A team of 20 Young People in Horticulture headed to Lancashire to visit some fantastic horticulture businesses. And what a trip it was!
We started our trip at Barton Grange Garden Centre, where Guy Topping (Director), kindly took a whole day to show us the inner workings of Barton Grange.
We learnt about the environmental policies at work at the garden centre including their composter. They can compost waste from the café and plant area that they can then use around the site! We had a fascinating talk from David Fawcett-Ropner (Display Manager) who talked us through all things design and display at Barton Grange.
We talked through the structure, the working behind the ideas and how this benefits the business. We saw first-hand some of their fantastic Christmas displays! Guy kindly showed us around the garden centre and the warehouse operations – giving some of us some inspiration to take home.
Next was lunch at the Garden Centre café before a tour around Garden Centre Plants – a 35-acre hardy ornamental grower. Chris Connah gave us a tour of the nursery, and we had some great discussions about peat-free growing media and the challenges around the next generation of horticulture.
Back to Barton Grange, we went, with a final presentation on the history of Barton Grange and how they have diversified their business into The Flower Bowl – a fantastic entertainment centre hosting restaurants, crazy golf and curling. They even had sheep grazing on the roof at one point! The YPHA team then got to spend the evening there taking part in all activities including Crazy Pool and VR.
Saturday then saw the team head over to our founders’ (Natalie Porter) family business, Happy Plants. Natalie gave an eye-opening tour of her growing facilities including a sneak peek into their brand-new glasshouse.
One take-home quote heard on the visit when discussing horticulture dispatch was ‘you can only sell it when people want it.’
Jessica Dabell, Brand Manager at Meadow View Stone said this about her trip: “I cannot praise the YPHA enough, it is a wonderful organisation full of friendly people. The opportunity to meet and exchange knowledge with people your own age in the industry is priceless!”
Thank you to everyone who supported us in creating another successful in-person event. Watch this space for the next one!