New look for New Horizon!

westland colourNew Horizon will have a fresh look and improved formula for 2017, designed to tap into the trend for those seeking a more natural approach to gardening.

In-depth consumer research has shown that New Horizon consumers are environmentally- conscious and want to ‘feel good’ about gardening with naturally sourced products. This insight has been used to develop the brand. All packaging will now feature a fresh new look, injecting natural cues to make it really stand out in-store.

The brand was bought by Westland last year and now benefits from the Westland Compost Consistency Guarantee. This means it no longer contains green waste, making it consistent from bag to bag, month to month and store to store.

westland-new-horizon-all-round-fertiliser-bucketNEW for 2017 is the following:

  New Horizon Multi-Purpose Compost has the addition of worm compost, adding extra trace elements and naturally occurring microbes, which help plants grow vigorous and healthy.

  New Horizon Garden Plus All Round Feed contains all-natural ingredients to give all plants and vegetables a boost around the garden and on the allotment.
Jo Wilkinson, Senior Marketing Manager said: “New Horizon Compost is now the UK’s No.1 peat-free compost, so it’s got an excellent brand following among those seeking a more natural approach to gardening. We made the decision to remove green waste last year as we believe it’s simply not up to the standard or consistency required by all and does not deliver results.

“This year, we’re improving the formula even further, by including worm cast compost to give plants a naturally occurring boost that will help consumers feel good about growing. We’re also introducing a new all-round plant food which will complete the range.

“The new packaging will help products stand out in store, attracting even more consumers.”

Control your bug problems with Resolva’s Natural Power!

westland colourwestland-resolva-natural-powerGardeners who prefer not to use chemicals are set to have a new weapon up their sleeve to win the war on bugs!

Resolva Natural Power Bug & Mildew Spray will appeal to the environmentally conscious gardener, widening the insecticide market by over 35%*. Plus, you can be sure it will have instant impact, as it’s launched by the marketing leading Resolva brand, which guarantees results.

Our extensive consumer research has shown that the time is right for this product have a big impact in store. Consumers want something more effective than trying to squash pests by hand, yet don’t want to rely on using chemicals.

Resolva Natural Power works by physical action, preventing insects, pests, mites and mildew from infesting plants. It is safe to use on a huge range of edible crops and ornamental plants. Crops can be safety eaten the same day they are sprayed.

Keith Nicholson, Marketing Director said: “Non-chemical controls are growing in popularity each year. However, many of the options currently available are either a poor substitute or their long-term effects are not yet properly understood.

“We’ve spent the past two years developing this innovative formulas with Syngenta under the Resolva brand to deliver an alternative that consumers can trust.”

Cultivation Street success for Dobbies Community Champion

dobbies garden centres 2015Zoe Stanmore, Community Champion at Dobbies Southport, has been awarded 2nd prize for the ‘Industry Ambassador of the Year’ award from Cultivation Street supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers. The competition celebrates community gardening up and down the country, and the ambassadors who help people make it happen.

Zoe was nominated for the award for her incredible project with her Little Seedlings Club. Realising that many of the children that come along to the club don’t have a garden at home, she worked tirelessly to transform an unloved area of the store’s ground so that it could be used by the club both during class and in their own time. She got the kids involved in the renovation wherever possible, and the once derelict plot of land is now host to a fruit, vegetable and wildlife area – compete with bug hotel, log pile and wildflowers to bug hunt in.

Zoe said: “I was so surprised to hear that I came 2nd in the ambassador award and am really overwhelmed. In my role as community champion and garden centre ambassador I work hard to help community groups get into gardening and I’ve worked with some wonderful people. It’s amazing to be recognised for this.”

Dobbies Garden Centre garden gala day, Southport. Dobbies Community Champion Zoe Stanmore, Amelia Crann (5) and Julia Harrison-Barton (7) working in the new Little Seedlings garden. credit:  leeboswellphotography.com

Dobbies Garden Centre garden gala day, Southport. Dobbies Community Champion Zoe Stanmore, Amelia Crann (5) and Julia Harrison-Barton (7) working in the new Little Seedlings garden. credit: leeboswellphotography.com

David Domoney, TV gardener and founder of Cultivation Street comments: “Her passion for passing on knowledge and encouraging others is a credit to garden centres.”

Not only did Dobbies receive recognition in the ambassador awards, the garden centre chain also had a member of the head office team on the judging panel. Kate Cheesman from Dobbies’ Communications team was asked to be a judge for Cultivation Street’s awards (of course excluding the industry ambassador category) – and was delighted to take up the position.

Kate said: “It was a real honour to join David and other industry representatives, including the HTA and The Princes Trust on the judging panel for Cultivation Street at The Sunday Mirror. Dobbies is passionate about the gardens we support in our communities with our dedicated Community Champions, so it was really wonderful to see such a high standard of projects across the country.”

Kate adds: “The schools category really stood out for me, seeing teenagers from St Gregory’s Catholic Science College engaged in gardening and passing on what they’ve learnt to young children from other schools is really inspiring. The regional awards were really impressive too and I can’t wait to see how Woodlands Community Garden in Glasgow takes their garden to the next level with their well-deserved prize money.”

For more information on Dobbies Community programme visit: /about-dobbies/dobbies-in-the-community/

For more information on David Domoney’s Cultivation Street visit: http://www.daviddomoney.com/cultivation-street/

Vivagreen the 2016 GISCF Winners

gima corn seed fund logo 2014Since its launch in 2014, the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund has already witnessed great success. It’s first two winners have both gone on to enjoy great commercial success; going from new brands to established and growing suppliers within the garden retail market. This same success is expected to be achieved by the 2016 winners.Seed Winners Logo

The lucky recipient of this year’s prize package is Dublin based, Vivagreen. Impressing the judges with its MossOff product, Vivagreen beat off stiff competition to secure this year’s win. As winners they will receive support up to the value of £6,000 to help with development and marketing costs associated with entering the UK garden retail market, plus a year’s full GIMA membership, and a wide range of business support tools.

mossoff-image-6-lawn-care-bottle-1-1-500x500MossOff is a multi-surface concentrate that offers a new and totally unique biocide-free way of controlling moss and algae on all outdoor surfaces. The unique technology is chemical free and completely safe to children and pets as well as plant life and even fish and ponds. The concentrate dilutes easily and is simply applied using a garden sprayer or watering can fitted with a fine rose. The product is also available in a separate variant designed to take advantage of the specific lawn care market and provide dual merchandising opportunities as well as maintain rates of sale throughout the season. Both products answer the growing consumer demand for garden control products that are easy and safe to handle but deliver consistent and reliable results. No special equipment is required to apply MossOff, consumers just need to choose a dry day so that the product has ample opportunity to dry to take full effect.

GIMA Director, Vicky Nuttall said: “We’re incredibly pleased to confirm that Vivagreen is the 2016 winners of the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund. A truly innovative product, the judges were impressed with the simplicity of the product, as well as its dual-use that delivers results, whilst providing peace of mind for consumers. The fact that the product is also biocide-free and yet still beats chemical based competitor products, really stood out as a key USP. I’ve no doubt that Vivagreen will quickly become a core product for any garden retailer.”

In addition to choosing a winner, the panel also selected three highly commended companies. Those just missing out on the highly coveted title were:

Kikka Digga with its namesake product, the Kikka Digga: The Kikka Digga is a digging attachment tool for all garden forks and spades, which adds a footplate lever to the tool itself. The footplate is designed to reduce the physical strain associated with digging, as well as improving posture. Made from super strong material, the Kikka Digga won’t break or bend, and makes it easier to dig compacted or hard ground.
easyMulch with its namesake product, easyMulch: easyMulch is a new, unique and innovative pelleted plant mulch made from natural organic British straw. It is easy to use and unlike most wood mulches easyMulch will not deplete soil nitrates. easyMulch pellets are made specially for garden plants, and are highly absorbent, retaining up to 300% water by volume. The pellets are pH balanced so will not have a negative effect upon the condition of soil. easyMulch can be used throughout the garden on borders, raised beds, planters and on fruit and vegetable plots, making it an organic, eco-friendly, carbon neutral alternative to wood, coir or artificial mulches
Banbury Innovations with the Fabrik Wall: This textile façade can be fixed to any wall to create an instant show of colour. Using artificial plants, the Fabrik Wall can add greenery to any wall, offering an eye-catching addition or privacy where needed.
As the winner, Vivagreen is now set to receive funding and help with the development and marketing of their product, together with support from experts within the industry.

Meet Vivagreen. Q&A with Russell Walsh, co-owner of Vivagreen

Tell us a more about Vivagreen

Vivagreen was established over 25 years ago by myself and Garrett Walsh to exploit our unique formulation technology. We found a wide range of applications for the biodegradable ingredients which make them suitable for all sorts of uses where environmental impact is a critical factor. Our first success was in the manufacture and marketing of totally biodegradable ground pegs for use in the golf course sector, and from there we have also developed the technology for use in biodegradable waste sacks and liners. In essence the business is committed to developing more environmentally benign technologies that answer specific consumer needs and offer practical, affordable alternatives to conventional consumer products.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the journey of MossOff?

MossOff has been in development for several years and we’ve worked hard to perfect the formulation and the application to make it affordable and reliable. We’ve had a ready-to-use variant successfully on sale in Ireland in Woodies and a number of independent retailers for the past two seasons. We’ve also been trialling the product in its concentrate form with local authorities who love the fact that their operators don’t need special protective clothing, and they don’t need to exclude members of the public from treated areas. Inland Waterways Ireland now use MossOff at all their sites.

We test marketed the product in the UK last season with Scotsdales and Ayletts which has given us lots of very helpful insight. It was great to have the feedback from both consumers and the customer, Adam Wiggleworth of Ayletts who said “Customers increasingly search out product that is genuinely safe to their children and pets, and that’s quite a challenge when it comes to keeping moss and algae under control. The great thing about MossOff is that not only is it safe, it’s easy to use and effective too.” We trialled the product with our customers this spring and I am not surprised at how often they selected it over the conventional chemical alternatives. Genuine innovation in the ‘control products’ category is rare and with the tighter regulations we’ve lost many conventional products in recent years. MossOff is a genuine new opportunity to replace some of those lost sales.”

Key to the launch of MossOff in the UK has been the official derogation from the Chemicals Regulation Directorate which means it’s not subject to the usual pesticide restrictions.

How did you hear about the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund?

We’ve been visiting Glee for the past couple of years, and working with Jane at Lawler Associates to help us develop our commercial proposition for Moss Off in the UK. Once we’d decided to exhibit this year, she alerted us to the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of our product so we quickly decided that we should enter. Of course, now we’re really glad we did!

What made you enter the award?

We can see that winners from previous years gained a huge amount of extra exposure and practical help in the early part of the business journey. We can really appreciate how the same assistance might help us with the commercial plans for Moss Off.

What does the ‘win’ mean to you?

Winning is a great endorsement for the work we’ve done so far and it’s reassuring to know that the judges can appreciate what we know to be a great opportunity for the UK market.

 

To find out more about Vivagreen’s range of environmentally friendly products go to www.vivagreengroup.com or e-mail the general enquiries office on office@vivagreengroup.com or call to speak to us on 020 7197 2317

Asian hornet identified in Gloucestershire

defra 2013The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire – the first time the hornet has been discovered in the UK.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.

Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which includes:

  • setting up a 3 mile surveillance zone around Tetbury
  • opening a local control centre to coordinate the response
  • deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests
  • readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests

Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, said:

We have been anticipating the arrival of the Asian hornet for some years and have a well-established protocol in place to eradicate them and control any potential spread.

It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That’s why we are taking swift and robust action to identify and destroy any nests.

We remain vigilant across the country, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors.

Photograph of the Asian hornet identified in Gloucestershire

Photograph of the Asian hornet identified in Gloucestershire

A local control centre will be opened tomorrow near Tetbury and bee inspectors from around England will be closely monitoring a three mile radius around the initial sighting.

They will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests.

The hornet found in Tetbury is currently undergoing DNA testing at the National Bee Unit in North Yorkshire to help establish how it arrived in the UK.

The hornet arrived in France in 2004 and is now common across large areas of Europe. It was discovered for the first time in Jersey and Alderney this summer. It is believed the species will not be able survive in the north of the UK due to colder winters.

SQUIRE’S GARDEN CENTRES HOLD RECRUITMENT DAY

squires logo 2013Squire’s Garden Centres is getting ready for the opening of their newly rebuilt garden centre in Chertsey in early 2017 by recruiting people for various full-time and part-time retail and catering positions.
A Recruitment Day will be held at Squire’s Garden Centre in Twickenham (Sixth Cross Road, Twickenham, TW2 5PA) on Thursday 29th September 2016. You need to pre-book an interview, by emailing your CV detailing your relevant experience to hradmin@squiresgardencentres.co.uk, or by calling 01252 356860 and asking for the HR Department. Please email or call by Monday 26th September 2016.
Positions include a Garden Centre Manager, Assistant Garden Centre Manager, Restaurant Manager, and various full-time and part-time Sales and Catering Assistants. You must be able to work alternate weekends and be available to start around the end of November 2016.
Squire’s is a successful family-owned garden centre group with 15 centres across Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Middlesex, North and West London.

JOHNSONS FALKLANDS STOCKISTS RE-ORDER AS THEY FLY INTO GLEE

johnsons 2016Johnsons Seeds may be sold all round the world, but seldom can the company’s retail stockists have travelled as far to see them as Tim and Jan Miller did when they placed their seed order at a GLEE 2016 . The couple established Stanley Nursery & Garden Centre on the Falkland Islands in the 1980s, and visit the UK regularly to buy stock. The journey takes 18 hours by RAF passenger jet.

jan-and-tim-millerJan runs the garden centre, serving the islands’ population of 3000, while Tim manages Stanley Growers, its sister-market garden business. He was born and bred in the Falkland Islands, and is the descendant of a member of the Household Cavalry, who was among those bidden by Queen Victoria to “go forth and colonise my Empire”.

Tim says there are plenty of keen gardeners in the Falklands Islands, despite the often harsh climate. While conditions are close to those of our Western Isles, strong winds and scorching sun combine in spring to make hedging or fencing essential for gardeners. Summer temperatures seldom reach 25ºC, and winters can leave the peat-on–clay soil sodden, with temperatures only occasionally falling below 0ºC.

Vegetable seed is considerably more popular than flower seeds on the Falkland Islands, and carrots more popular than any other vegetable; Autumn King, Nantes 5 and Chantenay Red Cored have been the three best-selling vegetable seeds for the past four years, with cabbage Primo, turnip Snowball and swede Best of All filling fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively.

A safer way to a lush green lawn!

westland colourwestland-safe-lawnTap into a £10m market potential with Westland Safe Lawn, an organic fertiliser that’s safe to use around children and pets.

Over 11m* households have a lawn, yet many are put off using chemicals, claiming the safety of pets and young children as a real concern. At the moment only 16% of households feed their lawn* representing a real opportunity for the right product.

Westland Safe Lawn is an organic fertiliser with added lawn seed, made with only natural ingredients. It nourishes lawns, greening them up within a week and then continues to feed as it naturally breaks down. It helps grass grow and outcompete moss and weeds and also contains special naturally-occurring bacteria which breaks down dead moss and thatch, returning nutrients to feed the grass.

Its formula guarantees results, a green, lush and thick lawn, with healthy grass from root to tip!

Daniela Constantine, Brand Manager for Westland Horticulture, said: “The great thing about this product is that it will appeal to everyone.

“We knew there was a need for a really effective natural lawncare product and have spent the past two years developing something really special that will open up the lawncare market. And because it’s Westland innovation, you and your shoppers can trust that it will do a really good job!”

NEW NATIONAL SALES MANAGER JOINS FALLEN FRUITS

fallenfruitsFallen Fruits’ newly appointed National Sales Manager, Edward Cantle has been getting to grips with his new role with the garden giftware company at this month’s GLEE.

With previous positions held at Webbs, Stewart Plastics and most recently Tildenet, Edd brings with him over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing. This newest role with Fallen Fruits will see Edd maintaining sales across the UK as well as strengthening relationships with key stockists in the garden centre and giftware sectors.

edd-cantle-fallen-fruitsSpeaking of his new role, Edd enthused, “ Fallen Fruits is renowned for its new product development and brilliant customer service skills. GLEE has given me the chance to really hit the ground running in terms of identifying and establishing key areas for progression. With the recent opening of the company’s purpose built product showroom, there is a huge amount of scope for building upon significant customer relationships and I am delighted to be joining the team at such an exciting time. “

Commenting on Edd’s arrival, Fallen Fruits Managing Director Michael Hall said, “ Fallen Fruits is embarking on a period of real growth and we have ambitious plans to expand our presence in both the garden centre and giftware sectors.  Edd will play a key role in the development and delivery of these plans and we are confident that his wealth of experience and management skills will help to steer the company’s progression over the coming years.”

Great British Cards raise £18,000 for industry charities

greenfingersOn the first day of the annual Glee trade exhibition this year (Monday 12th September), giant cheques totalling £18,000 were presented to Greenfingers Charity and Perennial from the Great British Card Company from sales of its ‘Floreo’range of charity cards.

The company’s card range provided a selection of 42 different designs, with 10p from each card being paid to both Perennial, a charity that provides a range of support services to people working in, have worked in or have retired from horticulture who have hit hard times and Greenfingers Charity, the charity that creates gardens for children who spend time in hospices across the UK.

Chris Houfe, Sales Director of Great British Cards comments: “Our relationship with Perennial and Greenfingers Charity has been brilliant from the start, and our enthusiasm to create a card range specifically to support them evolved quite naturally.  Garden Centre retailers are a specialist trading sector for us, and ‘Floreo’ was able to gain impressivedistribution countrywide, with consumers delighting in the fabulously colourful images and variety in design.  On the back of this success we’re launching twelve new designs at GLEE with an autumnal/winter feel.”

Carol Paris, Chief Executive of the Horticultural Trades Association and Trustee of both charities was instrumental in bringing the partnership about. She comments: “This beautiful range of cards has been very popular with gardeners and has provided consumers with the satisfaction of knowing they are helping support two very worthwhile charities.”

glee-cheque-for-greenfingers-and-perennial

Greenfingers Chairman, John Ashley joins Greenfingers Head of Fundraising Linda Petrons to receive the cheque from Chris Houfe, also presenting to Perennial’s Head of Trading, John Moseley alongside HTA’s Carol Paris.

Linda Petrons, Head of Fundraising at Greenfingers comments: “We are enormously grateful to the Great British Card Company and to Carol Paris for bringing this partnership together, and to all those garden centres who continue to support this fantastic fundraiser.  The money raised really will make a huge difference to the lives of so many children and families who spend time in hospices.”

Last year Greenfingers launched its ‘A Million Moments Appeal’, aiming to raise £1 million, over the next three years.  With the help of product promotions such as this, the charity is aiming to provide at least 5,000 children and their families that rely on hospices to enjoy spending precious time together outdoors.