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

GCA seeks scholarship candidates

Each year, the Garden Centre Association Trust awards two scholarships to support students undergoing horticultural training. The GCA is looking for nominations for the academic year that starts this autumn. See more... Read more - members only

BRC Director-General to address GIMA

“Let's face it; things are in a mess at the moment. And the thinking that got us into the mess isn't going to get us out of it.” Advice from one of the challenging speakers at the GIMA meeting to be held on March 26th. See more... Read more - members only

Mass online vote to find best garden centre

Gardeners’ World magazine, with a circulation of 330,000, has unveiled the Gardeners’ World Awards. Anyone can vote in the on-line survey, which is looking for the best and worst in gardening, including the best garden centres. See more... Read more - members only

New Monthly Nursery Round-up by Peter Dawson

Here’s the first round-up of news from British nurseries by Peter Dawson, former editor of Nurseryman and Garden Centre magazine. His new monthly ‘column’ will provide news and views from the growers across the country. See more... Read more - members only

Good advice for the recession

What are the prospects for 2009 and how do we survive? This was the foremost question for delegates at the recent Garden Centre Association conference and GIMA meeting. Gardenforum distils the advice from both events. See more... Read more - open to all

Average GC shopping basket grows by £3.60 in 12 months

One in four garden centres increased sales during December. For the year as a whole, sales fell 2%. The latest figures from the GCA Barometer of Trade also show that average customer spend in 2008 increased by £3.60. See more... Read more - members only

ITV & RHS seek the People's Gardener

ITV’s Alan Titchmarsh Show and the RHS have launched the search for the People's Gardener. They are seeking nominations for anyone whose passion for gardening benefits their community in some way. See more... Read more - members only

Keep writing says HTA – it’s working (Updated)

Intensive lobbying appears to have softened the damaging draft legislation on the Placing of Plant Protection Products on the Market, on which the EU Parliament will vote on 12th January. However, concerns remain and there is still time to write to your MEP. See more... Read more - members only

2008 Review

Gardenforum reported on 18 garden centres changing hands last year. There was also the demise of wholesaler Spread, and a difficult year for Sir Tom Hunter’s investments in Dobbies, Flying Brands and Wyevale. For a review of 2008 and what to watch in 2009, see 'more'... (This article open to non-subscribers to see what you missed!) Read more - open to all

Garden Centres are streets ahead for Christmas

The winners of the 2008 GCA Christmas display competition are Barton Grange, Brock, in the category for larger centres and Castle Gardens at Sherborne in the class for garden centres with sales under £3m. The judge said she was absolutely blown away. See more... Read more - members only

Wisley at Risk from Commercial Waste Management Sites

The RHS is calling on people who love gardens and gardening to help it fight two planning applications for commercial waste management sites near its largest garden, at Wisley in Surrey. See more... Read more - members only

Lifetime Achievement Award for Whitehall Centenarian

Highlights of last night's Garden Retail Awards include 3 wins for the newly refurbished Sidmouth Garden Centre and a Lifetime Achievement Award for Whitehall Garden Centre's centenarian owner Phyllis Self. For all the winners, see more... Read more - members only

HTA welcomes Benn’s support and understanding

Possible draconian laws to eliminate a wide range of potentially invasive garden plants, and EU pesticide legislation were among the topics discussed by industry leaders at yesterday’s meeting with Hillary Benn, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. See more... Read more - members only

Conference shows how to survive a recession

HTA members who attended this week's business leaders’ conference heard that we are facing the toughest time ever for business directors. Innovation is the key to survival, but this does not come naturally to companies with over 20 staff. Creativity needs to be worked at. See more... Read more - members only

£850k reward for Choice

Choice Marketing members are celebrating the completion of another successful year with a huge rebate of £850,000 for achieving agreed targets with their key suppliers. See more... Read more - members only

February snow hit small garden centres

Despite recession, snow and frozen ground, members of the Garden Centre Association will be pleased that sales were only 11% behind last year, which had been 21% up on 2007. Smaller centres were, however, more heavily affected. See more... Read more - members only

Four Oaks Direct holds Flower Power Fair

Around 20 nurseries from the North of England will be selling a range of garden and house plants on Mother's Day at the first Flower Power Fair of 2009, which will be held at Four Oaks Direct. See more... Read more - members only

£25 million to fight the spread of Phytophthora kernoviae

The government has announced today £25 million to fight the spread of Phytophthora kernoviae and Phytophthora ramorum. This gives a clear indication of the potential threat of these diseases to our woodlands and the nursery industry. See more... Read more - members only

E.coli in garden centre fountains

A report has appeared that E.coli has been found in fountains at seven Welsh garden centres, putting the health of visitors at risk. See more... Read more - members only

GCA names its garden centre of the year

Bents claims the title GCA Garden Centre of the Year 2009, just ahead of last year’s winner, Webbs of Wychbold. All in One, Donaghadee, Poplars Nursery and Taylors Bulbs were among the other winners. See more... Read more - members only

Garden centres should become champions for change says Smit

In September, Tim Smit said garden centres would be the most important UK industry in the next 10 years as scares emerge about food and fuel security. Gardenforum asked Smit to explain what he meant and what garden centres should be doing about it. See more… Read more - members only

Plan for the worst says Charles Notcutt

There was valuable advice on beating the downturn on the first day of Contact 09, the three day conference for UK nurseries organised by the HTA. See more... Read more - members only

Christmas trade very much a 'curate's egg'

With both Next and Debenhams reporting lower sales in the Christmas period, garden centres appear to have fared the festive season better than the high street retailers. See more... Read more - members only

What recession? Say NZ garden centres

Proof that garden centres are recession resistant comes with news from New Zealand of record sales of plants and seedlings. The RHS is promoting Grow Your Own in 2009 as consumers look towards home for their leisure activities. See more... Read more - members only

Call for gardening organisations to work together

Garden Organic has called for a joined up approach from leading garden organisations to encourage food security and bio-diversity by promoting growing at home. See more... Read more - members only

Jury out on VAT reduction

The 2.5% cut in VAT in the run up to Christmas has presented garden centres with a headache. How do they implement the reduction? See more … Read more - members only

GIMA accuses GRO of ‘Divide and rule’

GIMA has warned members that they need GRO like they need ‘A hole in the head’. In reply the new buying group says the view of the manufacturers misunderstands the concept of GRO. See more... Read more - members only

It’s not about pretty planting and neat lawns, says Mintel

The latest Mintel report sees signs of a new generation of gardeners with different needs. Garden centre consolidation is slowing, but the long-term survival of the traditional garden centre is questioned. See more... Read more - members only

Butterfly World Project opens with Future Gardens next year

Phase one of a stunning £25 million Butterfly World Project will open next June with Future Gardens, a series of show gardens launched by Sir David Attenborough and David Bellamy. When completed, the 25-acre site near St Albans will have display gardens in the shape of a caterpillar, a tropical biome and 10,000 tropical butterflies. See more... Read more - members only

To see earlier stories - Look in the News Archive