Bayer Garden to fertilise the outdoor market for growth

bayer 2015Making an exciting return to GLEE, Bayer Garden will reveal its new strategy for growth in outdoor plant foods category.  The company is home to three of the strongest brands in the sector, known and trusted by consumers and garden retailers alike:
Baby Bio® – Greatness grows from every drop: Baby Bio® is the most recognised high quality liquid fertiliser available.
Phostrogen® – Feeding the garden since 1960: Phostrogen® is trusted and recognised by gardeners everywhere.
Toprose – The rose care brand leader: Toprose already accounts for over 45% of the rose food market.
Based on detailed consumer insight, the company has identified real potential for growth in the sector.
“We know 30%* of plant owners don’t feed at all,” said Christina Bouzala, Group Brand Manager at Bayer Garden.  “These people aren’t confident about what to feed and how, and when they go in-store to find out more, the fixture can cause them more confusion.
“This is a huge missed opportunity for garden care retailers, but it gets bigger still when you focus on pots and containers.   Once the nutrients in the compost of pots and containers are exhausted, plants can produce far more blooms when fed regularly. Yet of the 90% of gardeners who express a preference for growing in pots, only 55%* use a feed!
“At GLEE we’ll reveal our strategy for outdoor plant foods, which will help retailers further grow their business in this market, with exciting new products, whilst always having in mind the end benefit for the consumer.”
In 2016 Bayer Garden launched the Baby Bio® Big Boost Challenge.  It is bright, colourful and clearly shows the benefits of feeding with Baby Bio® Outdoor. The Challenge encourages consumers to get ‘hands-on’ with the product and see the difference it makes to their pots and garden– a small watering change for BIG flower gains!

Westland launches new Nature’s Feast pet range

Natures FeastFollowing extensive research and development, Nature’s Feast will be strengthening its offer with the launch of a new small animal food collection.  The collection features a range of food, treats and hay for rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, an area which represents a £72m market opportunity year on year1.

The Nature’s Feast brand is now perfectly poised to add value to the category, using extensive consumer insight and product research. It has identified a gap in the market, with 43% of shoppers buying both mixed food and pellets, as they perceive nuggets alone to be boring and processed, despite their health credentials2. A new range offering the health benefits of nuggets, with the variety and interest of mixed grass and vegetables will be launched to the trade in July, alongside care guides, POS and other educational support.

Nature's Feast Hamster FoodAn independent one month trial involving 68 rabbits and guinea pigs gave impressive results for this new range of products. It demonstrated the animals were more likely to forage (alieving boredom), but still ate all the food within 24 hours (ensuring nutritional needs were met). This indicates the emotional enrichment provided through their ability to express natural behaviours.

Items in the range include:

  Nature’s Feast Rabbit Food – A blend of nuggets with 8% real grass, fruit and vegetables. Rich in fibre with natural prebiotics and linseed for Omega 3.

  Nature’s Feast Guinea Pig Food – A blend of nuggets with 8% real grass, fruit and vegetables. Rich in fibre with natural prebiotics and linseed for Omega 3. With added Vitamin C.

  Nature’s Feast Hamster Food – A blend of nuggets with 20% fruit and vegetables. Rich in protein from poultry meat meal, with natural prebiotics and linseed for Omega 3.

  Nature’s Feast Snack Selection – A healthy mix of natural snacks to feed straight or to mix in with food or hay. Presented in a 3-pack of different flavours: Fruit Garden, Vegetable Patch and Flower Garden.

Nature’s Feast Garden Forage – A blend of 5 varieties of grass and hay topped with a delicious mix of flowers. Encourages foraging.

Rachael Dickinson, Senior Marketing Manager said: “Through our targeted research and insight we’ve developed a range of products that will add value back into the category with a natural, premium brand. This range will encourage animals to forage, yet provide them with optimum nutrition. All products are visually appealing to the pet owner, plus nutritionally and emotionally good for their animals.”

“We know that small animal owners are concerned about the health of their pets, but also want a food that will provide interest and variety. This new range is in a unique position as it meets both these needs, plus it’s being launched by a well-established brand with the knowledge and experience to drive this forward.”

Peckish ready to soar to new heights with its autumn collection!

PeckishWestlands’ birdcare brand Peckish announces new collection featuring a natural seed mix, suet cake value pack, feeders and nestboxes.

It comes following a great year for the brand, which increased its sales by £2m, bringing new consumers into the birdcare market with easy to use products, such as the brand’s best-selling ready to use feeder, the Peckish Complete Easy Feeder.

The autumn 2016 collection includes:

  Natural Balance – with 100% natural ingredients and enriched with sunflower seeds, this wholesome 8 seed blend will attract a wide variety of birds. With a natural look and feel this is the perfect choice for bird lovers keen to work in harmony with nature. Available in a 12.75kg pack.

  Complete Suet Cakes 10-Pack – Due to consumer demand a new 10-pack version of our popular Peckish Complete Suet Cakes will be launched. Packed with 12 ingredients, high in energy and no mess, this treat is great value for volume users.

Peckish Natural Balance  Diamond Suet Cake Feeder – An attractive cage design ideal for serving our Peckish Complete Suet Cakes (see above). Featuring a flip top lid that provides protection against the elements, ideal for a wide variety of species.

  Click Top Feeders – Featuring a click top lid for easy fill and a clip release base for easy cleaning, these feeders are sturdy, durable and easy to use. This range offers great value and includes a seed, peanut and energy ball feeder.

  Squirrel Proof Lattice Feeders – A tough, yet decorative design that will deter even the strongest and smartest of squirrels! This lattice design is durable and effective, with a secure click top lid, making the feeders easy to use. An ideal accessory to attract vibrant birds to your garden. Two designs available for use with peanut or seeds.

  Small Bird Feeder – Unique and stylish, this feeder attracts small and colourful birds to the garden. Includes small entrance to a sheltered feeder that only the little birds can access, with wide easy open lid making it easy to fill and clean.

  Blue Tit Nest Box – An attractive addition for any garden, this pastel painted nest box is built using FSC® 100% certified wood specifically to help the blue tis breeding season. With easy to clean side openings and drainage holes to prevent a build-up of moisture.

  Robin Nest Box – For all robin lovers, this pastel painted nest box is a great way to help during the breeding season. With an open fronted entrance and built using FSC® 100% certified wood, this nest box features drainage holes to prevent a build-up of moisture.
Rachael Dickinson, Senior Brand Manager for Peckish said: “Our soaring retail sales are no accident. They are the result of a successful NPD strategy, coupled with consistent advertising support.
“We’re confident this latest collection of NPD will complement our existing best-sellers and grow the birdcare category even further, appealing to newcomers and seasoned users alike.”

Calling all Creative Minds: The Royal Horticultural Society Needs You for Brand New Show

rhs logo 2015Today, the RHS is calling on inventive minds from any design discipline to submit ideas with the view to exhibiting at its new show next year, set within the 1000-acre grounds of Chatsworth House, in the heart of the rolling Derbyshire countryside.

A new category ‘FreeForm’, introduced for RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2017 (7 – 11 June)*, will feature wildly imaginative, breath-taking installations with a horticultural slant.

Nick Mattingley, RHS Director of Shows, says: “RHS Chatsworth Flower Show will be unique, it will literally break new grounds in horticultural expression. We aim to push the boundaries and create mind-blowing content so are reaching out to the most creative minds out there to help us realise this vision.

rhs chatsworth“The first show is themed around ‘Design Revolutionaries’ so, if you are an innovative thinker with artistic flair and want to try your chances at exhibiting at an exciting new show, check out the ‘FreeForm’ information on our website and be part of something amazing.”

Creative people through history, the present and future, who through their foresight and innovation change the way we think about, and approach gardens and garden design will be the focus of the 2017 show.**

The ‘FreeForm’ category will be made up of a diverse array of installations that will not be judged for RHS medals, but will be eligible for a People’s Choice Award.

More than 80,000 visitors are expected to attend this inaugural show also featuring floral bridges, show gardens and much more.

For more information, visit and apply by Monday, 24 October 2016.

Tickets to RHS Chatsworth Flower Show are on sale now and can be bought at

Bradstone supports another series of ITV’s Love Your Garden

aggregate industriesThe recent series of ITV’s popular lifestyle gardening show, Love Your Garden, ended this month, with Bradstone materials featuring in five of the six episodes. Supporting the show provided Bradstone with a great opportunity to further promote its extensive portfolio of contemporary and traditional paving ranges.

The importance of accessibility and manageability had a strong presence throughout the series and the Love Your Garden team duly incorporated large areas of hard landscaping within their designs.  The Bradstone products used across the various shows helped to deliver stunning visual highlights, such as the superb colour and veining variations provided by Smooth Natural Sandstone in Silver Grey, and the impressive large-format effect created by Grand Natural Sandstone in Grey Ochre.

aggregate bradstone love-your-garden-hThe latest in garden landscaping innovation was conveyed within the series, with Madera® wood-effect porcelain paving featuring in two episodes and in both available shades: Birch and Oak.  Virtually maintenance-free, this beautiful plank-sized paving eliminates many of the associated issues that can come with traditional wooden decking such as slippery surfaces, warping and fading.

For added flair, crushed aggregates and pebbles such as Bradstone’s Scottish Cobbles were used within a number of the garden designs.  As well as creating beautiful borders and paths within the space that complimented the paving, the decorative stones also helped to provide low-maintenance areas for the homeowners.

Katie Farr, Head of Marketing Communications for Bradstone, comments: “Love Your Garden provides those who have performed selfless acts, alongside those with physical or emotional need, with stunning outdoor spaces and we are privileged to be supporting the programme again with quality products that will enrich the lives of these deserving people.”

Episodes are still available on ITV Hub to view the many designs created within this series, and behind-the-scenes tips and thoughts from David Domoney can be accessed

To find out more about Bradstone’s garden landscaping collection, visit

Plant sales raise thousands of pounds for students

david colgrave foundation 2013Plant sales have raised £5,700 for students that are supported by scholarships from the David Colegrave Foundation (DCF).

In August, the Summer Showcase public open day at Ball Colegrave this year raised £4,719 for the charity that supports students in horticulture.

DCF_HTA_NPS2016Old Laundry Nurseries in Cheshire supplied many quality flowering plants for the sale and was a major contributor to the monies raised, the remaining funds came from the visitor entrance fees. Many of the DCF Trustees were on hand to support Ball Colegrave staff during the evening where they worked hard in providing visitors with good horticultural advice.

Meanwhile this year Garden Centre Fresh (GCF) raised £1,017 for the charity through the sales of the DCF Phalaenopsis Orchid Collection.

The collection is on sale in garden centres across the UK; a donation is made to the charity through every orchid sale. It also featured at the HTA National Plant Show in June this year where visitors could take an orchid home for a donation to the charity.

Jeff Colegrave, DCF Trustee says, “We are delighted with the support provided by Ball Colegrave, Old Laundry Nurseries and Garden Centre Fresh, and thank them immensely on behalf of the students who will benefit directly from their support through our scholarships”.

The next DCF Scholarship Season kicks off in September this year where new developments can be expected.

For more details on The David Colegrave Foundation

Mr Fothergill’s Launch New Sweet Pea “Greenfingers”

greenfingersgreenfingers-sweet-pea-2593-450x265Mr Fothergill’s Seeds has pledged its support for  Greenfingers by naming a new sweet after the charity for the 2017 season…

Sweet Pea ‘Greenfingers’ is a traditional grandiflora type with strongly-scented blooms of rich cream with a pale violet picotee.

Mr Fothergill’s joint MD David Carey said 25p from the sale of each £2.45p  packet would be donated to Greenfingers. “We hope we can raise the charity’s profile with our customers, Britain’s gardeners and the garden trade,” he said.

The official naming was performed by the charity’s Chariman, John Ashley, at the seedsman’s annual press day last week.

Charles Bentley Expands Portfolio With New Dropship Service

BentleyEast Midlands-based manufacturer and importer, Charles Bentley & Son, is expanding its operation with the launch of a dropship service, enabling retailers to easily expand their online home, garden and leisure product ranges without major upfront investment.

The company has chosen garden trade event Glee at NEC Birmingham to unveil the new service, which will be based at its 202,000 sq ft warehouse in Loughborough and will allow retailers to use Charles Bentley & Son as a fulfilment centre.

Charles Bentley & Son will effectively stock, pack and dispatch products directly to customers on behalf of retailers who are looking to explore new product lines.

The move means that other businesses will be able to echo the success of Charles Bentley & Son’s ecommerce operation, BuyDirect4U, which has reached a £10 million annual turnover after launching in 2005.

normal_Charles Bentley warehouseThe company has used dropship to develop its own catalogue, which now includes 1,500 products and has increased the average number of visitors to its website to 100,000 per month.

Charles Bentley, Managing Director, comments: “We have trialled our new dropshipoperation with two major British omni-channel retailers, and following its success we are now rolling this out nationally by offering independent retailers and garden centres access to our expanding product portfolio of Charles Bentley branded products.

“The major benefit this fulfilment strategy offers to retailers is that it minimises risk and cost; they do not have to invest in stock or the warehouse space to store it, which offers an avenue of expansion that does not require major investment. The new service will be available across a wide range of products, so retailers can use this to trial new product lines and as we pack, pick and ship on the retailer’s behalf they can also save time.

“We are really pleased with the success of this service so far and expect it to become popular with a range of retailers, particularly those that are looking for an easy way to sell online for first time.”

Approximately 1,500 products will be available through Charles Bentley & Son’s dropshipservice, covering garden and outdoor, home living, sport and leisure, DIY tools and hardware, toys and games and pets.

The new dropship service coincides with the launch of Charles Bentley & Son’s rebrand, which has given the 156-year-old company a fresh look as it prepares to further diversify and grow its services.

Charles Bentley & Son Ltd is a Loughborough business. Formed in 1860, the company is still owned by the original Bentley family and originally started out providing brushes for Victorian chimney sweepers. It is now a multi-million pound operation, with specialisms in the equestrian, cleaning and household sector.

For more information on the dropship service or Charles Bentley & Son, please visitwww.charlesbentley.comor call 01509 232757.

Tom Kerridge Joins Feast of Food as Ultimate Harvest Festival unfolds

rhs malvern showTop TV chef and Gloucester born foodie Tom Kerridge will headline this year’s Malvern Autumn Show on Saturday 24th September. The celebration of the annual harvest festival show returns this September to showcase an autumnal feast of artisan produce, family entertainment and food and gardening royalty.

Ken Nottage, CEO of the Three Counties Agricultural Society, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Tom Kerridge to top the bill for this year’s Malvern Autumn Show. Our 2016’s event will be a fitting tribute to the season with Autumn delivering a wealth of delicious produce from the Three Counties and further afield. We cannot wait to welcome Tom to the stage to share his culinary inspiration in his cheeky chappy charm as we open the gates for another glorious Malvern Autumn Show.”

A West Country boy, Tom made his TV debut as a successful competitor of the Great British Menu, a show on which he continues to star in as a veteran judge and mentor. Tom also frequents foodie staple viewing such as Saturday Kitchen, Bake Off: Crème de la Crème and The Food Detectives to name but a few.

Tom Kerridge

Tom Kerridge

Besides countless screen appearances, Tom has three best-selling cookery bibles to his name, with a fourth expected in January 2017, along with numerous accompanying BBC television series.

Tom’s early career reads as a run down of some of the country’s finest foodie establishments including Gloucestershire’s very own Calcot Manor in Tetbury. Tom has held positions at Michelin-starred restaurant Alard’s, Monsieur Max, Odette’s, Rhodes in the Square, Stephen Bull and The Capital. Now Chef Patron of his critically acclaimed 2 Michelin-starred gastropub, The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Tom describes his cooking style as ‘Modern British adding new touches and ideas to classic dishes’.

Also taking to the stage at Malvern Autumn Show 2016, Tom joins BBC Gardeners’ World stalwart Carol Klein along with fellow BBC star Anton du Beke (Sunday only) of Strictly Come Dancing fame. Otter Farm’s Marc Diacono will also join the weekend’s line-up.

Foodies, farmers and families can immerse themselves in a plethora of autumnal activities. These include:

The last RHS flower show of the season with over 50 top exhibits in the RHS Flower Show. Here visitors can also purchase the finest quality plants from these award-winning nurseries. Each year, the show proves a one-stop destination for gardeners in search of advice for preparing and restocking their gardens for the winter months.

The UK National Giant Vegetables Championship, which promises to return bigger and better than ever before with a broad variety of oversized vegetables. 2016 saw a bumper crop of three world record breaking Giant Vegetables including the world’s longest beetroot, heaviest cucumber and heaviest leek.

Budding veg growers and school children from across the Three Counties will showcase their homegrown produce and vegetable sculptures in the Discover Harvest area. The innovation, fun and creativity in this area make it a popular sight for visitors.

The Orchard Pavilion & Hop Yard brings together the very best produce alongside expert guidance on caring for your own orchard and best uses for its harvest.

Nostalgia and retro fans can discover gems of bygone eras in the Vintage Village, complete with a Dance Theatre. Here Anton du Beke will host workshops on getting the moves of the flirty 40’s and 50’s.

Four legged and furry farmyard friends come together in the World of Animals. 2016 welcomes for the first time the British Pig Association who are hosting the Young Pig of the Year Championships.

Making a welcome return, thirsty visitors can seek out a tipple at the pop-up Westons Cider garden. This popular area of the show offers a cider bar and garden.

The Food & Drink Hall will be overflowing with artisan produce for visitors to sample and purchase. At its heart will be a live kitchen welcoming a bustling line up of local chefs throughout the day.

The Harvest Pavilion will welcome the largest Home Grown Show in the history of the show. This area will see over 1,500 exhibits from budding growers, along with the RHS specialists theatre and more than 20 national plant societies.

The Malvern Autumn Show will take place on Saturday 24 September and Sunday 25 September. Tickets are now on sale. Advanced tickets are priced at £16 for adults and £5 for children. Tickets are available on the gate at £19 for adults and £7 for children. Family and group tickets are available. For information on ticket prices please visit or call 01684 584924.

Chelsea Pensioners name new sweet pea Scarlet Tunic

mr-fothergills-logoChelsea Pensioners were on hand at Mr Fothergill’s Kentford, Suffolk, trial ground in mid August 2016 to name a blend of sweet peas in red shades aimed at raising funds for the Royal Hospital Chelsea. It has been called Scarlet Tunic, after the Pensioners’ distinctive apparel, following a ballot of the residents of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and a public online vote. Mr Fothergill’s will donate 25p to the Royal Hospital Chelsea for every £2.19 packet of 20 seeds sold. It will be on sale from its own counter-top display at garden centres and other retailers nationwide from autumn 2016.

The Suffolk seedsman says it hopes Britain’s gardeners will help it to raise more funds for the Royal Hospital Chelsea with the launch of Scarlet Tunic for the 2017 season and in the years ahead. Mr Fothergill’s supportive retailers and gardeners have already helped the company raise more than £50,000 for the Royal Hospital Chelsea through sales in 2015 and 2016 of its poppy Victoria Cross. Sweet pea Scarlet Tunic continues that backing for the veterans of the British Army. Mr Fothergill’s was recently honoured by being granted Corporate Patron status by the Hospital.

fothergills Sweet Pea Scarlet Tunic Display UnitRachael Ferguson, corporate partnerships officer at the Royal Hospital Chelsea said “We are delighted at Mr Fothergill’s continued support, which is well known among and appreciated by the Chelsea Pensioners. The backing from the company and its thousands of customers, for which we are grateful, is quite remarkable”.

Mr Fothergill’s joint-managing director David Carey commented “Our continued commitment to the Royal Hospital Chelsea is testament to the generosity and loyalty of our garden centres stockists and their customers, of whom we are proud. Their support provides tangible benefits to the men and women who have served our country”.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea was established in 1682 by Charles II to provide a safe home for military veterans ‘broken by age or war’. The Christopher Wren-designed Royal Hospital admitted its first pensioners in 1692.

For more information on Mr Fothergill’s 2017 retail seed range, please telephone 01638 554111, log on at or e-mail