Love the Plot You’ve Got roadshow hits CarFest this summer

hta love the plotFollowing on from the great success last year, the Love the Plot You’ve Got roadshow will once again be providing inspiration on getting the best out of your outdoor space at CarFest North which takes place at Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire this weekend (29 – 31 July).

The roadshow, put together by the industry wide Garden Industry Marketing Board (GIMB), aims to get people, particularly non-gardeners, thinking about different ways in which to use their outdoor space and encouraging them to visit their local garden centre for more information and inspiration.

The Love the Plot roadshow proved to be a runaway success at last year’s CarFest North and it is anticipated that once again it will receive a lot of interest from people not expecting to see garden room sets at the family focused motoring and music festival which raises funds for Children in Need.

This year the inspiring Love the Plot You’ve Got Roadshow gardens have been designed by campaign ambassador Chris Collins, supported by Association of Professional Landscapers member Beesley Landscapes with further products being supplied by Pile Height, Mr. Fothergill’s, Scotts Miracle-Gro and EcoScape.

All plants and props for the gardens are being supplied by Bents Garden and Home who were recently triumphant at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, winning Best Show Feature.

The four gardens will focus on the following themes:

  • The Wildlife Gardenwhich will show how to make your outdoor space to animals, insects and birds.  Features will include wildflower turf, bug hotels, bee houses and bird boxes.
  • The Children’s Gardenwhich will appeal to the youngest green-fingered ones and will include sensory pots, seating, a potting bench and a wormery.
  • The Grow Your Own Gardencombines vegetables and edible flowers into a great looking plot that provides tasty, nutritious things to eat, that’s lovely to look at, even when space is limited.
  • The Al Fresco Gardenshows how our outdoor space can be turned into an entertaining paradise with bistro sets, decking, lighting, barbecue and a chimnea.

 The roadshow will also be featuring at CarFest South on August 26 – 28 at Laverstoke Park Farm, Hampshire.

The roadshows are part of the innovative three-year Love the Plot You’ve Got Campaign which has been created following detailed research into consumer perceptions about their desires for their outdoor living spaces, especially among the key 30-45-year-old age group.  Highlights of the 2016 campaign have involved RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, Al Fresco Fortnight in June and a comprehensive social media programme.


Dobbies kids gardening club members graduate to become mini teaching assistants

dobbies garden centres 2015Two green fingered youngsters from Perth are passing on their skills to the next generation of gardeners as they become “mini teachers” at Dobbies Little Seedlings Gardening Club. Abigail Jakeman (11) and Chloe Rawlings-Lloyd (11) have racked up five years at the store’s club and now, having outgrown the sessions, the pair have been given the exciting opportunity to try their hand at helping teach the workshops.

Throughout their time at the club, Abigail and Chloe learned all about plant and animal life across the British Isles, how to plant and grow a variety of flowers, herbs and vegetables and ways to help out the local community. Both girls showed real talent whilst members of Dobbies Little Seedlings Club, and after leaving, they still expressed a keen enthusiasm for gardening.  The pair were delighted when Dobbies asked if they would like to come along and help host the sessions. During the hour long workshops, the girls get hands on, helping younger children with everything from potting plants to arts and crafts.

Alison with Chloe, left, and Abigail.

Alison with Chloe, left, and Abigail.

Alison Dowe, community champion at Dobbies Perth said: “After spending the last five years with Abigail and Chloe, and seeing them both grow into the wonderful young gardeners they are today, it only felt right that we invite them back to help teach the club. The girls have a real flare for horticulture and we’ve loved nurturing their talent. Now they get to play a part in developing the skills of the next generation of Little Seedlings and the girls are natural teachers so it’s a perfect fit.”

Dobbies Little Seedlings monthly workshops provide an engaging and fun atmosphere for kids to learn all about the wonders of plants, nature, wildlife and the environment. Classes are free to join and are specifically aimed at children aged between four and 11 years.

The Perth branch of the Garden Centre will also be running special summer editions of the Little Seedlings Club. The hour long workshops will run from 11am-12pm on 27th July and 24th August and will be jam packed with stimulating games and activities to help kids discover the wonders of their back garden.

For more information on Dobbies Little Seedlings club in your area, visit /whats-on/little-seedlings/.

Bradstone Celebrates 60 Years of Building Success

aggregate industriesBradstone was established in 1956 by Bradleys, a family-run business owned by Edwin H. Bradley. The introduction of the Bradstone brand marked an important milestone in the company’s history. However, to understand how the brand came to be, we need to step back in time to 1902, when the Bradleys story began.

Building on a Name

Edwin H. Bradley set up as a builder in 1902. His company – Bradleys – built over 250 houses between 1902 and 1914, which sold anywhere between £140 and £267 each – an astonishing thought in this day and age! In 1905, the business moved into quarrying before setting up as a builders’ merchant in 1918, selling aggregates, stone and lime to local builders.

By 1939, the business was rapidly expanding and to support its growth, Edwin H. Bradley set up a factory in South Cerney in the Cotswolds to produce rock faced concrete blocks – the fore runner of modern day Bradstone. And despite the country being at war, the business developed, supplying the war effort with sand, gravel and barrack blocks, and building gun placements.

By the time the 1950s arrived, the post-war business was rapidly becoming a major regional building materials supplier, establishing a strong sales force and purchasing its North End Farm production site in Ashton Keynes, which the business still operates from today. Demand was increasing for man-made stone to meet planning regulations and volume house building as quarrying of natural stone and labour costs were becoming too expensive.

bradstone-h-3Following research into the walling market, Bradleys realised they could improve upon local building product, Cotswold Dale, by replicating its natural stone credentials using reconstituted stone. The new product was created in 1956, using gang moulds, and the face structure was added manually, to create a tooled finish.

The Birth of Bradstone

Reconstructed facing blocks for external walls, as a viable alternative to Cotswold Dale, went into production and the Bradstone brand was born. Marketing swiftly followed and the first Bradstone brochure was developed in 1958. While its black and white design was simple, the brochure was certainly ground-breaking for the construction industry at that time.

The business went into a period of major expansion, introducing Rough Hewn in 1960. This increased the company’s potential for regional use and the first partial colour brochure – based on building the ‘dream home’ – launched in 1964.

The sales force increased rapidly in numbers during the 1960s to cover areas surrounding Swindon, with specialists in architecture and planning recruited to help target new business. Interest in Bradstone walling began to peak in areas outside of the Cotswolds, including the South West, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Lancashire. The sales team grew and grew to meet increasing national demand.

Soon the product range increased to widen the Bradstone package. Cast stone was introduced in the early 1960s to included cills, lintels, window and door surrounds, and copings. Bradstone roofing slate followed in 1968.

Going National

With the introduction of Bradstone into new areas, the range of stone walling products developed rapidly to meet the local stone modules, face textures and shades. By the end of the 1960s, Bradstone had become a national product. There was strong support from builders who could build stone houses at a reasonable price, from architects who had a different medium to add to brick, and from planners who were confident enough to allow Bradstone to be used alongside natural stone.

To meet this demand and resolve the problem of increased transport costs, Bradleys increased its capacity at North End and Cleveland Farm in Ashton Keynes, and also at Boston in Lincolnshire to cover the Northern market.

With the company becoming a national player at the beginning of the 1970s, greater emphasis was placed on development. Although during the 1960s Bradstone had become extremely successful, the range was still based on coursed work with the introduction of larger ‘jumpers’ to give the appearance of a random wall.

Breaking New Ground

Following extensive internal development work, the masonry T-block was introduced in 1972. This quickly became the premier stone block on the market – and still holds its position today. The design allowed builders to give the impression of a multitude of sizes and a truly random appearance. This opened the door for Bradstone masonry blocks to be approved by planning for use in sensitive conservation areas, where other blocks would not have been allowed.

The Jewel in the Crown

By 1984, the family business had grown from a turnover of £2,000 in 1905 to £60m. The decision to sell to ECC Quarries came in 1985 and the business sold for £52m. In 1997, the business was bought by Aggregate Industries, now part of the LafargeHolcim Group. Yet despite its many corporate changes, Bradstone has remained the ‘jewel in the crown’ – and a brand that is known and loved worldwide.

In its 60th year, the Bradstone range includes reconstituted stone walling and roofing, garden landscaping materials and aggregates.

15 Days, 22 Judges, 72 Finalists and 1 Champion of Champions: The RHS Britain in Bloom 2016 UK Final

rhs britan in bloom 2015From Ahoghill in Ulster to Colwyn Bay in Wales, over a 16 day period starting on Friday 29 July, 11 pairs of Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges will see them all, as the 2016 Britain in Bloom with the RHS UK Finals Judging Tour hits the road in search of the very best in community horticulture.

Assessing more than 5,000 acres of public green space in 72 locations that have planted their way to the UK finals of Bloom – Europe’s biggest community gardening campaign – the judging teams of expert horticulturists will criss-cross the country to visit villages, towns and cities chosen to fly the flag for their region or nation in the prestigious UK finals.

Each finalist will be awarded a Gold, Silver-Gilt, Silver or Bronze medal. There is also an award for best in category, as well as special discretionary awards given for achieving excellence in particular fields. The results will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony in Birmingham on 14 October.

This year Birmingham (Heart of England), Cleethorpes (East Midlands), Durham (Northumbria), Lytham (North West) and St Pierre du Bois in Guernsey will be competing for the title of Champion of Champions, the ultimate Britain in Bloom award.

rhs bib 2016 haveringTo be considered for the top Bloom awards the judges take into consideration three key criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility, demonstrated across public spaces, such as town or city centres, parks and communal gardens, as well as natural spaces including conservation areas and wildflower meadows. Complementary factors, such as the condition of street furniture and the involvement of young people in Bloom activities, will also count in the assessment of groups.

In preparation for the judging, thousands of Bloom volunteers have been working to transform derelict land into community gardens, brighten streets with floral displays, litter-pick, grow healthy produce, and so much more.

RHS research has revealed the scale of the work undertaken by groups who have planted more than 10 million trees, bulbs and other plants over the past year, and donated 11.7 million hours of their time for free in order to improve their communities.

Roger Burnett, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judging panel, said: ‘Britain in Bloom is a real movement for good that is transforming neighbourhoods, creating communities and bringing the many health and wellbeing benefits of gardening to increasing numbers of people from every walk of life.

“The RHS Britain in Bloom finals is an opportunity to celebrate the tens of thousands of often unheralded volunteers who readily give up their time to improve their local environment. My fellow judges and I are immensely proud to be able to see the fruits of their labour and celebrate the work they do.”

Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Regional Development, said: ”RHS Britain in Bloom puts community achievement front and centre, as we recognise the amazing work have done, often under incredibly difficult circumstances.

“This year we will be presenting a new award that will recognise the efforts Bloom groups have made to make their communities greener and more beautiful places, often while facing adversity – from flooding to extreme heat and vandalism. Although the character, selflessness and resolve of Bloom Groups are well known, this new award will shine a light on the often uncelebrated work communities do to make the UK a greener, healthier place to live.”

“The finalists should be immensely proud of all they’ve achieved to get this far, and I wish them the very best of luck!’

Britain in Bloom started in 1964 and is now a UK-wide campaign with a strong focus on environmentally responsible practices and bringing people together. Finalists work with a number of supporting organisations to transform their communities, from local businesses to schools, hospitals and prisons.


squires logo 2013To celebrate their 80th anniversary, Squire’s challenged all their garden centres across the South East to design a floral display, which was wildlife friendly and referenced the company’s 80 years in the horticulture industry. The competition was called “Living 80 Years”, and Colin Squire (Chairman) and Sarah Squire (Deputy Chairman) judged each centres display in 2 categories – “Best Display” and “Most Innovative”.

There were joint winners in the “Best Display” category – Squire’s in Woking and Squire’s in Badshot Lea.

squires 80 years 2

Squire’s Woking – Ed Ridgeon (Centre Manager) with Colin Squire (Chairman)

Squire’s Woking impressed the judges with their fabulous flowerpot man reading George Orwell, which was published in 1936, the same year that Squire’s Garden Centres was founded.

The winning display at Squire’s Badshot Lea has a wall specially created to make it look like authentic bricks of the 1930’s, with a window through which you can see a vignette of the Squire’s Twickenham site (one of the first garden centres in the UK) and a mixture of planting including the Violet Squire Rose.

There were also 2 runners up in the “Best Display” category – Squire’s West Horsley and Squire’s Long Ditton.

Squire’s Crawley – Colin Squire (Chairman) with Shaun, Tracey & Leanne

Squire’s Crawley – Colin Squire (Chairman) with Shaun, Tracey & Leanne

The winner of the “Most Innovative” display went to Squire’s in Crawley, who created an elegant plant-focused display, using a ships wheel to make the number 80, and with a flowing river of blue flowers to represent the River Thames – which is close to Squire’s first garden centre in Twickenham.

Runners up in this category were Squire’s Cobham for bringing The Great British Bake Off to Squire’s with their magnificent birthday cake, and Squire’s Milford for their superb wildlife friendly display.

Sarah Squire commented, “I want to give a massive thank you to all of our garden centre staff who created such wonderful displays in celebration of the 80thanniversary of the company. Colin and I so enjoyed visiting each centre; however choosing the winners was not easy. Each display was so different and what impressed us the most was the thought that had gone into each of them, and the team work to make them happen. I hope that our customers will enjoy seeing these creative displays as much as we have.”

Stewart Garden inspires Scotsdales Garden Centre to boost planter sales

stewart logo 2013Inspired by Stewart Garden’s partnership with Ball Colegrave, Scotsdales Garden Centre in Cambridge has created a series of stunning displays in its designed gardens using Stewart Garden decorative planters.
Stewart Garden Lead Effect Planters and the popular Varese range in sandstone, granite and dark brown, take centre stage in Scotsdales Garden Centre’s displays.

Stewart Garden had a major presence at this year’s Ball Colegrave Summer Showcase at Milton, near Banbury in July, where exhibits included schemes pairing Ball Colegrave’s plants with Stewart Garden’s Varese, Lead Effect, Blenheim and Sylvan planters. Also unmissable was a striking red geranium display in the Stewart Garden Corinthian Black planter.

Stewart Garden Scotsdale display  1Caroline Owen, owner of Scotsdales Garden Centre, Cambridge, said: “When we visited Ball Colegrave’s Summer Showcase, it was clear that its plants and Stewart Garden’s planters complemented one another beautifully. We knew a similar display would have great appeal among our customers. The designs we created have had a very positive effect on our planter sales, with Varese in sandstone proving particularly popular.”

Stewart Garden’s contemporary Varese planters have an authentic textured appearance with all the benefits of high-grade plastic. This means they’re durable, affordable and lightweight, making them ideal for creating a stylish architectural garden feature and especially suitable for palms.

Launched at Glee in 2015, the Varese planters collection has gone from strength to strength, exceeding its targeted growth. The elegant, Italian inspired planter is now available in dark brown, sandstone and granite and in two new sizes, medium (55cm) and low (35cm).

Scotsdales, an independent garden centre with three branches in Cambridgeshire, has been established for over half a century. With its deep experience, the business has a solid understanding of what its customers want when shopping for their homes and gardens

Stewart Garden loves gardens. It’s a leading grow-your-own and contemporary garden lifestyle brand, the market leader in premium plastic flower planters, including self-watering plant containers, and the voice of authority in premium consumer propagation.


squires logo 2013Mambo Jambos pottery painting café at Squire’s Garden Centre in Washington has some exciting new foam clay and paint effects!

You can now decorate your pottery with brightly coloured foam clay or shiny acrylic paint, both of which come in a variety of lovely bold colours, including metallic and glittery options to really give your piece some sparkle! The foam clay and acrylic paint dries very quickly, so you can take your piece home straight away, as there’s no need to fire it in the kiln.

It’s the perfect activity to do with children during the Summer holidays. Choose from a wide selection of pottery to paint including mugs, plates, wall plaques, moneyboxes, animals and even a light-up castle. Relax and enjoy a drink while painting, plus there’s an outdoor play area where the children can let off some steam after making their creations.

Mambo Jambos Pottery Studio at Squire’s Garden Centre in WashingtonMambo Jambos is open 7 days a week and is very reasonably priced – the studio fee is £2.50 per person plus the cost of the pottery piece you select. Each piece is individually priced and starts from just £2.50.

There are also pottery painting evenings for adults once a month on Wednesday evenings from 5-9pm, and you can even bring your own wine and nibbles!

  • Wed 24th Aug 2016
  • Wed 21st Sep 2016
  • Wed 19th Oct 2016
  • Wed 23rd Nov 2016
  • Wed 7th Dec 2016

To book: Visit Mambo Jambos at Squire’s, call 01903 893353 or email

Address: Mambo Jambos, Squire’s Garden Centre, London Road, Washington, RH20 3BP.

Non-traditional categories shine despite weather in June

GCASales in non-traditional categories at garden centres across the country were up during June (2016) but due to wet weather traditional categories were down according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.

Outdoor plant sales were down -4.70% and sales of houseplants were down -1.33% while clothing was up 18.01% and catering was up 10.65%.

Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, explained: “June’s BoT figures are a bit of a contrast to what we saw in May. Due to the May Bank Holidays we saw super sales in more traditional categories but June was a bit of a washout with lots of wet weather, leading to sales being down in the traditional categories.

“Garden Sundries were down -4.11% and furniture and barbecue sales were at -8.13% while seed and bulb sales were up slightly at 0.07%. Sales in pets and aquatics departments were down -1.37%.

“At times like this, when we can’t rely on the Great British weather, we can rely on the fact that many garden centre’s are now destinations with restaurants, cafes and even farm shops and people don’t visit them just for the plants anymore. This is proved in the rise in sales in non-traditional categories. Food hall and farm shop sales were up 4.32% and gifts were up 0.31%.” Sales showed a Year to Date increase of 3.85% and June’s overall monthly sales, compared to the same month last year were -1.47% down.

Justin Williams, Managing Director at Fron Goch Garden Centre in Wales, which saw good sales in its restaurant in June, said: “June, in which many core gardening lines struggled against last year’s figures, saw the restaurant hold its monthly average increase on last year of 20%. Last summer, in the restaurant, we invested in a re-fit and increased the number of covers to 200, which has delivered 20% growth since September 1, 2015.”

The Millbrook Garden Centre Gravesend team during the Rose Festival.

The Millbrook Garden Centre Gravesend team during the Rose Festival.

Tammy Woodhouse, Manging Director at Millbrook Garden Centres in Kent and East Sussex, which had good plant sales during June, said: “I would put our good plant sales in June largely down to our Rose Festival, which we have been running for three years. We find it a really good way to shift the focus from bedding and give customers a good reason to visit.

“We work with the growers and they select the best looking roses in flower to send us and we create lovely displays. We hold a preview evening for our best customers, with rose specialists on hand, customers can shop with a glass of fizz and chocolate dipped strawberries and mini rose scones. Not only do we see an increase in our rose sales but it also grows our overall plant sales.”

Stewart Garden top planter supplier at Ball Colegrave Summer Showcase 2016

stewart logo 2013Stewart Garden had a major presence at this year’s Ball Colegrave Summer Showcase at Milton, near Banbury that took place from 11 to 29 July.

The company was the predominant planter supplier to the trade event and featured heavily in designed gardens across the site.

Exhibits included schemes pairing Ball Colegrave’s plants with Stewart Garden’s Varese, Lead Effect, Blenheim and Sylvan planters. Also unmissable was the striking red geranium display in the Stewart Garden Corinthian Black planter.

Exhibits at the event demonstrated to trade buyers how they can maximise the market potential of bedding in planters. As patios become increasingly popular, the market for combinations that provide the instant colour, wide availability and easy maintenance that container gardening offers is growing.

Ball Colgrave 1Ball Colegrave is a premium supplier of bedding plants to the UK garden trade. Its annual Summer Showcase attracts over 2,000 trade visitors, from independents and national companies to major groups.

Top garden centres and leading retailers and DIY outlets from around the country were also in attendance.

Stewart Garden had a stand in the main reception and meeting area.

Alan Slack, Marketing Manager at Stewart Garden, said: “This is another example of our great relationships in the garden industry. Stewart and Ball Colegrave are Banbury based, so this local alliance is great news for both businesses. We’re certain that garden trade customers were inspired by the joint activity.”

Ball Colegrave 3Stuart Lowen, marketing manager at Ball Colegrave, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Stewart Garden. Our partnership, which brings planters and plants together to create inspirational features, captures the imagination of the fast expanding number of people with patio gardens. Stewart Garden’s high quality planters made a fantastic contribution to the presentation of our plant varieties and visitor experience.”

Stewart Garden’s grow your own products, planters, watering equipment, propagators and garden accessories are available in over 1,600 outlets across the UK and Eire. These include DIY outlets such as B&Q, Homebase and Wilko and garden centres such as Dobbies and Klondyke/Strikes, Wyevale and over 600 independent garden centres.

Ball Colegrave 2

GIMA Awards 2016 – And the winners are……

GIMA-Awards-Logo-2016.fw_-300x240Culminating in a sell-out event, the GIMA Awards 2016 – held on July 14th at Celtic Manor – were once again the pinnacle of the garden retail industry’s event calendar. Bringing together manufacturers, retailers, members of the press and industry figures, the event celebrated the great and good, with 16 winners taking home the accolade of GIMA award winners.

GIMA Director, Vicky Nuttall, commented on tonight’s event. “I would like to be the first to extend my congratulations to all of the winners. This year saw a record number of entries to the awards, making the judges work even harder as the calibre of product on offer was outstanding. However, with some real stand-out entries, and some tough deliberation, the judges were unanimous in their final decisions – all of which are highly deserving of their awards. My sincerest congratulations to all our winners. They have all demonstrated exceptional qualities, from cutting edge design to inspirational retail support.

This year, the GIMA judging panel was made up of Simon Bourne of Perrywood Garden Centre, Liz Brennanfrom Dobbies, Decco’s Chris GladwinCaroline Linger from Wyevale, Scott McCabe from Polhill Garden Centre, Choice Marketing’s Michelle de Lavis TraffordJulian Winfield from Haskins and GCA Chair, Simon Wright of Stax Trade Centres, and finally Neil Pope, editor of Garden Trade News.

“My thanks also have to go to the panel of dedicated judges who gave up their valuable time to take part in this year’s judging process. Their combined expertise and market knowledge has been invaluable throughout the judging process, and has helped to create one of the strongest list of winners.

“Finally, I extend my thanks to all those that have entered the awards in 2016, as well as our sponsors, without whom we would not be able to put on an event of this scale.”


GIMA Sword of Excellence 

Winner: Smart Garden Products – Eureka! Solar Lightbulb

What the judges said: “The one product you want to take away and put in your garden centre”, “The strongest product in the room”, and “One of the best new products this year.”

GCA Supplier of the Year 

Winner: Taylors Bulbs

Finalists: Decco, Scotts Miracle Gro Company, Westland Horticulture

What the judges said: “The team always strive hard to give the service we expect,” and

“Simply put, they deliver a good quality product, with a fair price, and deliver on time.”

 Gardenex Export Achievement Award 

Winner: Hozelock – Hozelock Easy Drip Range

What the judges said: “Hozelock’s new Easy drip range was designed to drive international growth by developing an automatic watering system that was easy to understand, buy and ultimately use. They have grown their international irrigation business significantly in France through DIY retailers such as Mr Bricolarge and Garden Centres such as Jardiland and Truffaut. Similar successes have also been achieved across Italy, Spain, Benelux, Scandinavia, Germany and Russia.”

PetQuip Export Achievement Award.

Winner: Symply Pet Products – Canagan Range of Cat & Dog Food

What the judges said: “The Canagan brand of dog and cat foods was launched in the UK in 2012. Following the launch, export markets were targeted at Interzoo Germany and Zoomark Italy initially. This was followed by the Far East, Scandinavia and most of Europe. The brand ethos, product performance and rapid growth has gained Canagan a reputation as one of the leading grain free pet food brands in Europe. Canagan now enjoys distribution in 30 countries including Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan.”


Garden Care 

Winner: Neudorff UK – CleanLawn 20 kg

Finalists: Scotts Miracle-Gro – Miracle-Gro Orchid Mist; Scotts Miracle-Gro – Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Concentrate

About the winner: “Unlike existing ‘all-in-one’ lawn products, CleanLawn does not require children and pets to be excluded from the treated area after application and does not require a spreader to be applied without the risk of scorching. In addition, raking out dead moss and thatch is not necessary as these waste materials are ‘eaten’ by microorganisms, leaving you more time to enjoy your lush, green lawn.”

Growing, Planting Equipment and Sundries

Winner: Hozelock – Cloud Controller

Finalists: Briers – William Morris Collection; FITT SpA – YOYO the self-extending and retracting hose; Hozelock – Hozelock Easy Drip

About the winner: “The app and technology is unique and owned by Hozelock, and is the first app operated automated watering controller to be launched in the UK. No other product is available within the UK at mass-market price level. Gardeners can control their garden watering wherever they are, with time saving, water saving and plant health benefits.”

 Garden Tools, Machinery and Implements

Winner: Crest Garden: Kent & Stowe – Kent & Stowe Lawn Edge Trimmer

Finalists: EP Barrus (Wolf & Wilkinson Sword) – Ultralight Hedge Shear; Burgon & Ball – Groundbreaker Spade; Spear & Jackson – Dual Compound Telescopic Bypass Loppers

About the winner: “The lawn edger uses body weight for easy entry into the ground. The comfortable foot plate allows a ‘walk and cut’ rocking motion above the blade, meaning edging has finally become a quick and painless task, while always producing a clean perfect edge.”

Outdoor Leisure

Winner: Zest 4 Leisure – Bahama Round Table and Two Stool Set

Finalists: Zest 4 Leisure – Harriett Table and Two Bench Set; Fallen Fruits – Flower Outdoor Pouffe

About the winner: “The Bahama round high table and matching round stools is new to the market because of its height which makes it ideal when having a BBQ and offers an opportunity for outdoor informal entertaining. It is made from FSC pressure treated timber that can stand the test of time.”

 Plants, Seeds and Bulbs

Winner: Hawkesmill Nurseries – ‘Herbs for….’ collection

Finalists: Hawkesmill Nurseries – Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’; Scotts Miracle-Gro – Miracle-Gro Gro-ables

About the winner: “New concept and new retro feel with an innovative twist, providing the combination of gardening and the outdoor leisure buzz words of the moment; barbecue, cocktails and tea. The herbs are easy to grow and the perfect selection for each theme.”

Garden Landscaping

Winner: Kelkay – Granite Cobble Mat Sets Quarter Circle

Finalists: Zest 4 Leisure – Brighton Corner Arbour; Forest Garden – Vale Timber Greenhouse – 6′ x 4′; Forest Garden – Basil Multiplay Playhouse

About the winner: “These Granite Cobble Mats are a great alternative to normal concrete paving, they are hard wearing and can transform cracked and uneven surfaces. Great to add a feature point to patios or laid as decorative paths.”

 Garden Clothing & Gifts

Winner: Briers – Advanced Gloves

Finalists: Burgon & Ball – Poc-kit gardener’s utility belt; Town and Country – The Collection

About the winner: “Designed to bring together innovative combinations of features, materials, coatings and manufacturing techniques for garden work wear that is cutting-edge. Creating quality gloves adapted for specific tasks, in formats not previously available in the garden centre market. Ultimately driving innovation forward within this sector with cutting-edge, affordably-priced designs.”

 Pet Care, Aquatics and Wild Bird Care Products

JOINT Winners: Gardman – Poppy Feeder Dish & Burgon & Ball – Creaturewares

Finalists: Westland Horticulture – Peckish Easy Feeder; Petface – Loktop Squirrel Proof Seed Feeder

About the winners: Praise for Gardman: “Great for instore promotions and supporting great charities such as the Royal British Legion and Poppy Scotland.” Comments on Burgon & Ball: “Carrying a riveted metal Burgon & Ball badge, Creaturewares tins for the first time use the element of brand to increase the perceived value of the product. The combination of high quality construction and attractive, humorous design brings real innovation to pet food storage.”

Garden Lighting, Water Features & Ornamentation 

Winner: Smart Garden Products – Eureka! Solar Lightbulb

Finalists: Smart Garden Products – Snowdrop Solar Flower; Smart Garden Products – Bluebell Solar Flower

About the winner: “New innovative product to the market this year, taking a steer from the current trend for retro design: the good old fashioned light bulb. Solar means there are no messy wires, instant lighting and they can be hung anywhere in the garden and are easy to move around. Supplied in an attractive merchandiser.”


Best Point of Sale Material

Winner: Crest Garden: Flopro – Flopro Gun Display Stand

Finalists: Sherwin Williams (Ronseal) – Ronseal Fencelife Plus+; Smart Garden Products – Eureka! Solar Lightbulb; Smart Garden Products – Super Bright Display; Smart Garden Products – Water Features

About the winner: “There is currently no other watering brand displaying their products in this way, bringing product off the back wall and adding drama to the watering category. The stand is space conscious measuring 42cm (w) x 85cm (l), made entirely of cardboard it’s particularly easy to manoeuvre around the store.”

 Best Consumer Product Packaging

Winner: Hozelock – Hozelock Easy Drip Range

Finalists: Kelkay – RHS Horticultural Grits & Sands; Crest Garden: Flopro – Flopro packaging

About the winner: “The packaging format is new to the automated watering market, innovatively demonstrating the application and benefits of the product and eliminating confusion in the consumer selection process. Including kits encourages gardeners to trial automatic watering and return to add and extend projects at a later time, further expanding the market.”

 Best Marketing Communication Award

Winner: Ronseal – Ronseal Fencecare Campaign / Channel 4 Takeover

Finalists: Crest Garden: Flopro – Flopro ‘No Leaks’ campaign; Westland Horticulture – Not Sure, Gro-Sure campaign

About the winner: “Ronseal – Channel 4 Takeover: Literally took over a three-minute advert break during the hit show Gogglebox, where you were watching a fence being painted with its Fencelife product for the whole duration. 3.4 million people watched paint dry for three minutes. Ronseal wanted to get people talking about the ad and they certainly achieved it, with 558,136 engagements on Twitter and #Ronsealadbreak trending number one on the night”