IGCA heads for the North West in 2009

The IGCA (International Garden Centre Association) Congress is to return to the UK after 12 years. In 1997 the event was hosted by London, the Southeast and Scotland. In September 2009 it will be the turn of the North West. See more... Read more - members only

Northern Garden Centres break from Future Marketing

Five northern garden centres have left the buying group Future Marketing with effect from the first of September. They will be working more closely together as the Trans-Pennine group. See more... Read more - members only

HTA wins support in fight to lift Sunday Trading restrictions

The HTA is to meet the government in October backed by overwhelming support from its members in favour of exempting garden centres from Sunday trading restrictions. This will add weight to the Bill currently in the House of Lords. See more... Read more - members only

Fraudster cooks up a scam on Beefeater Barbecues

Hampshire-based Beefeater Barbecues (Regent Garden Collection) has been hit by a very clever scam involving two telephone orders purporting to be from Bents Garden Centre in Cheshire. See more … Read more - members only

RHS Update on Weedkiller Residue

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) advisory service continues to receive many calls from gardeners worried that their crops are being damaged by weedkiller residues from contaminated manures or soil improvement composts. See more... Read more - members only

GIMA reveals line-up for 2008 Awards

David Domoney and Julie Peasgood return to host the 2008 GIMA awards, which include entries from companies who are participating for the first time. This year's entertainer is to be TV show host Roy Walker. See more... Read more - members only

Garden centres must adjust to the digital world

Last Thursday, a seminar on effective garden centre marketing held by the HTA, gave a valuable insight into how garden centres should use the Internet and focus on providing an authoritative service rather than selling product. See more... Read more - members only

Sales of outdoor plants down 42% in April

The Barometer of Trade produced by the GCA gives the first indication of how awful sales were in April compared to a year ago. Worst hit were sales of garden furniture and outdoor plants. See more... Read more - members only

Double Gold for Crocus at Chelsea

For the second time in three years Crocus has constructed the winning Show Garden at Chelsea. The Best Urban Garden was constructed by Adam Frost. To see the medals earned by Hillier, Notcutts, Chessington and Squire's - See more… Read more - members only

Pent-up demand unleashed over Bank Holiday weekend

Plant sales soared as the temperature rose over the early spring Bank Holiday and brought much welcome relief after a disappointing April. See more… Read more - members only

Growers still hopeful despite slump in plant sales

Poor weather and an early Easter have been blamed for a slump in plant sales in Q1 which has led to B&Q facing losses of over £1m on unsold plant stock. But growers are still hoping for a good season. See more… Read more - members only

Pressure groups target peat and use of illegal timber

Each year Easter is the time for stories from environmental pressure groups. The focus this year is on peat and a report naming companies that sell garden furniture made out of illicit timber from Laos. See more... Read more - members only

What will retailing be like in 2015?

At GIMA’s annual meeting last week, Alistair Lorimer predicted fragmentation of the mass market as baby boomers turn 70, Peter Field was elected President for the next year and Jon Whitely warned against poor insurance policies. See more... Read more - members only

GardenAfrica seeks garden centres to co-host a weekend

GardenAfrica, a UK registered charity, is looking for garden centres to co-host an exciting weekend of events which will boost sales and fund horticultural projects in sub-Saharan Africa. See more... Read more - members only

Industry praises Government restrictions on paving

DEFRA has listened to the garden industry and has published measures that will prevent householders from laying non-porous paving in their front drives without planning permission. See more... Read more - members only

Early signs that the garden sector is not immune from the crisis

Dudley Transport has suspended deliveries for two weeks while its owner, Kinglea Plants, rationalises its customer base. Uncertainty has also arisen over the financial security of Baugur, a shareholder in Wyevale. See more ... Read more - members only

New look for Ruxley Rose competition

The new look Ruxley Rose competition will keep garden centres focused on plants at a time when their attention might be diverted by Christmas decorations. See more... Read more - members only

Last Chance to Enter Thrive's Blind Gardener Competition

Anyone who knows the enjoyment of gardening and has a visual impairment should sign up now so that their skills can be recognised and celebrated in Thrive's popular annual Blind Gardener of the Year competition. Closing date is Monday 15 September 2008. See more for details... Read more - members only

GCA names Best Garden Centres in North and South Thames

The first area winners have been declared in the competition to find this year's Best GCA Garden Centre. The awards, following judging in the North Thames and South Thames areas, were announced at two recent ceremonies. To see the winners, see more... Read more - members only

GCA members warm to GRO

Internal correspondence between GCA members shows that those who are already active in the controversial AIS/GRO buying group are delighted with the results, even before the imminent appointment of a senior garden buyer. See more... Read more - members only

HTA continues drive to extend Sunday trading

The HTA is surveying its retail members to support its campaign to extend Sunday opening hours for garden centres. The Government appears open to change and has asked for more information. See more.. Read more - members only

The Love/Hate Relationship of the 21st Century Gardener

Research launched today has revealed that the importance of reducing our gardening footprint still hasn’t resonated with some gardeners, as over a quarter admit to not considering the environment as they garden. See more... Read more - members only

RHS calls for tax cut on ornamental plants and seeds

The RHS is using interest raised by the Chelsea Flower Show to launch a petition to reduce VAT on all ornamental plants and seeds to 5%. To sign the petition, see more – open to all readers... Read more - open to all

Minister says the door is open to changes in Sunday trading law

Friday's House of Lords debate on the HTA’s bill to extend Sunday trading at garden centres was rewarded a positive response from the trade minister. See more... Read more - members only

Councils adopt HTA's 'Greener' motion

Efforts to include more planting in new urban developments are bearing fruit with news that a third council has passed a motion put forward by the HTA with 9 more likely to follow soon. See more... Read more - members only

Sustainable retail is here to stay

Returning from the World Retail Congress, the CEO of Kingfisher, Ian Cheshire, has commented in The Retail Bulletin that sustainable retail is one of the hottest topics in the industry at the moment and it is here to stay. See more… Read more - members only

HTA continues to push for changes to the Sunday Trading Laws

The Horticultural Trades Association is continuing to seek support in government for a relaxation of the laws to enable Sunday trading to take place on Easter Sunday. Read more - members only

Retailers and suppliers must form alliances

At a time of rapid change and little growth within the garden industry, “There is still too much them and us.” The words of Leslie Kossoff set the mood for the first of the HTA’s 2008 one day conferences. See more... Read more - members only

NT advises on Sudden Oak Death

The National Trust for Scotland, concerned about the spread of Sudden Oak Death into Scotland, convened a conference of experts to offer guidance. Their advice applies throughout the UK where 625 sites are now affected. See more... Read more - members only

How Green is your business? It’s time for Action

The recent GIMA meeting heard that 50% of the top 250 companies now measure their carbon footprint. The garden sector has been slow to respond and should act now before being forced by legislation. It is not as complicated as it sounds. See more... Read more - members only

To see earlier stories - Look in the News Archive