Size does matter

Thompson & MorganBusy gardeners looking for easy solutions boost Garden Ready plant sales for mail order giant

Sales of Thompson & Morgan Garden Ready plug plants have nearly tripled in the past season as gardeners look for time saving products alongside value for money. It seems gardeners still want the financial benefits of buying young plants instead of mature plants, but without the hassle of potting up and growing on before planting out.

The mail order seed and plant specialist supplied more than 4 million Garden Ready bedding plants to UK gardeners in 2015. When asked if they would be buying them again in a satisfaction survey powered by Typeform, 96 per cent said they would be back for more in spring 2016, giving the concept a 5 star rating for quality on arrival and performance in the garden.

The new plant sizing bridges the gap between traditional small mail order plug plants and larger retail pack bedding. Small enough to be produced and mailed as plug plants but big enough to rival and exceed pack plant performance, Garden Ready plants represent the perfect balance between convenience and value for money.

Thompson & Morgan Horticultural Director, Paul Hansord, says the over-sized Garden Ready plants bring many benefits in comparison to smaller plugs and larger pack plants: “Our Garden Ready bedding plants are selected and grown to give our customers the best possible performance in the garden, we send them direct from the nursery at the perfect time for planting, usually before blooms form, for quicker establishment, better root growth and flowering, and a longer, stronger display.”

Garden Ready Sizing T&M CREDITUnlike smaller plug plant offerings sent early in the season, which remain popular with Thompson & Morgan customers who prefer a more hands on approach to their gardening, the Garden Ready plants are despatched from May onwards, already hardened off for immediate planting – just watch out for late frosts.

Launching the concept in 2014, the mail order specialist supplied 1.5million Garden Ready Plants to customers in the first year. That figure nearly trebled in 2015, with 4,020,000 plants sent out during the busy spring and autumn despatch windows. Expecting strong demand to continue in 2016, Thompson & Morgan is putting more varieties into Garden Ready production with 44 bestselling seasonal bedding varieties now available in this format in the Thompson & Morgan 2016 Spring Catalogue. Begonia ‘Apricot Shades Improved’ remains the top seller in the Garden Ready Range.

Despite 94 per cent of customers rating garden ready as value for money, Thompson & Morgan is seeking to make these premium plugs even more economical in 2016 with a range of multi-buy deals. One 30-plant pack retails at £14.99 but three packs can be had for just £35. Customers buying three packs will also receive a £5 voucher for their next Thompson & Morgan purchase. Catering for gardeners working on bigger plots, bumper 120- and 360-plant collections have also been developed, which will take prices down to just 27p per plant for the 2016 season.

Gardeners can take part in Thompson & Morgan’s next big survey for a chance to win a 30 pack of Garden Ready plants, 2 x Easy Fill Hanging Baskets and 25 litres of incredicompost®, together worth £45. Five lucky winners will be selected at random from entries received before 31 March 2016.

Visit to take part


burgon & ballBurgon & Ball has announced the launch of its NEW Raspberry Pink collection of gardener’s accessories designed by the award winning Sophie Conran.

Gardener’s Gubbins Pots

“just when I need a label or a piece of wire I can’t find one, or its all tangled up in a spool of twine. These gorgeous tins bring a pleasing order to all my bits and bobs and save me hours of hunting and unravelling as well, and I do like a bit or order in my chaotic life”. Sophie Conran

Width 20cm square, depth 10cm. Each set contains 9 pots sitting in a

holding tray. RRP £19.9

Herb Pots

“These elegant herb pots look gorgeous on my kitchen window-sill and ensure that my favourite herbs are always to hand”. Sophie Conran

Three individual pots sitting within a watertight tray.

Tray 32cm wide x11cm deep. Pots 1cc high.

Watering Canburgon ball sophie conran range 2014

“Delivering exactly the right amount of water to precisely the right place in the plant pot is a bigger ask of a watering can than you might imagine – it’s all about balance, design and feel of the can in your hand.

I’ve spent a long time working to get these cans just right as well as looking lovely enough to leave out on my window-sill”. Sophie Conran
RRP £14.95

Everyday Gloves and Gardener’s Gauntlets

Every Day Glove

“I keep this pair of gloves by the back door and slip them on every time I pop out for a spot of gardening. They fit like a …glove (should!) and are deliciously comfortable and elegant too”. Sophie Conran

Palm and fingers made from hard-wearing, ultra soft fabric that doesn’t go stiff when wet. 2 way stretch mesh inserts between fingers help regulate hand temperature and improve dexterity. Wrist strap makes the gloves adjustable and gives the snug fit necessary to stop bits dropping down inside them.
RRP £14.95


“These gloves are amazing to wear when I’m pruning & cutting – soft, supple and beautiful. The extra-long cuffs keep my arms free from scratches and allergies and the palm re-enforcements keep blisters at bay”. Sophie Conran

Palm and fingers made from hardwearing, ultra-soft fabric that doesn’t go stiff when wet. Re-enforced pad across the back of the gloves adds extra protection for knuckles. Deep cuffs, in allium bloom printed cotton fabric. Makes them the perfect gloves for working with plants that irritate the skin or are thorny. RRP£14.95

NB All products will be available September 2014


Stewart Garden propagators help drive increase in grow your own

stewart logo 2013Stewart Garden, the gardening products division of UK manufacturer, Stewart, has seen sales in its electric propagators increase by almost 30% in the last year.

This growth coincides with an increase of over 40% across the company’s full propagator product range, reflecting the upsurge in popularity of grow your own.

Independent research commissioned by Stewart suggests that keen gardeners under 35 are driving the grow your own movement. Nearly 30% of the money spent by respondents in this age group goes on seeds, propagation, pots and hanging baskets.

stewart electric kitcken garden setThe Stewart Kitchen Garden collection, launched in 2013, is ideal for the novice gardener. Essentially a mini greenhouse, a propagator is a vital gardening tool. The electric models manufactured by Stewart Garden enable gardeners to set and maintain the temperature required to grow a wide range of plants from seed. The full range can be found at .

Studies show that children are confused about how food is produced. Only 19% of five to eight year-olds know that potatoes grow underground, with 10% believing they grow on bushes or trees. Grow your own can raise awareness of where food comes from to how it reaches our plates.

stewart 52cm propagatorStewart Garden supports this educational process by providing tools to produce fresh fruit and vegetables. Growing produce brings families together and keeps children active with hands-on activity. Grow your own also exposes young people to vibrant colours and new textures as they nurture their produce.

With the increasing popularity of grow your own and concerns about seasonal eating, shopping bills and the environment,Stewart Garden’s commitment to the gardening sector is stronger than ever. The company has major investments in new technology, new products and expanded merchandising and POS support for retailers planned. Stewart also works closely with the Carbon Trust to maintain high levels of efficiency and social responsibility.

For more information about Stewart Garden, visit

Eden Halls Greenhouses Celebrate RHS Endorsement For New Juliana Range

Eden Halls The newly launched Juliana range of greenhouses from Eden Halls has received an official stamp of approval from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), having been endorsed by the expert gardening organisation.

The new visually striking and innovative Juliana collection has received the endorsement from the RHS, a much-coveted level of recognition that is bestowed on only a very select range of products. The Juliana range is the only aluminium greenhouse range to ever receive the accolade.

Peter Monahan, Marketing Manager of Eden Halls Greenhouses, said: “It is a great honour to have the Juliana range endorsed by the RHS. The range has been developed to the highest standards, so to have this officially recognised and supported by the RHS strongly reinforces our belief that Juliana is offering something genuinely different for UK gardeners.

“We are confident this will add further weight to the appeal of the Juliana range to consumers, providing retailers with even more in their armoury when selling this exciting new range.”

halls eden greenhouses Juliana Premium model 2 eden halls Juliana Premium model greenhouse1Juliana is the UK’s first greenhouse created and designed to offer the relaxing environment and space of a conservatory or orangery, as well as all the practical features of a greenhouse.

The range offers three models (Compact, Premium and Gardener) in a choice of sizes and each has space to accommodate a table and chairs for entertaining, whatever the weather. The greenhouses feature lockable stable doors for enhanced ventilation and low thresholds for easy access for wheelbarrows and wheelchairs. Shaped finials and optional cresting are available to enhance the conservatory feel.

Originating from Scandinavia, Juliana has been designed to withstand harsh winters including heavy snowfall and strong winds, thanks to the extra-sturdy frame profiles and toughened safety glass. The frame is available in two attractive contemporary finishes – aluminium or anthracite powder coated.

All Juliana greenhouses come with a 12-year warranty and recommended retail prices start from £1,595 including VAT.

For further information, visit or call 01242 676625 (option 1).

PVC Double Glazed Greenhouse Launched By Nordic Garden Buildings

nordic garden buildingsNordic Garden Buildings, the UK’s leading manufacturer of free standing PVC garden buildings has launched the first ever PVC double glazed greenhouse in the UK market.  It aims to give the consumer the most efficient and low maintenance Greenhouse on the market, challenging the dominance of wood and aluminium frames.  The PVC Greenhouse, part of a larger Scanline range of garden buildings,  has been designed to bring the thermal efficiencies of double glazing and the practicalities of plastic to the UK’s growing and cultivation market.   It is useable all year round thanks to superior thermal efficiency, needs no planning permission and is quick and easy to install.

The Scanline greenhouse is available in two sizes – 2.4m x 2.4m or 2.4m x 3.2m.  It has 1300mm frames to sit on a dwarf wall or 1700mm full length frame with clear double glazed, child friendly safety glass.  It is CE safety marked and can take heavy snow loads.  A Scanline greenhouse will withstand the strong winds and will not be blown over even in coastal areas.  The polycarbonate roof removes need for sun blinds in strong sun and there are a selection of optional extras including automatic electric window vents and black or white guttering.

nordic pvc greenhouseEvery Scanline greenhouse comes with secure multipoint door and window locks.  Designed and built in Wales, the Scanline Greenhouse is available in white or a choice of six colour finishes – rosewood, golden oak, black, grey or green.

Nordic Garden Buildings director, Justin Williams commented, “This is a completely new concept in greenhouses, thoroughly tested in even the most extreme conditions through eight years successful trading in Scandinavia.  It’s now a fantastic UK retail opportunity – like anything from Scandinavia the design is fresh and the quality very high.  Consumers will never have to buy another greenhouse.  Prices start from just £2100 for self assembly with extra charge for professional installation.”

Garden retailers interested in joining the Nordic Dealer Network should act quickly to secure exclusive territories that once taken will lock others out of the local market.  The Nordic Dealer Network benefits from dedicated account managers, online and offline direct marketing support, sales training and installation support as well as fantastic sales incentives for dealership staff.

Interested retailers should call 07717 710 062 or contact


New Seed Blanket Boosts Germination

sinclairsinclair growing success seed blanketA seed germination technique borrowed from commercial growers can now help amateur gardeners boost their sowing success rate thanks to the new Growing success seed Blanket from William Sinclair Horticulture.

This finely crumbed, lightweight vermiculite acts as a moisture-retaining insulation layer when sprinkled over a tray of newly sown seeds – and it’s one of the reasons why commercial growers are able to achieve significantly improved germination rates.

The most common causes of non-germination among amateur gardeners are inadequate temperature control, over-watering and sowing seeds so deeply that they are deprived of essential oxygen.

Growing Success Seed Blanket – applied instead of compost in a 3mm layer on top of
a newly sown and watered tray of seeds – creates the ideal growing environment for most seeds. completely sterile, it is free from weed seeds, pathogens and fungi spores and thus helps to prevent seed loss from damping off; and it is so light and open-structured that seedlings can grow through it with ease.

The blanket absorbs and retains moisture to release slowly as needed, thereby preventing the seeds from drowning in too much water. in addition, the air pockets provided by the open structure insulate and protect the seeds from damaging temperature extremes.

Moreover, the thin, laminated structure of the vermiculite allows light to pass through to the seeds below.

ideally, Growing Success Seed Blanket should be sprinkled directly on top of seeds where its aeration and water holding properties will be of most benefit. However, those seeds that require darkness to germinate, such as calendula, delphinium, Nemesia and schizanthus, should be covered with a layer of sieved seed compost before finishing with Seed Blanket.

With a recommended retail price of £2.99 including VAT, Growing Success Seed Blanket makes available to the amateur gardener a tried and trusted method of minimising seed losses. it comes in a convenient 134g re-sealable canister containing enough minerals to cover two 35 x 20cm seed trays.

displayed alongside seed racks, the new Growing Success Seed Blanket will generate add-on revenue for all retailers. eye-catching, full-colour merchandising material includes a shelf-ready outer and a display pallet.

For trade enquiries, call 01522 780300 or visit the William sinclair online trade area at e-mail enquiries may be sent to

Garden Centres Switch On To Conservatory-Style Greenhouses

Eden Halls A new generation of conservatory-style greenhouses is already changing the face of the UK market, according to Eden Halls Greenhouses.

The company’s visually striking and innovative new Juliana collection has attracted high levels of interest from garden centres since its preview at last year’s Glee exhibition, with over 12 retailers signing up to become Juliana dealers.

Juliana is the UK’s first greenhouse created and designed to offer the relaxing environment and space of a conservatory or orangery, as well as all the practical features of a greenhouse.

The range offers three models (Compact, Premium and Gardener) in a choice of sizes and each has space to accommodate a table and chairs for entertaining or comfy lounging set. The greenhouses feature lockable stable doors and low thresholds for space and easy access for wheelbarrows and wheelchairs, plus shaped finials and optional cresting to enhance the conservatory feel.

halls eden greenhouses Juliana Premium model 2Commenting on the range, Peter Monahan, Marketing Manager of Eden Halls Greenhouses, said: “Feedback from visitors at the Glee exhibition confirmed that we were right to be excited about the Juliana collection. It offers something genuinely different for homeowners and the opportunity for retailers to enjoy strong margins in an increasingly commoditised market.

“Juliana is the first in a line of new innovations from Eden Halls and we would be delighted to hear from garden centres who can see the potential that Juliana has to transform the greenhouse market. We are looking to create a UK wide dealer network and are ready to work in partnership with our Juliana retailers to create some exciting new sales opportunities this season.”

The Juliana collection is being supported by a consumer marketing programme, with a dedicated new website, literature, PR and advertising campaign running throughout the summer months. Eden Halls will also provide a home delivery and installation service for Juliana dealers, and is already working with garden centres to develop bespoke merchandising packages.

Originating from Scandinavia, Juliana has been designed to withstand harsh winters including heavy snowfall and strong winds, thanks to the extra-sturdy frame profiles and toughened safety glass. The frame is available in two attractive contemporary finishes – aluminium or anthracite powder coated.

All Juliana greenhouses come with a 12-year warranty and recommended retail prices start from £1,595 including VAT.

For further information, visit or call 01242 676625 (option 1).

Stewart Garden Schools Campaign with Pippa Greenwood Schools receive kits nationwide

stewart garden logo 2013 95 schools across the country, who are participating in the Stewart Garden Schools Campaign with Pippa Greenwood 2013, will soon receive their extensive kit, comprising of Stewart Garden products which will encourage pupils to get involved in the creative gardening initiative.

The Stewart Garden Schools Campaign is being run in association with Pippa Greenwood to inspire young children to embrace ‘Grow Your Own’.

Worldwide electronics and manufacturing company, Brother, is showing their support by generously donating towards the campaign by supplying the schools with GL100 Garden Label printers.

stewart garden prop setEach Stewart Garden School will receive a kit comprising of:

  • X10 Scoops
  • X 5 Potting Tray & Shelves
  • X2 22cm Premium Seed Trays
  • X10 22cm Kitchen Garden Propagator Sets
  • X50 Plant Pots
  • X5 70cm Corinthian Troughs
  • X1 pack of eight, 5 Litre Watering cans
  •  X1 68cm Electric Kitchen Garden propagators

This comprehensive kit is being donated to schools nationally from Isles of White to Scotland. The kits also include seeds and compost provided by participating garden centres. Pupils will also receive a booklet produced by Stewart Garden and three varieties of easy grow vegetables seeds provided by Pippa Greenwood.

pippa greenwoodOver the coming months, Stewart Garden and Pippa Greenwood will judge the progress of the participating schools and draw up a shortlist of five, from which the winner will be chosen. The winning school will receive £2,000 to be spent at their Stewart Garden Schools garden centre. The second and third placed schools will receive £1,500 and £750 respectively, also for purchases at their nominating garden centre.

As well as Pippa Greenwood, gardening correspondent Val Bourne will be joining Richard Butler, CEO, Stewart, on the judging panel.

Calendar of activity for this campaign:

May 2013                          Schools are encouraged to visit for updates and to upload their photos to Facebook over the next couple of months to demonstrate their progress

June 2013                         Judging takes place at Stewart HQ, Banbury, where the top five schools are chosen.

Schools and Garden Centres are notified of judge’s visits to schools

July 2013                          Winner and runners’ up are announced and cheques presented to schools

Commenting on the widespread enthusiasm for the campaign, Richard Butler, CEO at Stewart Garden said, “We’re delighted that Stewart Garden Schools has proved so popular. Clearly, grow your own has captured the imagination of young minds across the country. Our participating schools are spread all across the UK – from the Isle of Wight to Newcastle. Many of these schools already have established gardens, while others are taking their first steps into grow your own. We will be on hand to give them the help and advice they need.”

Stewart Garden and Pippa Greenwood work together to help people of all gardening abilities improve their understanding of growing fruit and vegetables at home and at school.

Pippa Greenwood is one of Britain’s most popular gardening broadcasters, columnists and authors as well as presenting a number of television and radio programmes.

Pippa has several regular writing commitments including BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine and a monthly page in NFU Countryside Magazine. For eighteen years Pippa was the gardening columnist for The Mirror newspaper.

For more information about Stewart Garden, visit

Propagator that opens like a book

haxnicksThe ‘Love to Grow’ Haxnicks business is enjoying booming sales of their RootrainersTM, a unique propagating tray for seeds, plugs and cuttings that opens out like a book to avoid damaging the baby plants.

Haxnicks Deep Rootrainers with Runner BeansHaxnicks RootrainersTM have specially designed cells with grooved sides that encourage the main root to grow towards the drainage opening at the bottom where the tip makes contact with the air and dies off, encouraging vigorous root growth. This air-pruning produces a faster formation of straight roots without root balls which is particularly good for growing sweet peas where a long, vigorous root system is the key to strong plants and bountiful blooms.

When the plant is ready to be re-potted, the cells simply open like a book for easy removal of the plug. Each RootrainersTM system contains a holding tray, propagating lid and set of cells that open like a book for easy transplanting of the plug without root disturbance. The system can be used for bedding plants, salads and herbs as well as for runner beans, fruit and vegetables.

RootrainersTM are available from most garden centres across the UK or

The Stewart Company shines in Which? Best Buy windowsill propagator test

Garden supplies business, The Stewart Company, has come out on top in a Which? Best Buy test of windowsill propagators.

Published in the December 2010 issue of the respected consumer magazine, the test reviewed nine windowsill propagators from six manufacturers, priced up to £35.00.

Each propagator was placed next to a well-lit window receiving direct sunlight for part of the day. Filled with compost, they were then used to grow tomatoes, which were watered as necessary. The assessors evaluated the propagators for ease of use, a criterion that accounted for 60% of their score for each product. The remaining 40% of the score was based on how well the products maintained the optimum internal temperature when tested in background temperatures of 10° and 15°.

The clear winner in the test, with a score of 69% was the Stewart Heat and Grow Thermostatic Propagator, priced at £30.00. The only product with a built-in thermostat, this propagator switched the heating element off at higher room temperatures to prevent the compost overheating. The assessors also noted that the Stewart Heat and Grow Thermostatic Propagator comes with a half seed tray and four pots.

In its verdict, Which? said, “If your windowsill is likely to get warmer than 20° during the daytime, a propagator with a thermostat, such as the Stewart, is a good investment.”

The Stewart Essentials Electric Propagator, priced at £20.00, also fared well in the test with the assessors noting that it was easy to use and that, like its sister product, had a handle on the lid for easy removal with one hand.

The Stewart Company’s products, including the range of windowsill propagators, are available at garden centres and DIY outlets across the UK including Wyevale, Dobbies, Wilkinson and Homebase.

More information about The Stewart Company can be found at