DIY ON THE UP Gifts galore

Gifts galore
Question Time looks at the
evolution of our retail outlets
Cover Photo:
page 20
December 2014
Welcome back to Garden &
Hardware News. It’s reached
that festive time of year again
when product lines are
changing to account for the
approach of Christmas.
With that in mind, our section on page 16
focuses on some of the gifts and houseware
available whilst our special feature on page
17 looks at ways in which packaging
breakthroughs are being used to extend the
shelf life of cut flowers, and how the future
of gift-style plants like the poinsettia, which
tends to have a limited shelf life, could be
extended in the future.
We’ve also included a range of products
Stephanie Cornwall
[email protected]
Production Controller:
Robin Jeffries
[email protected]
Sales Office Manager:
Vicky Bullivant
[email protected]
Account Manager:
Claire Jordan
[email protected]
Carole Todd
[email protected]
Louise Stupples
[email protected]
Associate Publisher:
Donna Jenkins
[email protected]
Robert Nisbet
[email protected]
that are new to the market in the launch
gallery on pages 10 and 11.
Post-Christmas, we have the Harrogate
Christmas and Gift Fair and Spring Fair.
We’ll be featuring more details about both
in future issues, but have given you a sneak
preview here about what’s in store.
With festive lines now on sale and our aisles
filling up with Christmas plants,
decorations and other products, the
question we’ve posed in this month’s
Question Time looks at diversification in
both garden and hardware stores and gains
feedback from two very different sources –
the innovator putting new products into
stores and the DIY hardware specialist with
Five-page round up of news and events
from the industry
We spotlight some of the new products
coming onto the market
extensive buying experience in a number of
other retail sectors.
Once more our Retail Plants and Shrubs
section is packed with features and news
for this sector, including full coverage of the
South West Growers Show and the
international event, Orticolario, which adds
Italian flair to the Chelsea concept.
All that remains now is for us to wish you a
happy Christmas and a prosperous 2015!
Stephanie Cornwall
What are the boundaries for diversification?
All the latest news about products coming to
market and new lines
We review the conference, some of the insights
gained by those attending, and experiences shared
This month’s columnist looks at new innovators in
retail, and what UK manufacturing offers them
Get the latest updates from the suppliers on what’s
going on in their world
An early glimpse of what’s going to be on offer at
this year’s Harrogate Gift Fair and Spring Fair.
Media One Communications Ltd,
1 Accent Park, Bakewell Road,
Orton Southgate, Peterborough,
PE2 6XS.T el: 01733 385300.
Copyright 2014©, all rights reserved. No part
of this publication may be reproduced in any
way without written permission from the
publisher. All views and opinions expressed
are not necessarily those of the publisher.
Our new feature spotlights more of what suppliers
are offering in the run-up to Christmas
Three-page section highlighting the findings of a
DIY survey and some of the hardware on offer
Full review of show and award winners
Full review of show and award winners
This month’s guest garden centre describes how
the use of solar power is keeping running costs low | Garden & Hardware News | 3
Wonderful time lapse of a
Landscape Design from Kingbird
All Kinds of People Making
Amazing Things In Garages,
Basements, and Backyards.
Maria Casey
See my Giant Red and Green-inSnow Mustard crop!
#wintergreens #GrowYourOwn
Telegraph Gardening
Glorious autumn hedgerows: in
20th anniversary
celebrations for
landscapers who
started with a van
Green-tech has just celebrated
its 20th anniversary in the
landscaping industry. Founded
by Richard and Rachel Kay in
1994 with a second hand van,
£200 and an office in their
house, Green-tech has grown
today to a £9 million plus
turnover business, operating out
of 30,000 square foot
warehousing and office
facilities, employing more than
40 staff and selling more than
6,000 products.
Chairman Richard said the
company plans to invest heavily
in expanding its Green-tree
topsoil business in the south for
2015, and is looking at new
markets for its John Chambers
Wildflower Seed arm.
The company celebrated with a
celebration dinner for 100
industry colleagues, team social
events, a joint open day with
Johnsons of Whixley and the
publication of a 20-page
anniversary supplement that
details the company's brands,
products and people.
wheelbarrow tyre
Essex-based Active Products
has been appointed UK
distributor for the original
GreenTyre puncture proof
wheelbarrow tyre.
Active Products is best known
for its original AP lighting range
created in 2003, which has
evolved considerably over the
years and now includes six
ranges catering to the budget
mass market for domestic
purposes and extending to trade
professionals and emergency
Greentyres was established in
1992 with a mission to develop
and commercialise a solution to
the problem of traditional rubber
tyres going flat. It uses modern
polyurethanes derived from
those commonly used in sports
shoes to form a tyre of regular
consistency that will not go flat.
The tyre is puncture proof and is
available in 14 inch and 16 inch
sizes with universal hub fittings.
It is earth friendly and 100 per
cent recyclable. It is currently
available in Homebase and B&Q
and the distributor said it is
seeing growing interest from
retailers and independent
builders merchants.
Retailers interested in stocking
the puncture proof tyre, can call
Active Products on 01371 872
842 or email [email protected]
Two team up to
create new range
Addagrip, the leading resin
bound and bonded surfacing
manufacturer, has teamed up
with Netherlands based
Flowresin Group to launch a
new range of interior flooring
called PU Floor Green Line
which combines traditional
craftsmanship and modern
technology to create a unique,
durable flooring product that
can be tailored to suit individual
requirements. For further
information, contact
[email protected]
Branch refurbished
Notcutts celebrated the launch
of its newly refurbished
Wheatcroft garden centre in
Nottingham last month.
Eustache Davenport
Herbs make food taste better,
produce delightful aromas teas,
Did you know that parsnip is the
best selling veg seed in the UK?
Plant wildflowers now (or give as
Christmas pressies) need
inspiration? Create a hideaway!
Sow Seeds
Our Little Box of Horrors Chilli
Seed Collection Box.
Soil Association
The Farm Crap App is a clever
and inventive idea! Will you vote
for it to win our InnovationAward?
Join us on Twitter at
Support electrical safety campaign
DIY retailers are being urged to
back a new campaign
highlighting the perils of
attempting DIY electrical work
which is being highlighted in a
new campaign.
The 'Don’t Die For DIY’
campaign, launched by charity,
Electrical Safety First, highlights
the risks people face when
attempting electrical work using
advice from internet sources
such as YouTube, rather than a
registered electrician.
Digital agency Code
Computerlove has created a
series of low-budget, fake
“amateur” vlogs imitating some
of the most highly viewed
YouTube videos, showing the
near fatal results of doing
electrical DIY in the wrong way.
Each of the five videos,
featuring Code’s “electrician”
Mike Power who isn’t as
qualified as he seems, is
followed by the message “Be
sure the person giving online
advice is a registered
electrician” and prompts people
to share the campaign message.
Electrical Safety First
spokesman Emma Apter said:
“Research shows that more and
more people are turning to the
internet, and particularly
YouTube, for how-to guides on
DIY at home and the web is full
of DIY instruction videos.
“Whilst this is great in many
ways, when it comes to
electrical work it can be really
dangerous. The fact is that, even
if they claim to be experts, these
online DIYers don’t always know
their stuff. Electricity can be
extremely dangerous, so why
would you take the risk?”
The campaign is designed to
get this message out there and
encourage people to use
registered electricians.
For more information visit | Garden & Hardware News | 5
Male voiceovers are less
welcoming, say shoppers
Sandy joins
HTA Board
Sandy Shepherd from Ball
Colegrave has joined the HTA
Board as a director. As
Managing Director for Ball
Colegrave since 2001 Sandy
brings more than 30 years'
horticultural business
knowledge to the organisation,
having previously held senior
management positions in
KinderGarden Plants, Jiffy and
Lows of Dundee.In addition to
Sandy the HTA Board comprises
of Stan Green (President), David
Norman (Hon Treasurer), Carol
Paris (HTA CEO), Caroline Owen
(Past President), John Lord, Ian
Ashton, Bob Hewitt, Mark
Pearson and Richard Barnard.
Insight for
The UK garden industry speaks
with a middle-aged, female
voice, new research reveals.
A study conducted by PH Media
Group found the most popular
voice used by garden
businesses is female and aged
between 45 and 55. It is also
warm and friendly in tone,
helping to reinforce a sense of
dedicated, obliging service.
The female voice is generally
perceived by customers as
soothing and welcoming,
helping put customers at ease.
Head of Voice and Music at PH
Media Group, Dan Lafferty, said.
"That doesn't mean it will
necessarily be the best fit across
the board and companies should
use a voice which best reflects
their products, customer base
and service proposition. An
older, deeper male voice, for
example, is perceived as
authoritative and professional,
providing customers with a
different kind of reassurance."
The research audited garden
businesses’ on-hold marketing –
the messages heard by callers
when they are put on hold or
transferred – to reveal which
voice and music is most widely
used. The most popular music
tracks were relaxed and
uplifting in style, designed to
reinforce the sense of top-class
service communicated by the
tone of voice. Many firms opt to
use popular music tracks but
can have emotional associations
and be unsuitable in convincing
a customer to buy.
"Sound is a powerful emotional
sense," added Dan. "People will
often attach feelings, both
positive and negative, to a piece
of commercial music, which will
be recalled upon hearing it."
Social media link on new website
Town & Country has launched its
new website with additional
features. The new design features
full photography in all product
categories and improved
navigation. It includes latest
information on new products,
promotions and special offers. Site
visitors can now search for
products by task, colour, material
or size and can post a review.
There is also a social hub where
they can engage with Town &
Country via Facebook, Twitter,
Pinterest and Instagram, as well
as keeping up to date with the
latest news, tips and advice via
the regular Blog entries.
6 | Garden & Hardware News |
Following demand for more
insight into recruitment and
sub-contracting in the
landscaping sector, the APL
seminar at Provender Nurseries
focused on recruiting and
retaining staff. The seminar
covered recruitment agencies
and processes, de-mystifying
apprentice schemes and
whether sub-contracting is a
better option. Guy Moreton from
MorePeople and Susan
McLaughlin of Garden House
Design gave talks.
Dobbies opens
in Cambridge
Dobbies Garden Centres has
opened a new store in Bar Hill,
Cambridge, which now takes its
number of centres to 35.
Adrian takes up
Hozelock role in
Northern Europe
Global watering expert Hozelock
has announced the appointment
of Adrian Davey as its new
Commercial Director for
Northern Europe. In this role he
will be responsible for all
commercial activities in the UK,
Ireland and Scandinavia. Adrian
has a wealth of experience in
the consumer goods sector,
having previously held the
position of managing director at
Cobra Beer and several senior
roles within Molson Coors, one
of the world’s leading brewers.
At Hozelock, he is a member of
the international leadership
team and reports directly to
Chief Executive Marc Ballu.
Head of Garden
Wyevale Garden Centres has
appointed Caroline Linger as
Head of Garden. Caroline, who
held a previous role at Frosts
Garden Centres where she was
integral in developing the
Garden and Home proposition
and driving profitable sales
growth, joins WGC from The
Co-operative Pharmacy.
Medal for soil scientist
Respected soil scientist and
national expert in growing media,
Neil Bragg, has been awarded the
HTA Pearson Memorial Medal in
recognition for his outstanding
commitment to the horticultural
Neil, who has recently stepped
down as chairman of the
Horticultural Development
Company (HDC) after six years, is
a director of Bulrush Horticulture.
During his time at the HDC he
oversaw the move of the company
from Kent to Stoneleigh.
Neil started work for the Ministry
of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
and after achieving a masters
degree, transferred to ADAS soil
science where he became part of
the National Horticulture
Specialist Group.
In 1991 he joined Bulrush and
subsequently became a director of
the company. He has chaired the
Bedding and Pot Plant
Association and the Growing
Media Association. Previously a
director of Stockbridge
Technology Centre, he has a
passion for research &
development and is currently a
director of the Horticultural
Innovation Partnership.
Former Which? researcher
takes up growing media role
Center Parcs
rooftop gets
planted out
Consumer expert and renowned
horticultural researcher, Dr
Richard Gianfrancesco has been
appointed as Growing Media
Product Manager by William
Sinclair Horticulture which
makes J. Arthur Bower's,
Growing Success, New Horizon
and DeadFast brands of growing
media, fertilisers and sundries.
Previously a UK and global
business manager for
environmental consultancy,
Thomson Ecology, Dr
Gianfrancesco is best known for
Shropshire-based Boningale
Nurseries has supplied more
than 7,000 plants for the
sustainable green roof at the
new £250 million Center Parcs.
The new resort, which opened
at Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire,
features a green roof on top of
the Pancake House, one of the
restaurants on site.
The Albrighton-based nursery
was asked by green roofing
installers ABG to supply the
SkyPlugs – robust plant plugs
developed specifically for green
roofs – for the 353 m2
sustainable roof space. The
company provided nine different
species of sedum, each of which
has a strong and developed
rootball and is grown in the
Boningale GreenSky substrate,
a growing medium that is
tailored to suit the environment
in which the plants are being
his earlier work for Which?, the
consumer champion, where he
spent 12 years (2001-2013) in
senior positions including a fiveyear stint as head of research for
'Which? Gardening' and most
recently as head of science,
statistics and social research.
In his new role, he will be
responsible for ensuring the
company's range of growing
media is aligned with the needs
of consumers through constant
product innovation and
AIPH awards medal
Manor's grounds
Boringdon Hall Hotel, a manor
house in Devon, has recently
seen its grounds redeveloped,
with paving supplied by
Tobermore, manufacturer of
block paving, paving flags,
kerbing and walling products.
President of the China Flower
Association (CFA), Madame
Jiang Zehui, has been awarded
a gold medal by the
International Association of
Horticultural Producers (AIPH).
AIPH President, Vic Krahn,
presented the accolade during
the opening ceremony of the
66th Annual Congress of AIPH
to Madame Jiang in recognition
of her outstanding contribution
to ornamental horticulture in
China through her leadership of
the CFA and support for AIPH.
Madame Jiang has been
president of the CFA since 1999
and has also overseen
international horticultural
Driving sustainability
Kingfisher Group has appointed
2degrees, the global collaboration
platform for sustainable business,
to help drive its restorative Net
Positive approach to business
across its global operating
companies, which include B&Q,
Screwfix, Castorama, Brico Dépôt
and Koçtas.
Mainstreaming sustainability
into the heart of the business is a
key ambition for Kingfisher and it
is now looking for more
integrated and collaborative
ways to accelerate the
implementation of Net Positive
across its operating companies
in 10 different countries.
2degrees will work with
Kingfisher to leverage the
diversity of knowledge and
experience which exists across
its businesses.
Kingfisher is hoping the platform
will accelerate progress
particularly around timber,
energy, innovation and
The winners of the most
prestigious awards in the
organic industry were
announced at the recent
Soil Association’s annual
The Soil Association
Organic Awards have been
showcasing the best in
organic food and drink for
28 years and 2014 saw
three important changes.
For the first time ever,
consumers were involved in
the voting process. Once
the entries had been
shortlisted by the judging
panel, the public were
encouraged to vote online to
make the final decision.
More than 11,000 votes This
year the judges based their
decisions not only the
quality of the product, but
the organic story behind it –
such as how the business
and product went the extra
mile in animal welfare,
protecting the environment
and wildlife, promoting
health and serving the
community. The awards saw
more than 400 entries.
Design-led gift trade event
showcasing thousands of carefully
selected British and international
suppliers and designer-makers.
The most vital buying event in any
retailer’s calendar.
20 MARCH-6 APRIL 2015
Giving & Living is the largest, and
earliest, trade show in the South
Everything from fixtures and
fittings to fine food, gardens and
the latest gadgets, all under one
roof at this award-winning show.
5-7 MAY
Harrogate gives the retailer
everything for a perfect
For face-to-face sourcing, trading
and learning for the US home
improvement and DIY markets. | Garden & Hardware News | 7
Paint manufacturer
has Frank on the oche
Paint manufacturer Leyland
Trade has given one of its loyal
customers an opportunity to
take on world darts champion
Michael van Gerwen.
Frank Johnson, who has sold
Leyland Trade at Wear Valley
Decorating Centre in County
Durham for more than 20 years,
took on the darts superstar in an
exclusive private event at PPG
Canalside in Huddersfield.
Leyland Trade has a long history
of supporting its loyal stockist
customers and encourages them
to share in its ‘work hard, play
hard’ ethos. Stockist brand
marketing manager, Vicky
Jones, said: “We pride ourselves
on the relationships we have
with our customers, which is
why hosting events like this is
so important. Frank has been a
hugely loyal customer over
many years so it was fantastic
to see him taking on the world
champion…and giving him a
run for his money.”
Global show for decoration sector
Messe Frankfurt, the world’s
leading trade show for the
seasonal decoration sector, will
be held in Frankfurt from January
30th to February 3rd. Organisers
say plans for the show are well
underway and the exhibition
stands are already filling up.
Fourth edition
of Expo TCO
in the offing
The third Expo TCO trade show,
held at Dodewaard in the
Netherlands, featured 90 stand
holders, of which 55 were
landscaping participants and 35
supplying companies and
services. With 710 visitors on
the first day and 1,630 on the
second day, the total number of
visitors reached 2,340.
The tree tour offered visitors a
look behind the scenes of a
standard tree nursery. Thirteen
participants offered the
opportunity to visit their
businesses and dozens of
visitors took advantage of this.
A total of 18 innovations were
presented at the fair, both
technical and green novelties,
and the technology street
outside showed how the trees
are grown. The Expo TCO
workgroup is already planning
the fourth show. Expo TCO is
intended to position the
Opheusden region as the
leading avenue tree centre.
However, this year the range
was expanded to include
ornamental shrubs, conifers and
perennials. The fair offered a
total range for gardens and
public green spaces and attracts
international growers, gardeners
and horticultural companies,
architects and government
Gold people award
Garden supplies company,
Harrod UK, is celebrating after
receiving an Investors in People
(IIP) Gold award. Harrod UK
were first awarded IIP status in
1996 and has maintained the
accolade ever since. Gold is
achieved by less than one per
cent of all companies.
No wintery
discontent for
king’s burial
Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford has
supplied the plants for two
landscaped gardens within the
grounds of Leicester Cathedral
where King Richard III will be
The nursery was commissioned to
provide plants worth £25,000 for
the project by the landscape
architecture practice, Gillespies,
in London and Tim South of
L.D.A. Architects in Exeter.
Amenity Sales Manager Andy
Congera said: “The two
landscaped gardens at the
Cathedral were to commemorate
the re-interment of Richard III.
The gardens are now a modern
leisure park landscape for the
people of Leicester. It was a major
landscaping project and we were
delighted to be involved."
The plants supplied included
Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Liatris and
Eragrostis ‘Wind Dancer’. These
were used within a framework of
300 Buxus hedging specimens.
King Richard III’s bones were
found under a council car park in
Leicester in 2012 and will be
reinterred on March 26th, 2015 at
Leicester Cathedral. A week-long
series of events will see the king’s
coffin travel from Bosworth.
Britain’s next generation of interior designers presented
Homebase has launched a new
programme that aims to get more
young people interested in
careers in interior design and
decorating. The first intake of
students were revealed at Grand
Designs Live in October.
The 13 design enthusiasts are to
join Homebase for a year, where
they will learn all of the tricks of
the trade from industry experts,
including famous Homebase
suppliers such as Dulux, Harris
and Graham & Brown.
The students will also receive City
& Guilds training to ensure they
have lots of practical experience
as well as up-to-the minute
knowledge about all of the latest
trends to pass on to customers as
they advise them in Homebase
Design Centres.
8 | Garden & Hardware News |
Homebase HR Director John Shaw
said: “We are committed to
championing our industry as a
great career choice – and we’re
delighted to be able to offer young
people such a significant boost on
the career ladder. We received a
fantastic response when we
announced we were looking to
start a design and decorating
academy – and we are excited to
welcome the new students.”
Those completing the scheme to a
satisfactory level may receive an
offer to progress their career
within Homebase stores, either
within its distribution network or
at head office in Milton Keynes.
The design and decorating
academy follows on from the
success of the Homebase Garden
Academy, now in its second year.
Aging population accounts for
more time spent in gardens
Insight shared at
An aging population is leading
to more people spending time
and money on their gardens
according to director of AMA
Research Andrew Hartley.
Andrew said there is now a
general interest in
environmentally friendly
products, creating added value
as well as more media interest
in the garden as an aspirational
living space. He said there has
also been a trend towards higher
quality/value products in both
Jackie Eades, managing
director of gardening products
specialist Briers, was the guest
speaker at a recent HTA Garden
Futures Conference at the
Jarvis Hall, RIBA, London.
Addressing key figures in the
garden industry, Jackie's talk
covered design, manufacture
and retail in the sector. Her
presentation, Right Product,
Right Customer, also discussed
the principles and philosophy
behind the Briers brand.
garden furniture and barbecues,
although average prices for
better quality products have
Andrew said: “Future product
developments are likely to be
driven by fashion, demographics
and housing/garden styles and
sizes, and the ageing population
will result in more people having
time to spend in the garden –
with older age groups also more
inclined to use barbecues than
15-20 years ago.”
UK’s garden leisure
market improving
The domestic garden leisure
market, which fell in value terms
during 2012, has started to
recover and was estimated to be
worth more than £500 million in
2013, reflecting an estimated
growth of 12 per cent, and
continuing to grow over the past
year, according to a report by
AMA Research.
Expenditure on garden leisure
products has been volatile in
recent years owing to a
combination of falls in consumer
confidence, the economic
climate, and the weather.
Positive factors include good
weather on bank holiday
weekends, sporting events and
the trend for greater utilisation
of outdoor space.
The largest sector of the garden
leisure market is garden
furniture, which accounted for
more than 60 per cent in 2013.
Metal and plastic garden
furniture gained share at the
expense of wood as consumers
have moved away from
traditional towards more
contemporary styles. The plastic
category has been boosted in
recent years by the popularity of
rattan style garden furniture
made of all-weather materials.
The barbecue sector has
benefited from the trend to trade
up from charcoal to gas
barbecues, the increasing
interest in dining outside and
added value from product
development, with 2014 a good
year for the sector. Own brands
dominate this sector of the
market, accounting for an
estimated 45-55 per cent share.
Garden leisure products are
increasingly sourced and
manufactured abroad,
particularly in the Far East and
Eastern Europe. Most are sold
through DIY multiples, which
account for more than 40 per
cent market share.
For further information, visit
Chef shows how
to use barbecue
Chef Dan Cooper was due to
give a two-hour barbecue
demonstration at Polhill
Sevenoaks on Thursday,
November 20th from 6.30pm to
8.30pm, to promote the Weber
range now being stocked there.
He is demonstrating how to
grill, roast and bake the Weber
Warming news
for greenhouses
Bosmere is launching a new
generation of greenhouse
heaters. There are two models
in the range, which are
designed to encourage even
heat distribution with a
constant flow of warm air,
providing protection against
frost in the cold winter months.
By eliminating cold spots in the
greenhouse the risk of disease
is also reduced. Both models are
CE approved, waterproof class
IPX4 and have overheat
Nurseries celebrate six-year partnership
Wyevale Nurseries is
celebrating its sixth successful
year in partnership with top
Italian nursery, Innocenti &
Mangoni Piante.
The two teamed up in 2008 to
develop Greenline Plants, a cash
and carry outlet, to deliver a
more bespoke service for its
customers. Greenline Plants is
based at the Earlswood
nurseries site in the West
Midlands. It is overseen by Alan
Standring (pictured right), who
has 27 years’ experience in the
horticultural industry. Greenline
Plants supplies a wide range of
plants, including bamboos,
herbaceous perennials, palms,
roses, shrubs, topiary as well as
the more exotic and unusual
varieties. If it hasn’t got the
plants a customer needs on-site
its team of experts will aim to
source the plants required.
Innocenti & Mangoni Piante has
been dedicated to the
production and the marketing of
quality outdoor ornamental
plants since 1950.
Fiskars makes
new marketing
Fiskars UK Ltd has made
two key marketing
appointments to strengthen
the UK team. Kerry Murfin
has been appointed Trade
Marketing Director and
James Karanicolas as
Trade Marketing Manager.
Kerry joins from Newell
Rubbermaid. For the past
seven years she led trade
marketing throughout the
EMEA region for brands
Dymo, Sharpie, Parker,
Irwin and Rubbermaid
across key retailers Staples,
Office Depot and Amazon.
She has 15 years'
experience at UK and
EMEA level in retail,
wholesale and web
channels. James is
focussed on driving
category growth within key
DIY, garden centre and
builders' merchants
channels. He joins from
Fiskars Australia where he
had four years' experience
leading trade marketing
initiatives. Through the
execution of campaigns
across key retailers, James
has been instrumental in
growing marketing share
with new category
The Scotts Company (UK)
Ltd has announced that
Mark Pearson, currently
CEO of the Scotts Solus
Brands Division, and May
Philpott, currently Sales
Director of that Division, will
leave the company on
November 30th. Martin
Breddy, Scotts UK General
Manager, will assume
leadership of the whole
business. Rainer Schubert
will become Sales Director
for the whole portfolio. | Garden & Hardware News | 9
Master of
its class
Heralded as the finest peat-based
universal compost produced by the
company, Sinclair Horticulture's new
J. Arthur Bower's Masterblend® is a
crumbly, free-flowing blend of 100 per
cent professional grade Scottish peat
with 10 per cent John Innes. The mix
is rich and dark and is enriched with a
six-month controlled release fertiliser
which is further enhanced by the
addition of Celcote®, a cellulose
water-absorbing coating which locks
onto compost fibres where it stores
and releases moisture as it is needed.
It is available in 50 litre bags.
Going for Danish
Johnstone’s Trade has expanded its
Woodworks range after adding
Danish Oil to its woodcare products,
for use on interior and exterior wood.
Available in 750ml, Johnstone’s
Danish Oil provides a low sheen finish
for furniture, handrails, window
frames, beams and planters, and can
be applied with a brush or cloth.
Christmas roasting
The Weber® Style™ Poultry Roaster is
being marketed for cooking the perfect
roast chicken. After liquid has been
poured into the central well and the
chicken placed on top, the liquid
steams to keep the meat tender and
moist. Onions, carrots and other vegetables can then also be placed in the
dish. This roaster is suitable for use on
the larger charcoal and gas barbecues
and can also be used to cook nachos
or even chocolate brownies.
10 | Garden & Hardware News |
Tooling up
Two Christmas kits have been launched by
Dremel. The Dremel home décor kit
contains he Dremel 930 dual-temparature
glue gun and the 290 engraver, carbide
engraving bits, engraving templates,
multipurpose glue sticks and glitter sticks.
It also includes a project booklet. The
home repair project Kit contains the 3000
Multitool, three attachments and
accessories, and a project booklet.
RPC has developed a new series of
bottles with a special base design for
ASB Greenworld‘s concentrated
fertilisers. The HDPE bottles are blowmoulded in classic green by RPC
Kutenholz, in 250ml, 500ml and 1l
sizes. They incorporate a user-friendly
easy-grip handle and a sight strip,
which allows the user to establish the
fill level and measure out the desired
quantity precisely, using the measuring
cap. Another feature of the new
container is its functional base,
developed by RPC Kutenholz, which
enables the bottle to withstand an
internal pressure of more than 0.7 bar
and means no degasifying cap is
required. | Garden & Hardware News | 11
Toolstream app
for Android
phones and
Following the huge
success of the
Toolstream app for iOS,
Toolstream has
launched the app for
Android phones and
tablets. Stockists can download the
Android App free from Google Play to
browse, view more than 5,000
products in the Toolstream catalogue,
and place orders. The app incorporates
a barcode scanner, so items can be
scanned instantly and reordered and
there are special offers available
exclusively on the app. The Android
app also provides at-a-glance stock
levels plus useful stock indicators that
show when products are available.
Customers can access transactions
and invoices via the app to keep on
top of their accounts when out and
about, check Toolpoints rewards and
order latest gadgets.
8 For further information please visit or
RSPB products now available from Gardman
Garden centres throughout
the UK can now turn to
Gardman for their complete
wild bird offer following a new
distribution agreement
between Gardman and the
RSPB. Gardman already
provides its retail partners
with a unique wild bird care
offer that spans the essential basics to the
high quality seeds and tables from the
specialist wild bird care brand, The Ernest
Charles Co. With this new agreement, the
company has developed its wild bird care
category further, adding products from the
most recognised wild bird care
brand in the UK, the RSPB. The
range includes feeds ranging from
standard quality seed mixes to
sunflower hearts, nyger seeds and
peanuts, suet balls, birdcakes,
sprinkles and mealworms, and
quality bird feeders including
classic seed and nut, premium
peanut and suet nibble feeders, two and four
port easy clean feeders. None have filler
ingredients so more of the food is eaten by the
birds and there is less waste and mess. 8 For further information please telephone
01406 372237 or visit
Sustained weedkiller revolution
continues to drive up sales
After a season during which Bayer Garden
performed ahead of the market in the crucial
weedkiller category it is continuing to work
with garden centre retailers and multiples to
cut the walkaway rate and drive up sales. Year on year sales of weedkillers grew by 21
per cent and in 2014 the company has rolled
out a comprehensive new approach to
weedkillers based on market research that had
revealed consumer confusion at the fixture.
The approach included a simplified range
aligned to the tasks defined by consumers
(lawn, growing areas, paths & patios,
specialist areas); and in-store navigation, point
of sale materials and
category segmentation
designed to make it
quick and easy for
consumers to find the
product they need.
Bayer Garden’s
research also revealed
weedkiller usage patterns, in particular 58 per
cent of all weedkiller usage being for paths,
driveways or patios. Bayer Garden is working
with retailers to sustain this.
8 For further information please visit
Company’s €1.5m
Bord na Móna UK’s parent company
has opened a new €1.5 million visitor
facility in the 3,000 hectare Lough
Boora Parklands, a cutaway peat bog,
which the company restored into a
network of off-road walking and cycle
routes within a biodiverse habitat which
includes the last remaining population of grey
partridge in Ireland. The investment provides
sustainable development, including the use of
environmentally friendly materials in
construction –a green roof, solar energy, and
an ecological waste water treatment system.
The new facility is designed to improve the
visitor experience to the former peat extraction
area, which BNM created 10 years ago as a
tangible statement of its commitment never to
open another peat bog.
8 For further information please telephone
+353 45 439 000 or visit
Which? Names Phostrogen All Purpose Plant Food as Best Buy
The September issue of Which? Gardening has
named Phostrogen All Purpose Plant Food a best
buy in a review of flower feeds suitable for giving
hanging baskets and container plants an end of
season boost. Which? tested for floral display, plant
vigour and flower count. Which? used Phostrogen
All Purpose Plant Food with every watering and
gave the product a score of 90 per cent. Phostrogen
All Purpose Plant Food, is produced in the UK and
known and loved by gardeners throughout the
country, is a soluble feed suitable for use on all
garden plants including edible crops, fruit trees,
lawns, young plants, seedlings and even house
plants. It dissolves easily and promotes health
green foliage and abundant fruit and flowers. It
helps plants develop strong, healthy root systems
and helps plants become drought resistant.
8 For further information please visit
12 | Garden & Hardware News |
The festive fairs countdown
Plans are well under way for the Harrogate Christmas & Gift2015
and Spring Fair. We offer an early glimpse of what’s in store
Christmas may be just
around the corner, but two
major events are also
following hot on its heels
that many garden and
hardware retailers will
want to include in their
hilst very much a
festive event, with
exhibitors displaying
everything from Christmas trees
and tinsel to stocking fillers,
Harrogate Christmas & Gift has
evolved to encompass diverse
product ranges for the home
and garden. The show is now a
favourite for garden centre and
gift shop buyers looking for
exciting ranges all year round
and visitors can expect to see
furniture, ornaments and
artificial flowers as well as
garden furniture, decorative
lighting and even barbecues.
The event is one of the UK's
fastest growing trade shows
and will take place at the
Harrogate International Centre
from January 11th to 14th 2015,
spanning six halls.
A few weeks later, the Spring
Fair takes place at Birmingham
NEC from February 1st to 5th.
As the largest and most
important retail trade event in
the country, Spring Fair serves
as a crucial barometer for the
economic health of the sector.
and will offer the most
comprehensive selection of gifts
available to the UK market.
Buyers visiting the show will be
able to source from a huge
range of products
encompassing all major
categories of merchandise you
can typically find in a gift shop,
including: Heritage, souvenirs,
speciality food, collectables,
photo frames, candles,
decorative items, plush,
porcelain, fashion accessories,
homewares and stocking fillers.
At the 2015 Spring Fair, the
original e-commerce zone is set
to become a brand in its own
right as show organisers aim to
help retailers find new and
innovative ways of trading
online, enhancing their
customer experience and
developing seamless multichannel operations.
As the UK continues to lead the
world in the lucrative and
growing field of e-commerce
and mobile shopping, i2i Events
Group will introduce the new
Retail Shop brand at Spring Fair
International and sister event
Autumn Fair International.
Exhibitors at the new Retail
Shop, due to make its debut at
Spring Fair International 2015,
will represent a multitude of
products and services that are
essential to successful multichannel retailing, such as:
In-store and online solutions,
logistics and fulfillment experts,
marketing platforms, payment
providers and specialists in
packaging. n
For further information please
and | Garden & Hardware News | 13
Lows of Dundee
and Widdop to
join exhibitors
at 2015 show
Lows of Dundee and Widdop
Bingham have just signed up and
are looking forward to joining
exhibitors at Harrogate Christmas &
Gift 2015.
Widdop Bingham is a leading
supplier of giftware to the trade and
looks forward to presenting its
comprehensive range of products at
the show. Stephen Illingworth of
Widdop Bingham comments: "We
are thrilled to be exhibiting at
Harrogate Christmas & Gift for the
first time in 2015. After an incredibly
successful first year with our Juliana
Home Living Christmas decorations
and giftware range we will have a
three times bigger offering in 2015
across tea light holders, plaques,
baubles, frames, floral and other
decorations alongside unique
Christmas products for Disney and
children, all of which will be brand
new in the UK. All of our lines will
be available in our simple single
pieces and supplemented with our
industry recognised customer
service. We look forward to
welcoming you to our booth!"
Lows of Dundee is a family run
business with a number of divisions
including its horticultural and
Christmas ranges which are
particularly relevant to Harrogate
Christmas & Gift. With everything
from Christmas vine products such
as reindeer and sleighs to indoor
planters and basketware, the
company's extensive catalogue
promises an eye-catching display.
8 For further information
please visit
Premier has
new Christmas
Stories to share
at show
One of the main attractions on the
Premier Decorations stand at
Harrogate Christmas & Gift 2015
will be a collection of new themed
ranges that Premier believes will
introduce the theatre of Christmas
across not only tree trim but also
table and room decorations and
glass ornaments.
A new buyer, with more than 20
years' experience in this area,
recently joined the Premier team
and, as a result, a new emphasis
has been applied to sourcing new
design led product that appeals
specifically to the British and Irish
Featuring more unique designs
than ever before, each of the eight
new themes has its own specific
colour palettes to help customers
create their own Christmas stories in store.
They range from traditional to
contemporary, with one even being
described as 'traditional, with a twist'.
The range will be on display in Hall H at the
A Snowy
Lesser & Pavey will be at
the Harrogate fair in
January and is inviting
buyers to see the new
MacNeil licensed range of
Christmas products there.
Under license from The
Macneil Studio, Lesser &
Pavey brings to life
striking designs featuring
Santa and Snowman,
Robin and a Christmas
village scene. The range is true to traditional
festive scenes and the illustrations makes it
an eye-catching Christmas collection which
encompasses an extensive fine china mug
range (incorporating fine china mug,
teaspoon tidy, spoon rest, mug and coaster
Fairybell® Christmas lighting will be
showcasing its latest products at the
Harrogate Christmas & Gift Fair and
showing how to create an intimate
Christmas atmosphere in a short amount
of time. Fairybell, which proved popular
with last year's show visitors, offers
fairytale Christmas lighting in Christmas
tree form, made up of hundreds to
show from January 11th to the 14th, and will
also be on show in both Premier Showrooms
from early December.
8 For further information please telephone
020 8624 5555 or visit
thousands of LEDs.
Its products can be seen at the FDL
stands at Harrogate Christmas & Gift Fair
and the Spring Fair.
8 For further information please visit
Stand No. B37 in Hall B at the Harrogate
Christmas and Gift Fair or Stand No. 2D02
in Hall 2 at the Spring Fair
or visit
14 | Garden & Hardware News |
gift set) and other items yet to be announced.
8 For further information
please visit Hall B stand B4,
telephone 01322 279225,
email [email protected]
or visit
Everything’s coming up Rosa
A new boxed jewellery set is amongst the
products Rosa Red will be showcasing at
the Spring Fair in February. Spring Fair
provides fashion jewellery that is distinctive
and affordable, with packaging that is
practical and stylish. An easel insert means
the jewellery can be displayed on shelves or
tables. If you prefer hanging stock, that can
be done too with new acetate hanging
boxes that show the product inside its own
gift box. Prices start from £2.95 for earrings,
£7.95 for necklaces and £6.95 for bracelets.
There are matching necklaces, earrings and
bracelets in each design so customers can
buy an entire matching set or mix and
match. All items are handmade, hand
painted and hand polished. POS is also
available which shows high-profile women
wearing the products. Minimum order is
£100, next day delivery is available on all
stock along with free carriage on orders
over £250.
8 For further information
visit stand 18C40,
telephone 01415727297
or visit
History and heraldry on
offer from new exhibitor
Hall of Names Europe is one of
the new exhibitors who will
have a stand at the 2015
Spring Fair. The company
provides historical and
heraldic gifts such as coats of
arms and surname histories as part of its exclusive, personalised
product range which are designed to last a lifetime. The company’s
product range includes family tree templates, Irish name history, coat
of arms shields and surname family crests. Its well-researched
database holds 1,000,000 coats of arms and 1,800-word surname
histories, origins and meanings.
All products are beautifully finished and available to purchase either
framed or unframed in various sizes, and can be handed down to
generations to come with the added value that every product comes
with an authenticity guarantee.
8 For further information please telephone 01984 632120
or visit
Wildlife products for city life
At Spring Fair 2015, Wildlife World will be majoring on its recently
launched Urban City range of bird boxes and feeders, specially
designed for city living. As a major feature on the stand set against a
skyscraper backdrop, the four products in the range will be on
display in their new packaging fully illustrating the potential of
promoting wildlife products for town and city life. The range
includes a bee and insect hotel; a bird nest box; a bird feeder table;
and an insect winter home and summer refuge. In a further
development, visitors will see a new extension in the Urban City
range which is under wraps until the show. Alongside the new Urban
City range, Wildlife World will display a selection of its traditional
quality products.
8 For further information please telephone 01666 505333,
email [email protected] or visit | Garden & Hardware News | 15
Animal T-shirts
gathering a
The Mountain, an emerging brand of
clothing, has gathered a worldwide
growing fan base of all ages.
Consumers are drawn by the quality of
the image as well as the fact that the
T-shirt itself is made of 100 per cent
cotton. The gift box makes it an
instant present to buy for someone
else. Animal-loving customers will be
attracted by the opportunity to choose
from a large selection of designs.
8 For further information
please telephone 01278 423600,
email [email protected]
or visit
Give good Karma this Christmas
Karma Feeling, which
specialises in stylish, bespoke
crystal gemstone bracelets,
unlike any other item on the
market, offers consumers/
retailers the chance to tailor
make designs via its website.
Each individual gemstone
contains healing properties,
carefully selected to suit the
needs of the wearer. The
jewellery is unique and
presented in a branded giftbox. Karma Feeling’s bracelets
are made from a selection of
100 per cent natural crystals.
Each stone embodies individual
healing energies, with the
meaning behind each
gemstone is explained in detail
on the interactive website.
Bracelets can be purchased online
from and prices start
from £35. A prescription service is also
available, allowing you to choose from a list
of feelings and emotions in the drop down
menu. Alternatively, the ‘Ready to Wear’
section, contains ready-made designs such
as the Creativity bracelet, designed to help
those working in the arts. The bracelets
Town & Country
brings the
garden indoors
Town & Country entered a new gift-related
category, when it unveiled a luxury scented
candle range at this year's Glee and retailers
can now stock this line for the key
Christmas selling season. Offering yearround gift purchase potential, the range
comprises three different sized candles in
four evocative, garden-inspired scents –
‘Lavender Fields’, Iced Vanilla, ‘Lemon &
Lime Crush’ and ‘Strawberries and Cream’.
All feature a patented thicker wick design
which produces a larger flame, no smoke
and offers a longer burn time. They are
beautifully packaged with ribbon and swing
ticket with retailer margins of 50 per cent.
8 For further information
please telephone 01530 830990
email [email protected]
or visit the trade website
16 | Garden & Hardware News |
have so far been spotted on the wrists of
Serge from Kasabian and Florence Welch
and appeared on BBC and MTV. Karma
Feeling offers a friendly aftercare service
that provides information on renewing the
energies in your crystals and an exclusive
rebuild service for damaged or broken
bracelets. 8 For further information please visit
A greener approach to display
Neil Farmer looks at new packaging innovations for flowers that
could help prolong the shelf life of gift-style plants in garden centres
We all know how hectic it is
for consumers at Christmas.
The pressure is intense to
get all the shopping and the
other 101 things done that
are necessary in the lead up
to the festive season and
the Big Day. The pressure
on packaging producers is
also intense. Packaging
producer companies all
know they are up against
competing packaging
designs and attractive
products which will all be
challenging to gain the
consumers immediate
attention, as they walk into
a crowded retail garden
centre or hardware store.
t`s that blink of an eye
moment, those seven
seconds when a consumer
has to make a decision as to
whether the pack on the shelf is
worthy of his or her further
attention, leading to the
ultimate decision to buy the
surrounding it.
It`s becoming more and more
important for the garden and
hardware market because one
of the technologies, called
modified atmosphere packaging
(MAP), is helping flowers and
bouquets stay fresher longer
and extend shelf-life.
New packaging for flowers
came in 2013 when Marks &
Spencer claimed to be the UK`s
first retailer to use MAP to
deliver water-free flowers to its
customers. Flowers sold over
Valentine`s Day period used a
new MAP process that sealed
flowers in an airtight bag. This
slowed down the respiration
rate, allowing flowers to be
transported without requiring
water. The technology removes
oxygen, so carbon dioxide levels
rise, slowing down the
respiration rate of the blooms.
When removed from the bag,
simply cut and put the flowers
in water and the blooms are
woken up. In March 2014 Marks
& Spencer undertook a similar
many years in food and fresh
produce markets, MAP
technology and others are now
expanding into new sectors.
We have just come through a
long economic downturn and
the signs for the consumer and
retail economy are encouraging.
We all know the massive
problem the world is facing
with waste. There is now a
global drive to save and
replenish the earth`s natural
resources. Efficient and cost
effective packaging materials
and processes can play a vital
part in this holistic world
approach. The need is for more
packaging that can add value,
extend shelf–life and help
reduce waste.
At Christmas and on other
special festive occasions we all
now have an opportunity to play
our part in this process, thanks
to innovations in packaging.
Let`s remember that it`s not just
the 15 million tonnes of food we
throw away each year, it`s the
other things we dispose of in
our home or our store and
garden centre that also cause
the problem.
Education of the consumer is
also called for and we can all
play our part in this. n
“The technology removes oxygen, so carbon
dioxide levels rise, slowing down the
respiration rate of the blooms.”
product. However, whilst the
attractiveness of the print or the
design of the pack is important,
there is much more to it when it
comes to the functional
performance of the packaging
to protect, preserve or more
effectively contain the product
inside. And that`s where Active
and Intelligent (A&I) Packaging
can play a big role in the
extending the shelf-life of the
seasonal offerings in the store.
Active packaging has active
functions beyond passive
containment and protection of
product. It can also actively
reduce the level of oxygen or
even the microbial count in a
pack. Intelligent Packaging is
packaging that has the ability
to sense an attribute of the
product or atmosphere that is
exercise with flowers for
Mothers` Day where 160,000
blooms were ordered in the new
packaging. Overall 1.6 million
blooms were sold in this way.
The whole process saved 50,000
litres of water and 19 fewer
lorries were involved for
transportation. MAP also helped
lower the carbon footprint, as
each bouquet takes up less
space. Marks & Spencer say in
2015 all flowers in its stores will
be sold this way.
Forecasts say the global Active
and Intelligent (A&I) packaging
market will be worth $3.5 billion
by 2017. It is estimated to be
growing at eight per cent per
year. Modified atmosphere
packaging (MAP) is just one of
the technologies that are
available. Previously used for | Garden & Hardware News | 17
Home owners open to improvement
Survey takes an in-depth look at what consumers consider a
‘do-able’ job around the home, and when they call in tradesmen
The future of the home
improvement market is
bright, and the DIY retail
sector can only benefit
according to the findings of
a new survey.
study on home
commissioned by the
Travis Perkins Group, has
revealed that when it comes to
bigger, more complex
improvement works, the
majority of UK homeowners
look to a professional tradesman
for a solution, but most are
confident in their ability to
undertake odd jobs and small
tasks around the home as
DIY projects.
The survey, consisting of 1,092
British homeowners, highlights
that the future of the home
improvement market is bright –
both on the DIY and
professional tradesman sides.
Key findings reveal that there
are still certain no-go DIY areas,
with more than 80 per cent of
those surveyed saying they
would hire a tradesman for rewiring, bathroom installations
and plastering. However, 87 per
cent of respondents said they
would happily take on odd jobs
such as small repairs or minor
installations themselves, and
most would take on internal (81
per cent) and external (62 per
cent) painting as DIY projects.
Although there are a number of
jobs most homeowners would
hire a tradesman to do, a
significant proportion of DIY
enthusiast homeowners would
take on more complex projects
themselves, such as tiling
(45 per cent), laying a floor
(41 per cent) and carpentry
(30 per cent).
The survey results also reveal
the trends towards DIY or DFY
(done for you) between different
age groups, genders and
geographical areas.
Homeowners aged 45-54 are
the demographic most likely to
tackle smaller DIY and odd jobs
themselves (92 per cent),
whereas young homeowners
(aged 18-24) are the most likely
18 | Garden & Hardware News |
to call on the professionals for
odd jobs (33 per cent),
compared to just 13 per cent
across all age groups.
The younger age brackets,
however, are the homeowners
most prepared to give complex
projects a go when most others
would hire a professional – 33
per cent of 18-24-year-olds and
30 per cent of 25-34s would take
on plumbing jobs themselves
for example (compared to 24 per
cent of those aged 45-54).
Although women homeowners
are more likely than men to call
in a professional for most home
improvement tasks, they are in
fact slightly more likely than
men to take on smaller DIY jobs
around the home, with 87 per
cent of women surveyed saying
they would undertake odd jobs
themselves versus 86 per cent
of men.
Men are more willing than
women, however, to take on DIY
jobs with a higher technical skill
level. Thirty-six per cent of men
would opt for DIY for carpentry
jobs, for example, compared to
25 per cent of women.
Homeowners in Scotland and
Wales are most comfortable
with small-scale DIY with 92 per
cent of respondents from both
regions saying they would take
on odd jobs around the home.
Homeowners in Northern
Ireland are most likely to call on
professionals for both smaller
odd jobs (19 per cent) and
larger jobs, such as rewiring
(100 per cent) and plumbing
(95 per cent). n
features more
tools and
price cuts
Popular work
range extended
Toolstream customers
can now take
advantage of more
than 200 new
hand and power
tools, more than
200 price cuts,
and a new
Android app
customers can
use to browse the site
and place orders. New tools from
Silverstorm include the 600W Multipurpose Router, 900W Planer and
the versatile Oscillating Multi-Tool; and to complement the
expanding power tools range, Silverline offers more new power tool
accessories, new screwdrivers, bike tools and a comprehensive
choice of fall arrest and restraint harnessing. GMC’s newly expanded
range includes the new 600W Wall Sander and 1600W Plaster Mixer,
plus additions to its hand-held power tools range. Toolstream’s Media
Centre now includes 50 templates for customers to create their own
leaflets, ads and posters. Customers can also contact a real-time live
chat with Toolstream’s own designers, who will guide customers
through the Campaign Creator and help them get the most from their
point of sale.
8 For further information please visit
Internationally renowned
workwear brand, Dickies, this
year added a new product to
its popular range of Redhawk
Superwork and action
trousers. New to the Redhawk
range for 2014 is a new chino
trouser in the popular
Redhawk 260gsm poly/cotton
fabric. With no exposed metal,
it is particularly suitable for
the automotive industry where
scratching cars is a hazard.
A Dickies polo shirt also offers
comfort and durability, is
perfect for employee uniforms
or for smart casual use and the
most popular short sleeve style
offers a generous fit. Dickies sweatshirts are also available in a
variety of styles. Dickies also has it covered when it comes to
keeping warm with jackets. The most popular and practical
option is usually a black work coat, as dark colour options are
always the preferred choice for staying looking smarter than
lighter coloured versions that can show the dirt. Dickies offers
the Fulton Contract Jacket, which is waterproof to 3000mm,
with stitched and taped seams, a zip front with storm cuff, two
welt pockets, one zip chest pocket, zip embroidery access and
cuff adjusters.
8 For further information please visit
Calor range warms up customers and heats up sales
London Gases, one of Calor’s principle
suppliers in the London area for Calor
gas, appliances, wood and coal, is
offering free next-day delivery to trade
and domestic customers.
London Gases started stocking the Calor
Solid Fuel range to complement its Cellar
gases in 2013, and has since seen its
solid fuels sales soar with a 40 per cent
increase since October 2013. The biggest
sellers are the kiln-dried logs which it
supplies throughout the year to
commercial kitchens for use in traditional
pizza ovens.
Calor’s Solid Fuel range includes a variety
of wood and coal products. The company
offers free marketing support, including
point of sale and signage to stockists.
Products can be ordered in quarter, half
and full pallets with nationwide delivery.
One tip offered by London Gases is,
when you’re in a rush or feeling lazy, to
light your fire use a Calor Instant Light
Firelog, light either end of the log as per
the instructions, leave it a minute or two,
and then add logs, coal, or briquettes.
8 For further information please telephone
0800 121 4552 or visit | Garden & Hardware News | 19
Perfect pointing
all year round
Sika Pave Fix Plus aims to transform paving all year round.
Coming ready to use, Sika Pave Fix Plus is a self-setting paving
grout which provides pointing for paths, patios and paving.
Faster than traditional methods, it is cement free and provides
a strong, durable finish. Unlike sand, Sika Pave Fix Plus won’t
blow or wash out of joints, it won’t shrink or crack and it resists
weed growth. Available in buff and graphite in 15kg tubs and in
grey in 14kg tubs, Sika Pave Fix Plus is suitable for wide joints
over 5mm and is brushed into joints, compacted and left to set.
It can even be applied in the wet.
8For further information please contact your local Sika Everbuild
sales representative on telephone 0113 240 2424
or visit
Ultra Tile
new grout
Adhesives and grout brand, Ultra
Tile, has added the new Titanium
and Jasmine to its range of
FlexJoint grout colours. The
introduction of the two new
colours complements and
improves the brand's existing
variety, aiding retailers and fixers to fulfil clients' design
The two new additions boast all regular FlexJoint features and
benefits, including a polymer rich formulation for ultimate flexibility,
suitable for joint widths from 1-20mm and a super fine texture for
easy application and outstanding finish.
To assist in colour selection and to reflect their premium quality, the
brand has also renamed some of its existing grouts and matching
ProSeal IT silicones. The new names are Glacier White, Ivory, Mocha,
Steel and Carbon. Available alongside FlexJoint and ProSeal IT,
FineJoint and WideJoint Ultra Tile grouts complete the range
providing a product for all scenarios. Another ancillary product
available from Ultra Tile is flexible additive and primer, Prime IT FP.
This longstanding Ultra Tile product is now available in 1 litre bottles
in addition to the existing 2.5 litre. This new size provides a retailfriendly solution, which is ideal for consumers.
8 For further information please telephone 01827 871871,
Prepare for devastation
–meet the Decimator
BesserTrim LTD is launching the newest innovation in its grass
cutting system. The DECIMATOR is a 4mm cable reinforced cutter
that will transform brushcutting and is the first and only in the UK.
Designed to cut through thick weed and brambles, it makes light
work for professional gardeners and enthusiasts. It will tackle a
diverse terrain, eliminating the need to change cutters.
The DECIMATOR works and is available with a BesserTrim
Professional head, which can be fitted to virtually all petrol-powered
brushcutters that can take a blade. It takes less than two minutes to
change heads. It adheres to all relevant safety standards and is
supported by a dedicated trade ordering system.
BesserTrim MD Brian Child said:“We said goodbye to broken spools
and tangled line with our Grass Cutting System. Now we’re making
it drastically easier to remove undergrowth.
We called it the Decimator for a reason.”
8 For further information please telephone
01342 301594, email [email protected]
or visit
20 | Garden & Hardware News |
This month’s question: How much diversification
is acceptable to keep garden and hardware stores
pitching to the right consumer groups?
The dynamics of garden
and hardware retailing
are changing in
response to evolving
customer needs and
feedback. But how much
diversification is
acceptable to ensure we
keep a product offering
that still appeals to and
meets the needs of
traditional customers,
without ignoring more
general industry
innovations and
requirements? And at
what stage do we need
to take a step back and
look at our overall
corporate image and
store identity?
This week we take a
look at things from
different angles. We’ve
consulted an innovator
who responds to the
customer surveys from
well-known garden and
hardware stores, and
sources new products to
meet their demands, as
well as a category
manager with a keen
understanding of the
DIY sector and
tradesmen’s seasonal
Director at Birmingham
Innovations Ltd
Diversification is a buzz word at
the moment. Over the last few
years retailers in all sectors
have been diversifying.
Supermarkets and others have
encroached into the core
hardware and garden centre
category as they have tried
to claim ever more of the
consumer spend.
Hardware and garden centres
need to figure out how to
respond, but do that in such a
way that they do not just
become another supermarket.
How do you do that? Firstly by
understanding your core brand.
What is your brand and what
does it stand for? Who are your
customers and how do they see
you? Once you have this core,
then it is possible to diversify,
whilst always making sure that
your customers still understand
your core brand is what you
want it to be. For example, for a
hardware store to diversify into
key cutting makes sense (it is
still seen as a hardware type
product from customers) or into
clothes so long as those clothes
were work-related boots or
overalls etc.
Our industry
experts provide
a compelling
insight into the
topical issues
of the day
Category Manager,
In essence, it's fine to diversify,
but just be aware that the
diversification is into areas that
still keep your core brand seen
the way you want it and you
don’t just turn into a glorified
Woolworths where customers
no longer know what it is you
do. You're just seen as doing a
bit of everything, but nothing
Some areas where
diversification is possible whilst
still keeping to your core would
be seasonal lines. Consumers
are happy to have Christmas,
Easter, Halloween, Fathers
Day/Mothers Day specials in
store. This is an easy way to
diversify and the kind of
products do not have to be
hardware related at all – only
event related. In the US, they do
this way better than in the UK.
Just go to a home depot store
around Halloween.
The thing to bear in mind is
that there is only a limited time
for sale products so retailers
have to either manage stock
levels to sell out or agree sale
and return with suppliers. There
are specialist suppliers of these
type of seasonal products who
would do this and also advise
on what sells elsewhere and
how well.
We're keen to reach our target
audience of DIY enthusiasts and
tradespeople through a variety
of methods, and gardening
presents an opportunity for us to
improve our offer for customers.
As a result, we have brought in
several new products across a
number of outdoor areas that are
seasonally relevant. To enhance
a new range, it's important to
create an improved shopping
experience in store for new
There is always an element of
seasonality in ranges, apart from
more popular products that
continue to be available across
the year. For example, while
compost and soil items will peak
during the summer months,
they remain popular with
customers pretty much all year
round. Likewise, hardware
products remain popular
throughout the year but
particularly during the festive
season when they appeal to
Christmas shoppers who might
be more keen to buy products
like power tools – either as a
gift, or for their own use on a
home improvement project.
Hanif finds and launches new
innovativations under store
brands and his own Innov8 brand
for DIY products. His clients
include the B and Q and
Kingfisher groups.
Stuart is Category Manager for
Garden Maintenance at Wickes
and is an experienced buyer
who has worked with a number
of the UK’s leading retailers
across a range of products. | Garden & Hardware News | 21
New petcare range
developed by
dog lovers
Since launching at Glee in
September, The Ernest Charles Co.
range of petcare products is already
proving a winning proposition, with
UK pet analysts forecasting
continued growth for at least the
next five years. The new range,
developed by dog lovers, gives
consumers greater depth of choice,
with each product being positioned
at a price point designed to drive
sales. An increasing number of
middle-aged dogs are developing
gluten sensitivity, similar to Celiac
disease in humans, so the range
follows the same principles that
underpin The Ernest Charles Co.
bird care brand with all the
hypoallergenic dog food being made
in the UK, free from wheat, dairy
products, soya, pork and artificial
colourants. The range has been
developed to be gentle on a dog’s
digestion and is suitable for every
stage of a dog’s life. Flavours
include turkey and rice and salmon
and potato.
8 For further information
please telephone 01406 372237
or visit
Latest promotion is spot on
Town & Country has selected three bestselling products from its line-up – Master
Gardener Gloves, Cloggies and Kneepads –
and introduced trendy pastel shades and a
dotty design, to provide retailers with a new
promotion. The new Polka-Dot Master
Gardener gloves, slip-on Cloggies and
padded Kneepads are all available in a
choice of pale pink and lime green. They are
designed to appeal as stylish garden
accessories and as gift purchases to
stimulate year-round sales through garden
centres. With a suggested retail price of
£5.99 and a special offer price of £4.99, the
Master Gardener gloves are available in
small and medium sizes. The Kneepads, in
one size, will have a suggested retail price of
£7.99 and a special offer price of £4.99. The
Cloggies are available in sizes four to eight
and will have a suggested retail price of
£14.99 and a special offer price of £10.99.
Each deal comprises 188 units across the
three products and two colour options and
they come with two triangular displays.
8 For further information please telephone
01530 830990 or email [email protected]
UK growth outstrips market seven times over
Latest figures from Bord Na Mona UK show
the combined growth of its Vital Earth and
Growise brands over the last calendar year
outstripped the rest of the growing media
and soil improvers market seven times over.
The statistics are based on GfK’s latest
reporting of this sector being 2.5 per cent up
and with major competitors reporting flat or
lower sales over the same period. BNM UK’s
performance accounts for the overall growth.
Furthermore, with GfK quoting overall
In response to consumer insight, Bayer
Garden is introducing a new range of
plant food. The new Baby Bio Top Vitality
range has a new balanced formula that
combines bio-stimulants and nutrients in
one product. Designed to optimise a
plant’s development, this mix of
ingredients creates the Activator Effect,
which releases nature’s full potential.
The range includes Top Growth Flowers,
Top Bloom, Top Growth Edibles, Top
Taste Edibles which has the perfect
balance of nutrients for improved
ripening and Top Defence which guards
against the negative effectives of cold,
drought and transplanting.
8 For further information please visit
22 | Garden & Hardware News |
gardening sector growth at 9.8 per cent,
BNM UK is growing at nearly twice the rate
of the retail garden market in total. Head of
UK, Steve Harper said, “We are committed
to education as a means to drive both the
growing media and soil improver markets
and we are building our consumer franchise
8 For further information
please visit
Bigger, stronger, better together
Garden Futures Conference speakers’ advice to DIY and garden
retailers covers everything from training to crisis management
‘Bigger, stronger and better
together’ was a key theme
throughout the HTA Garden
Futures Conference which
took place at RIBA in
London recently, with much
of the day’s content about
collaboration and
cooperation for the good of
the horticulture industry.
n his opening address at the
recent HTA Garden Futures
Conference, HTA President
Stan Green encouraged
delegates to be imaginative and
proactive in promoting the
benefits of horticulture so more
attention is paid to the industry.
TV gardener David Domoney
spoke of ‘Growing Gardeners’
and looked at the opportunities
for sparking interest in the
outdoor world for children and
adults alike. He demonstrated
how, through campaigns such
as Cultivation Street, gardening
can make a difference.
HTA Market Information
Manager David Denny looked to
2015, the changes impacting
the market and consumer
habits. Declining levels of home
ownership, volatile weather, the
need to create positive first
impressions, avoiding too much
product choice and making
greater use of tactile displays
were topics covered by him.
"If you want to sell more plants,
sell better coffee" was the top
tip from Haskins Garden
Centres CEO and GCA
President Elect Julian Winfield.
He said: "Plants are very much
at the centre of their offer but
they have seen huge growth in
their non-gardening categories
over the last 18 years. December
is now their biggest sales
month, despite the fact that
they don’t provide a Christmas
grotto. It is all about providing
an enjoyable experience."
HR Director of Homebase John
Shaw and Garden Designer
Adam Frost spoke about
inspiring future gardening
talent through the Homebase
Garden Academy which this
year saw 1,300 applications for
the 20 places on offer. The
academy offers people an
opportunity to kick start a
career in horticulture through
gaining qualifications and
experience. Homebase stores
with the garden academy
students outperformed other
stores as the students shared
their knowledge and inspired
their colleagues and customers.
HTA Head of Horticulture Raoul
Curtis-Machin and Sarah
Cathcart, Head of Education
and Learning at the RHS, gave
an update on the Grow
Initiative which is now included
within the school curriculum. A
short film, produced by Grow,
was played. Aimed at 11 to 14year-olds, this reflects the
diversity of the industry and the
range of careers available. Raoul
and Sarah encouraged the
industry to be proactive and
link up with schools.
Lucy Adams, who was HR
Director at the BBC through
some challenging times
including the move from
London to Salford, the exit of
four director generals and the
Savile crisis, highlighted the
authentic approach that certain
leaders took which made a
difference to their teams. She
said: "Be visible, show humility
and humanity and use stories
rather than powerpoints. It is
the simple things that really
make a difference."
After rebranding and bringing
high street fashion trends into
garden retail, Briers Managing
Director Jackie Eades shared
how it was done in her talk
‘Right product, right customer’.
Using eye tracker and EFSA
research to find out more about
its customers’ shopping
behaviour and the latest trends
in retail, Briers has revamped
its brand strategy, creating six
new product ranges including
Function and Fun for children
and Function and Tradition, a
Historic Royal Palaces Collection.
Surviving in an online world
was the topic of discussion for
Tim West from the Big Green
Bookshop, a London-based
independent store, who was
interviewed on stage by Trevor
Pfieffer from Garden Trade
News. Tim’s bookshop, which
has no café, no online sales and
no product discounts, uses
social media and community
events to draw people in –with
great success.
William Sinclair Marketing
director Simon McCardle’s talk
‘Adapting for the new
consumer’. focussed on the
‘newbies’, time and cash poor
28-40 year olds for whom the
garden is low on their priority
list, who want a garden to enjoy,
relax and play in but see
gardening as outdoor
housework. They need ‘foolproof’ products with an easy to
shop experience, inspiration,
reassurance, knowledge and
value, he said.
‘Love The Plot You’ve Got’
Project Manager, David Arnold,
detailed a proposed roadshow
which will take garden
inspiration out to non-garden
events across the country.
The day concluded with
Andrew MacMillan, who spent
28 years with the John Lewis
Partnership, stating how outlets
need to be a great place to work
and shop.
He said. "You need to start
inside and work out as the
customer experience becomes
an extension of the staff
experience." n
“The customer experience becomes an
extension of the staff experience.” | Garden & Hardware News | 23
Clean & green:
latest eco
Winterhalter’s new
compact undercounter
warewasher provides high
standards of water
treatment, combined with
energy efficiency and the
security of knowing all
standards of health and
safety will be met.Water
treatment is essential to
ensure the best
warewashing results. In the past, manufacturers have
offered various water treatments, from reverse osmosis
(RO) to simple water softeners. Although the combination
of RO, chemicals and machine produces outstanding wash
results, it can stretch beyond some customers’ budgets and
use more water than simple water softeners. The DeMatik
Pi240 uses between 40 and 60 per cent less water than a
conventional RO system and its eco mode will reduce
energy consumption by up to 11 per cent. Its regeneration
agent can be easily refilled and it has an electronic
detection system to ensure only the correct agent can be
added. The DeMatik’s closed system has no cartridges to
change. The starting price is £5,300. It is available in small,
medium, large and extra large sizes.
8 For further information please telephone 01908 359000
email [email protected] or visit
Radnor Hills launches packaging
redesign of Aqua Splash
Radnor Hills has redesigned its Aqua Splash range of drinks for the
first time in 12 years. The new design gives Aqua Splash a fresh,
modern twist and moving to a clear label brings the focus back to the
water and how this drink is all about hydration and taste. Aqua
Splash drinks are made by adding all natural flavourings to Welsh
mineral water and come in the following six flavours: Lemon and
Lime, Strawberry and Kiwi, Apple and Blackcurrant, Forest Fruits,
Orange and Mandarin and Peach. Still Aqua Splash drinks are
available in 500ml PET bottles with sports cap and sparkling in 330ml
PET bottles with colour coded caps.
8 For further information please telephone 01547 530220
email [email protected]
or visit
24 | Garden & Hardware News |
Professional baking provided
for garden centres
Garden centres have a
tough challenge providing
baked goods on site that
are as good as specialist
bakeries. The new
SelfCookingCenter 5
Senses helps meet that
challenge. The cook can
select the desired baking
result and the Rational will
adjust the humidity,
temperature, air speed
and baking time, so
garden centres will get
the same results
irrespective of who is
baking, the shape or type
of product and regardless
of load size. Integrated
proving stages ensure the
correct rising of fresh
yeast dough. Steam
baking allows for volume growth for croissants, Danish pastries or
fresh dough products. It can roast, poach, bake, toast, braise and
even pan fry fish and cook chips. Options such as the Ultravent
condensation hood, which eliminates unwanted cooking fumes and
steam, can also do away with the need for expensive extraction
systems and the iCookingControl features a monitor that enables the
chef to see what is happening, at any time.
8 For further information please telephone 0800 389 2944
or visit
Food display –
Prepare festive point of sale
It’s never too early to start preparing for the
festive season and many garden centres will
already be getting ready for the inevitable
Christmas rush. As such, it’s key that retailers
look to a quality point of sale display that can
drastically improve the shopping experience
and maximise the sales potential of products
and seasonal promotions.
Leading UK POS display manufacturer, UK
Point of Sale Group Ltd, offers a few pointers.
For instance, by using chalk boards that sit
outside, retailers can change their offers on a
regular basis and point customers towards
specific products both in and around the
garden centre. To make the most of a
restaurant during this busy period, retailers
can choose one of UK Point of Sale's menu
holders, designed specifically to sit centretable. These include chalk holders that can
show your ‘menu of the day’ and will work
consistently alongside your chalk A board.
Free-standing sign holders used across
departments are also a great way to display
festive promotions.
Refrigerated food displays in garden
centre cafés must combine effective
refrigeration with high performance
insulation, so the cabinet temperature
is always within its set parameters
(typically 2 to 5°C for a sandwich
chiller and 5 – 8°C for a pastry chiller).
There needs to be a gap between the
food product and the cabinet’s back
wall, to ensure airflow passes through,
which often means not all display
space can be used. Williams’
Sandwich Chiller has an air wall,
which means products can be loaded
right up to the rear of the cabinet,
without compromising food safety.
This makes it easier to restock and
avoids the risk of customers
inadvertently moving stock and
blocking the airflow. Williams recently
launched a new air curtain system as
part of the company’s Greenlogic
initiative. The new system is featured
on the Williams Sandwich Chiller.
Careful angling of the ‘curtain’ ensures
that, once it has done its job, nearly all
cold air is recycled into the cabinet,
helping maintain temperature, or by
being drawn through vents and grills
to cool the refrigeration system,
reducing energy consumption.
8 For further information please
telephone 01553 817002 or visit
8 For further
please visit
Top of the class at the touch of a button
JURA, an innovator in luxury Swiss-made
bean-to-cup technology, is offering coffee
solutions for large catering spaces with its
Giga X3c Professional, a specialist coffee
machine. The new machine delivers up to
43 individually programmable speciality
coffees at the touch of a button, takes
minimum effort to refill thanks to the large
bean container with a holding capacity of
1kg and aroma preservation cover, and
features a drip drain set, along with a
direct permanent water connection. Users
have the option to buy the Combicool
fridge accessory with integral cup water.
Integrated rinsing and cleaning
operations is also a feature.
8 For further information please telephone
0800 6525527 or visit | Garden & Hardware News | 25
The last
UK is OK for manufacturing
Hanif Khan looks at the trend to outsource
to china – and reasons for keeping it local
Is it better to manufacture in
the UK or china? When a new
loft storage product was
launched into the hardware
market a couple of years ago,
the innovator was told to get it
manufactured in china because
the production cost would be so
much lower. But is that claim
still true –and how will this
affect the retailer?
Hanif Khan
Birmingham Innovations
few years ago, we agreed to
market and put into retail a
new innovation. The
product we were looking to have
manufactured was a loft storage stilt
which provided a simple but
effective way of creating a storage
platform in the loft without
squashing the insulation. Some
large DIY retailers had committed to
buying in the product and, for the
volumes that we would be selling,
the best manufacturing method was
injection moulding.
We spoke to a number of Chinese
and UK manufacturers. As far as
tooling goes (and this is still the
case) we found tooling to be
cheaper in China by about a third.
But we also found that tooling
prices varied massively in the UK
and the cost was dependent simply
on how busy the tool maker was, so
it definitely paid to shop around.
What we did learn about taking the
China route is that there is a need to
be wary about the quality of the
cooling parts of the tool and to
26 | Garden & Hardware News |
ensure they have been designed
properly. It’s also necessary to spec
the tool to the piece price quoted.
The piece price of the product will
vary depending on the tool –usually
the more impressions it is, the
cheaper the piece price becomes.
In this instance the Chinese prices
were only slightly cheaper, so what
it really boiled down to was the
labour cost. With most injection
moulded products, however,labour
input is minimum.
The next big thing to consider is
packaging, which can be as much
or even more than the product itself.
In general the packaging is cheaper
in China, but you can just import
packaging and have it sent to your
UK product manufacturer.
So then we come to transport costs.
If it is a bulky item and you are
shipping a lot of air, when you add
this cost in, you disover a UK
manufacturer should be cheaper.
Other factors in favour of UK
manufacturing, which are often
overlooked, are the need to hold
more stock if made in China as it
will take longer to arrive, the lead
times are longer, and the Chinese
manufacturers will generally want
payment straight away, whilst in
the UK you can get favourable credit
terms. Let’s not forget the hassle
factor either. It is far easier to drive
50 miles up the road for a face to
face chat in the UK than to try and
explain something or resolve a
problem, with someone in China. n
‘Made in China’ is a
phrase that’s
synonomous with
labels on many low
cost product lines.
The hardware retail
industry is a classic
example of this. But
from an innovator’s
point of view, when
putting a product
from inception to
market, UK
manufacturing is
definitely a
alternative for
products where the
labour element is
low, or where the
shipping costs
would be high .
which includes most
low labour intensive
Furthermore, the
quality can
sometimes be
compromised by a
number of factors
which are put under
the spotlight here.
Retail plants&shrubs
From pumpkins
to poinsettias
his month’s retail plants and shrubs section
takes a look at the seasonal events that have
taken place following our last issue and
looks towards the festive season and what this
means for growers and retailers.
Full reviews of the South West Growers Show and
the international Orticolario are included on pages
29 and 31, with details of award winners and some
of the exciting shrubs and innovations on show.
‘What a whopper’ is the only way to describe the
pumpkins that can be seen in our growers’ feature
on page 33, which were harvested in time for
Halloween and have paved the way for a new brand
of seeds, and our reader’s profile shows how a
family run nursery is minimising its running costs
with the help of solar panels. | Garden & Hardware News | 27
Landscape and
amenity catalogue
Wyvale has unveiled its first landscape
and amenity catalogue in 17 years.
The new 169-page catalogue lists
more than 2,500 lines with all plants
listed in the catalogue being grown by
the company. The landscape amenity
sector accounts for nearly 70 per cent
of Wyevale Nurseries' turnover.
Wyevale Nurseries sells more than
125,000 trees annually. They are
available bare root, rootballed and
container grown. It sells more than five
million hedging transplants and 1.5m
shrub, hedging and herbaceous
container plants.
8 For further information please email
[email protected]
Nursery prides itself
on being best of British
Heathwood Nurseries, which specialises in
providing garden centres, plant nurseries
and landscape gardeners with wholesale
quantities of native British broadleaves,
shrubs and conifers prides itself on
providing British grown from British seed.
Based in Whitchurch, Shropshire, the
company, recently displayed some of its
quality products at Four Oaks.
The company offers value for money, quality
and reliability and has a proven track record.
Good communication with customers and a
fast delivery are key factors which the
company believes keeps its customers
A grower of Christmas Trees has
tasked SCH (Supplies) Ltd with
designing and building a large
capacity unit for quick
and efficient watering
of many rows of trees
he is nurturing.
The 900 litre tank is
mounted on a single
chassis and is baffled
to reduce the surge of
water. The dispensing
lance can be mounted
either side of the unit,
and targets the water
directly to the base of
the tree, where it is
needed. Nutrients can also be
incorporated where required.
The dispenser is operated by the
driver of the vehicle via an easy,
cab mounted 12 volt solenoid
system that does not interfere
with the progress or steering of
the vehicle. This also means the
flow can be easily shut down
between each tree as the towing
vehicle drives past, and at end
turns, thus conserving the water
in the tank. Vast areas can be
watered by one person, without
having to leave the tractor seat
or stop the vehicle.
The unit also comes
with a separate six
meters of hose with
lance for spraying by
As well as being easy
to fill from conventional
mains sources, the
tank can be filled from
reservoirs, private
lakes etc via the
external source filling
If required, the tree waterer can
also be produced as a fully road
legal version. Although this
particular unit is being used for
Christmas trees, the same
principle can be used where any
type of tree is planted in large
rows, including commercial
hedging and vineyards.
8 For further information
please telephone 01473 328272
or email [email protected]
28 | Garden & Hardware News |
content. There is no minimum order value
because all orders are believed to be
important, regardless of value.
Its stock range features field grown, cell
grown and container grown products.
‘Technology’, ‘tracability’, ‘inspected’ and
‘certficication’ are other key words the
company would use for customers using its
nursery. Orders can be selected into clients’
sites for ease of planting.
8 For further information
please telephone 01948 840120,
email [email protected]
or visit
Record numbers celebrated by
organisers of 40-year show
South West Growers Show features three different award
schemes and presents judges with some difficult decisions
Organisers of the 2014
South West Growers Show
have hailed the event which
took place last month
(October) as an excellent
platform for business.
The show, which took place
at Exeter’s Matford Centre,
attracted record numbers of
visitors and exhibitors.
Exhibition aisles were
packed with visitors
throughout the day
he South West Growers
Show, which has a 40year history, is now firmly
established as a show for
growers run by growers. The
second oldest horticultural trade
show in the country, it offers a
platform for exhibitors to meet
customers and organisers say
the quality of exhibits and
feedback from this year’s show
were even better than they
hoped for.
Regular exhibitor Albion Plants,
which has been exhibiting at
the show for 15 years, reported
an excellent show, with its five
foot fan trained photinia and
large berried pyracantha
attracting a lot of attention.
Owner Brenda Huggons said :
“This year we took a lot of
orders on the day and business
has been brisk since. The
quality of attendees is always
very good and each year we
enjoy touching base with our
The show was complemented
by three different award
schemes this year. The awards
honoured a winner in the
following categories: Best New
Plant Introduction – sponsored
by IPPS European Region, The
International Plant Propagators
Society; Best New Non-Plant
Product or Service – sponsored
by The CHA, The Commercial
Horticultural Association; Best
Nursery Stand – sponsored by
The South West Growers Show.
Judging panel member John
Whetman, from The Chartered
Institute of Horticulture, said :
“The South West Growers Show
is an excellent showcase for
commercial horticulture and we
were delighted with the calibre
and innovation of all the entries
this year. Our job was incredibly
challenging as so many of the
exhibitors had worked hard to
bring the very best of their
businesses to the show.”
The other judges were Kevin
Croucher from Devon-based
Thornhayes Nursery – which
extends to 33 acres of field and
container production – and
industry expert, Kerin Owen.
The 2014 winner were :
Best Nursery Stand: Winner –
Woodbeare Nurseries, Runner
up – Rainbow Plants, Special
commendations – Albion Plants
and Hawkesmill Nurseries.
Best New Non-Plant Product or
Service: Winner – Melcourt
Industries Ltd. Best New Plant
Introduction: Winner – Ball
Colegrave. Best New Non-Plant
Product or Service: Winner –
Melcourt Industries Ltd.
The 2015 show will take place
on Wednesday, October 7th. n
For further information
please contact Kirsty Lane
on 01404 821982
or visit | Garden & Hardware News | 29
A focus for evolved gardening
Orticolario gives visitors a sensory experience of gardening
and attracts more than 28,000 international visitors
The sixth Orticolario event,
held Villa Erba, Cernobbio, in
Italy recently, attracted more
than 28,000 visitors from a
number of countries.
Focusing on Italian flair, it
took its inspiration, however,
from the UK.
hairman of the sixth
Orticolario event, Moritz
Mantero, has cited
Chelsea Flower Show as the
inspiration for this year’s
international event, with a
typically Italian focus on beauty
and elegance.
"It fills us with pride and leaves
us at the same time just a little
worried about how we can
possibly beat that in terms of
quality and numbers of visitors in
future shows," he said.
Anna Rapisarda, received from
Floraculture International’s
director Jaap Kras the
International FloraForever prize
for the best promotional image in
2013 in the presence of Bruno
Corda, the Prefect of Como, of
Antonella Bellomo, Prefect of
Lecco and Paolo Furgoni, the
mayor of Cernobbio.
An exciting addition this year
was the presentation of a unique
new variety of crested sedum
dedicated to Arturo Croci, the
floriculture expert and member of
the Orticolario Committee who
was recently awarded the Career
Prize at the Miflor show in Padua.
The programme’s events
included the presentation of
books at the workshops, botanical
demonstrations, 'Perfumed
Round Tables' and children’s
workshops which were attended
by more than 3,000 young
aspiring gardeners.
Awards were also made for the
best exhibits in the show, after
judging by three panels.
The technical jury (coordinated
by Anna Maria Botticelli,
featuring Valter Pironi, Pier
Giorgio Campodonico, Martina
Schullian and Alberto Grossi)
which judged the scope of the
collection, research focus and the
rarity of the plants shown by the
This prize was awarded to
Azienda Agricola Priola Pier
Luigi, for its collection of 120
cultivars of Aster shown in the
grounds of Villa Erba and the
collection of more than 70 species
and varieties of Mentha set in the
30 | Garden & Hardware News |
Viale degli Dei, the Valley of the
Gods in Ala Lario at the
Exhibition Centre.
Special mentions were given to
Cactusmania for the very unusual
crested examples belonging to
different families and genera of
succulents, each present both in
crested and normal forms, as well
as to the nursery Vivai Piante
Omezzolli for its recovery of old
varieties of regional apples.
For the research focus, the prize
was awarded to Phytotrend for its
work on ornamental grasses like
restionaceae, graminaceae and
cyperaceae. Commendations
were also given to Garden Studio
Bologna Vivai for all its work on
Ferns, Asarum and Hostas, plants
loved by everyone but which few
try out in their own gardens.
Azienda Agricola Maioli Enzo
was given special mention for its
research in table grape varieties
and cultivation without the use of
Finally, for the rarity of plants
exhibited, a prize was given to
Pépinières Braun for its wide
range of ornamental herbaceous
plants and bushes. Among
these notably Salvia leucantha
“Velour White”.
Two special mentions were given
to Oscar Tintori Vivai for Etrog,
the cedar used by in the Jewish
Sukkot, the holy feast of
tabernacles, grown according to
strict Hebraic standards, and to
A&G Floroortoagricola which
produces succulents. Among
those exhibited is a magnificent
example of an Aloe thraskii
(originating from Natal in South
Africa), which is difficult to find in
such impressive dimensions in
our climes.
The aesthetic jury (co-ordinated
by Emilio Trabella, featuring Paul
Boerrigter, Gaetano Zoccali,
Davide Riva, Monica Sampietro,
Antonio Albertini and Corrado
Tagliabue) viewed the scene
settings of the exhibition spaces
and awarded prizes to those they
found most innovative,
harmonious and elegant.
The winner was the farm Azienda
Agricola Piergiorgio Minari for
the green room created with
geometric box in a design that
brought together the aesthetic
and the discipline of nature
pedagogy. The second prize was
awarded to Manifatture di Bispo
Monica for her unique handmade
plant print ceramics that bring to
the garden the charm of ancient
craft works. The third prize went
to Associazione Orticultura for
the elegance of the compositional
arrangements that mixed the
vegetable and flower garden,
inviting visitors to go on an
aesthetic and emotional journey
despite the difficulties presented
by its location.
The special mentions from the
aesthetic jury went to Anna
Flower Designer for the “glimpse”
in the stand that harmonises all
the colours of the iris in an
exciting way, and to the
Associazione Eatable for its
creation of an olfactory landscape
with great attention to local
scents, flavours and traditions,
establishing a bridge between
past, present and future. The
aesthetic jury was also compact
and unanimous in its praise of the
Viale degli Dei, realised by
Orticolario in Ala Cernobbio and
designed by Vittorio Peretto. It
exhibits an unusual aromatic
selection in line with the olfactory
theme of the year. Further
mention was made of the Viale
degli Dei, a mint collection with
more than 80 varieties.
The gardens jury was coordinated by Ivan Bellini and
featured Pierluigi Ratti, Virgilio
Piatti, Maurizio Vegini, Rossana
Porta, Emanuela Rosa-Clot,
Novella Cappelletti, Gildo
Spagnolli, Maria Vittoria
Bianchini, Annie Guilfoyle,
Gianfranco Giustina, Anna
Letizia Monti and Daniele
Brendolini. It looked at the quality
of the work done, the harmony of
the installation, the choices and
the quality of the plants,
feasibility for a real life garden,
what it offers that is new, the
correspondence between the
submitted design and the garden
presented and the
correspondence between the
stated plants and those actually
exhibited. The prices and special
mentions were assigned to the
winners of the international
“Creative gardens” competition
for architects, landscape
gardeners, designers, artists and
nurserymen for the realisation of
creative spaces and gardens in
the grounds of Villa Erba.
The winner of the Gold Leaf prize
“La Foglia d’Oro del Lago di
Como” is the Maître Parfumeur
by Simone Ottonello and
Archiverde. The prize was
designed and created exclusively
for Orticolario by Gino Seguso of
the glass art studio Vetreria
Artistica Archimede Seguso and
is a vase of Murano glass upon
which "floats" a large leaf within
which shine highlights in 24K
gold foil. The prize will be kept by
the winner for a limited period
and then put on show in the
splendid Villa Carlotta in
Tremezzo on Lake Como until
next year’s Orticolario. The
winners name will be entered in
the Gold List exhibited alongside
the prize.
Other prizes awarded by the
gardens jury included the
“Stampa” or “Press” prize for the
garden that best narrates,
communicates and excites. This
was won by Biolabyrinthus by
Corinne Détroyat and Claude
Pasque with Garden Bedetti; the
artists’ garden prize “Giardino
d’artista”, was won by Aster-oide
by Ludovica Ginanneschi and
Meri Iacchi with Azienda
Agricola Priola Pier Luigi and
Agricola Il Tappeto Erboso, a
garden which brings art and
nature into a delicate living
equilibrium; the Great Italian
Gardens prize, “Grandi Giardini
Italiani”, was assigned to
‘droplets of relaxation’ or Gocce
di relax ("Drops of Relaxation") by
Andrea Musto and Antonio
Severino, a garden on lights and
shapes that communicates both
tradition and innovation; the
plants species prize “Essenza”
was won by the Tavolozza
("Palette") from Sara Alberti and
Massimiliano Bustaffa for the best
combination of plant species.
Finally a special “Colpo al cuore”
or “strike to the heart” mention
was extended to the garden Un
tempo pensato per sognare, ("A
time designed for dreaming")
from Marilena Baggio and
Mariagrazia Rocchetti, with Lario
Garden and Oltre Green Azienda
Agricola Macerina di Calcante
Davide, for the quality of the
plants and the notable social
function expressed in the
The Strategic Committee is
already hard at work for the
seventh Orticolario which will be
held from October 2nd to 4th
2015. Its central theme will be the
sense of touch. n
“It fills us with pride and leaves us a little worried
how we can possibly beat that in future shows.” | Garden & Hardware News | 31
A sunny future for family business
Staunton Garden Centre, whose giant geraniums have become
legendary locally, celebrates 35 years’ trading and gets Midas touch
A Gloucester garden
centre that has been
running for 35 years has
found a new way to
minimise its running costs
whilst keeping its retail
offering in line with
changing consumer
family run garden
centre in
Gloucestershire has
harnessed the power of the
sun to grow its business as
well as its flowers.
Forward thinking Staunton
Garden Centre has gone green
by having 108 solar
photovoltaic (PV) panels fitted
free of charge through Dorsetbased specialist, Renewable
Energy Investments (REI).
Owners Brian and Lynn Lewis
will purchase zero carbon
electricity from renewable
energy investor and developer
REI at a heavily discounted
rate under its Solar Power
Purchase Scheme. They will
then take ownership of the
system entirely in 20 years.
The roof-mounted solar 27kilowatt peak (kWp) system
“Although well established as a business,
we have always moved with the times.”
32 | Garden & Hardware News |
will generate 24,5000 kWh of
clean green energy per annum
– nearly half of the centre's
annual 56,000 kWh usage.
That is forecasted to cut an
estimated £63,000 from the
business's electricity bills over
the next 20 years – as well as
save about 9.8 tonnes of
carbon (CO2e) from entering
the atmosphere every year.
Known for its giant
geraniums, the centre would
have had to pay £33,000 to
fund the capital costs of the
installing the system without
REI's innovative funding
Brian, who started the twoacre garden centre near
Gloucester 35 years ago, said:
"Although well established as
a business, we have always
moved with the times.
"We started from scratch and
over the years we've made
many changes, including the
addition of this solar PV
"It's a win-win situation as our
investment was absolutely
nothing and there was no risk
as far as I am concerned."
Staunton Garden Centre,
which has a gift shop, English
wine centre and fully licensed
restaurant on its site, employs
10 staff.
Its solar PV system was fitted
on the roof of the centre's
main building in a week and
will meet an estimated 59 per
cent of the centre's demand
over a year.
REI arranged the system with
one of its accredited
installation partners.
Zara Thorn, a business
development manager at REI,
which is based in Ferndown,
Dorset, said: "We are finding
increasing numbers of garden
centres taking advantage of
their large roof spaces.
"Because they don't incur any
costs under our Solar Power
Purchase Scheme, they can
preserve their capital to spend
on their core business.
"Brian and Lynn at Staunton
Garden Centre have also
already started to making
significant savings from their
energy costs, also reduce their
carbon footprint and
contribute to battle against
climate change."
PV panels convert sunlight
into electricity. n
Twins crowned as pumpkin kings
Pine Tops Nursery grows 1,884lb record-breaker from seed
and manufacturer to name variety after twins that nurtured it
Hampshire brothers Ian and
Stuart Paton have broken the
UK record for a giant
pumpkin for the ninth time.
Their gourd measured more
than 17 feet in circumference
and, during its peak period of
growth, piled on 35lb a day.
win brothers Ian and
Stuart Paton have
reclaimed their throne as
Pumpkin Kings after growing a
1,884lb record breaker at their
Hampshire nursery.
To match its rate of growth, Ian
and Stuart, who run Pine Tops
Nursery, supplied close to 100
gallons of water a day, plus a
nutrient-rich fertiliser. Its final
weight was just 218lb off the
world record.
They reclaimed their title from
Dorset dairy farmer Mark
Baggs, who stole it from them
in 2013 with his first ever big
win. He was on hand again this
year to defend the title with a
1,582lb giant but lagged behind
by a good 300lbs. Each time a
record is broken at the annual
Jubilee Sailing Trust Autumn
Pumpkin Festival, show
sponsor, seed and plant mail
order specialist Thompson &
Morgan, takes the winning
specimen back to its Ipswich
HQ. The seeds are harvested,
tested for viability and prepared
for sale.
In honour of their success in the
hobby, plus the fact they have
supplied the most seed over the
years, T&M sell it under the
variety name Pumpkin ‘Paton
Twins Giant’ which is popular
with amateur growers.
The brothers will use seeds
from this year’s crop next year.
With the world record now held
closer to home (Swiss gardener
Ben Meier recently took the title
with a 2,097lb monster), they
say they are even more set on
gaining the accolade
Stuart said: “We’ve always been
confident of getting the world
title eventually and it’s brilliant
to be installing a new
greenhouse for 2015 on better
soil with better drainage and
twice the amount of growing
space. We should be all set to
take on the Americans and the
T&M Horticultural Director,
Paul Hansord said: “UK growers
are upping the game every year.
I’ve every confidence the Paton
boys can bring the title to UK
shores in the near future.”
This year's prize was a £1,000
prize cheque and T&M is
offering £10,000 for a UK world
Before collecting the seeds,
T&M invited local artist Janie
Pirie to carve the giant for
display at Jimmy’s Farm
Halloween Half Term and the
spooky-themed Ipswich
Firework Display at
Christchurch Park. | Garden & Hardware News | 33
Retail Plants & Shrubs
For further information tel: 01733 385300
email: [email protected]
Country Herbs & Plants Ltd
• 9cm
• Wild
and 1 litre Herbs
Flowers and Strawberries
• Weekly
• New
national garden centre deliveries
look labels, POS, barcoding available
01775 713330 [email protected]
34 | Garden & Hardware News |
BUYERS GUIDE: the essential address book...
Site 41, Knowsthorpe Way
Cross Green Industrial Estate
Leeds LS9 0SW
t: 0113 240 3456
Tel: 01606 738806
: : BBQS
Araldite products are distributed in the UK by Velcro Limited.
Weber – the UK’s number
one barbecuebrand – has
been a force to be reckoned
with for over 50 years
The Four Columns,
Broughton Hall Business Park,
Skipton, N. Yorks BD23 3AE
t: 01756 692600
[email protected]
Founded in 1855,
R Sankey and Son Ltd is a
leading UK manufacturer
of garden products which
combine functional
gardening solutions with
innovative design
0115 927 7335
Fiskars UK Ltd
[email protected] | 01159 277 335 | Garden & Hardware News | 35
GARDEN & HARDWARE NEWSBuyers’ Guide: the essential address book. Call 01733 385300 to advertise
The largest independent manufacturer of
Sealants, Adhesives, Fillers & Building Chemicals