look in the News Archive