Leading garden structures company, Grange Fencing has boosted its marketing team with the appointment of two dedicated team members.

With over 15 years of marketing experience, CIM-qualified Mark Morris has been appointed marketing manager at Grange Fencing and will be responsible for ensuring continuous progression across all aspects of the company’s marketing and communications strategy. Mark will be supported by recently appointed marketing executive Peter Holloway, who brings with him an in-depth knowledge of retail marketing and relationship management.

Commenting on his new position, Mark said, “ Grange Fencing is a well known and hugely respected name in the industry and I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to be part of the company’s strategic planning. Grange is at an exciting stage in its development and I look forward to overseeing the company’s ambitious plans throughout the coming years.”

Mark and Peter will be joining Grange’s head of commercial, Rob Giles and marketing co-ordinator, Julie Hall to create a steadfast marketing team.  Of the recent developments, Rob said, “ We welcome Mark and Peter to the team and are confident that their experience and knowledge will be instrumental in bolstering Grange Fencing’s credibility as a market leader in its sector.

For more information about Grange Fencing and the company’s range of garden structures and fencing, visit

‘Nibbling’ The NEW Gooseberry

Lubera have found the perfect name for their brand NEW gooseberry ….’Nibbling’.  Nothing better describes what you will want to do, and indeed we guarantee you will end up not being able to resist doing, when you see these red, jewel-like berries dangling temptingly in front of you!

This year, Lubera’s very large gooseberry cultivation program has reached 10 years of breeding work. The goal was to improve the mildew resistance on the one hand, to increase the quality of the fruit on the other hand, and, finally, to produce less thorns…the fruits of the new variety ‘Nibbling’ are large, medium red to bright dark red, aromatic and deliciously fruity in taste.

Gooseberry Crispa’Nibbling‘ is the aromatic tip of our gooseberry range together with the new Crispa ‘Darling’ variety and the yellow equivalent Crispa ‘Goldling‘.  All of these three varieties also have a better tolerance level against mildew!

‘Nibbling’ ripens a bit earlier, stays longer on the bush, and are a continually source of snacking heaven, the fruits are rounder, darker and slightly larger. Together with the ability to have slightly less thorns, it is a great variety for growing in containers. ‘Nibbling’ is a cross between ‘Redeva’ and ‘Hinnonmäki Yellow’.

Maturity: very early, before Crispa ‘Darling’. However, the fruits remain 3 – 4 weeks on the shrub, then turn a warm, dark red colour and they get sweeter. One can be snack on them for a very long time. It is ideal for growing in containers
Fruits: Slightly larger and rounder than the quite oval ‘Darling’ fruits. Sometimes a neck is formed on the stalk side, which makes the gooseberries look like small figs. The shell is fine, not hard; it can be well eaten, the fine hairiness is not felt
Flavour: ‘Nibbling’ can be eaten very early when the fruits are pinkish red with white stripe; later they get darker, sweeter, more intense, but without the “soapy” aftertaste, which some overripe gooseberries have. Actually these fruits hardly ever get overripe
Growth/health: In trials over the last five years, ‘Nibbling’ is one of the most robust varieties. It has a round, vital, balanced habit, which is ideal for growing in pots.
Yield: ‘Nibbling’ has a significantly higher yield than ‘Darling’. And there has been no loss of yield in the testing period throughout the past five years
Cost: A strong plant in 5 litre pot £15.90

Hawkesmill Nurseries Ready For The National Plant Show

Warwickshire based Hawkesmill Nurseries,  have a plant for every season and business alike.  You will be able to find the Hawkesmill team at the National Plants Show on stand 147/160, where they will be showcasing some fantastic new varieties, including their brand new and exclusive Salvia ‘Pink Lips’ and Victorian Viola Range.

The family run business will be showing a good selection of collections and promotions at the forthcoming National Plant Show on 20th and 21st June. Here you will be able to see examples of the British grown perennials and seasonal collections that Hawkesmill Nurseries are so respected for.   All plants will be available to order for immediate delivery or as advance orders, enabling you to reserve stock for the weeks ahead or indeed the spring of 2018 thus making sure you don’t miss out on these super opportunities.

“The National Plant Show is a superb annual showcase and is the event which kicks off our next selling season. says Richard Evans Sales Director, Richard continues   “It is a great way for the visitors to view a whole host of stock under one roof and provides visitors the opportunity to see thousands of plant varieties from UK growers in the main.”

Mr Fothergill’s Launches Biggest Advancement in Seed Technology Since, Optigrow

Suffolk seed supplier’s 2018 Optigrow range brings benefits for retailers and home gardeners with premium pricing, faster germination and better garden performance

Mr Fothergill’s is the first retail seed brand to adopt revolutionary Swedish seed priming technology previously only available to professional growers. The firm has carved a niche for developing new seed marketing concepts to target specific market segments, skill levels and price points. It is marking 40 years of business in 2018 with the launch of the Optigrow seed range, which it says is the most exciting development for home growers since the introduction of F1 hybrid seed varieties.

The non-chemical treatment supersedes all previous priming treatments, speeding up germination and bringing other benefits that were previously only available to commercial growers. Seed shelf life is greatly extended compared with traditional seed priming, providing a longer sales window, while the technology and end results allow for a premium price point in store, further increasing profits for retailers.

The process uses just water and air to get the seed biologically ready for germination, breaking seed dormancy prior to use. At this point the seed is dried back to a storable state for packing. The technology brings genuine and valuable performance benefits to 20 of the most popular vegetable seed varieties in the Mr Fothergill’s range, making its best sellers even better.

Mr Fothergill’s Retail Marketing Manager, Ian Cross, said: “The Optigrow range marks a real step change in the seed market and is certainly the most exciting development since the introduction of F1 hybrids. In fact, the process the seeds go through is so much more than simple priming that we refer to it as seed ‘vitalising’. Not only does it significantly speed up germination times, it creates greater garden performance too.”

Through extensive trialling, the Optigrow process has been proven to produce more vigorous seedlings, stronger weed competition, more uniform crops and better end results, leading to greater success and better harvests for the home gardener. There is also evidence that germination becomes possible under a wider range of conditions, allowing gardeners to sow Optigrow seeds in colder, warmer and drier conditions than the ideal. In comparison trials nearly 80% of Optigrow treated Carrot Amsterdam seed germinated within 50 hours from sowing, compared to 90 hours for the same percentage of standard seed.”

The benefits of the Optigrow range are supported by contemporary packet design, a stand-alone hot spot stand and simple explanatory point of sale material to give the range prime focus in retail areas, creating one of the strongest 2018 seed offerings available to garden centres, shops and retail outlets. Orders are now being taken for delivery from January 2018.

For the full Mr Fothergill’s 2018 retail offering visit

SBM Signs Up to Back Greenfingers

After raising £3,150 for the Great Garden Re-Leaf 20 Mile Walk, SBM Life Science has formalised its support for Greenfingers, making it the company’s Charity of the Year.
The SBM Life Science team, which is responsible for the Phostrogen®, Baby Bio® Toprose and Provado® brands, will organise events and activities throughout the forthcoming year in aid of Greenfingers.
“The newly formed SBM Life Science organisation is delighted to pledge its support and partnership to further help the terrific work of the Greenfingers Charity,” said Darren Brown, Country Head, SBM Life Science Ltd.  “The entire UK SBM team is motivated to make a difference to this terrific industry relevant cause.”

 Linda Petrons, Head of Fundraising & Communications at Greenfingers Charity, said: “Following the team’s involvement in Garden Re-Leaf Day, we are delighted SBM Life Science has chosen to support Greenfingers as their Charity of the Year.  We very much looking forward to working together to bring the precious gift of a garden to more children, and their families, who spend time in hospices across the UK.”

From left to right: Linda Petrons, John Ashley (Chairman), Darren, Lisa Barrow (SBM National Account Manager).
Greenfingers is a charity dedicated to creating beautiful, well-designed outdoor spaces at children’s hospices for the children and their families and friends to benefit from and enjoy.
To date the Greenfingers Charity has created 52 inspiring gardens and outdoor spaces in hospices around the country, and is planning seven more, four of which should be completed in the next 12 months.  SBM Life Science’s support will contribute to this valuable work.

Westland winner donates part of his prize to grandchildren’s school

Westland winner Peter Knight from Taunton has donated part of his £1,000 prize to his grandchildren’s primary school to use in its garden.

Peter was one of the first to win a competition held by Westland to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its No.1 selling compost, Westland Multi-Purpose Compost with John Innes.

He bought the compost at his local garden centre, Monkton Elm in Taunton, which is where he also collected his prize. He spent the money on a few gardening supplies for his own garden, donating the rest to North Newton Community Primary School, which his grandchildren Sophie (8) and Harry (5) attend.

The school will spend the money to enhance a garden for early years’ pupils, which is used to help children connect to nature and to give an understanding as to where flowers, vegetables and fruit come from.

David said: “I always buy Westland Multi-Purpose with John Innes as it’s a good quality compost that delivers consistent results. As a gardener myself, I feel it’s really important that we teach the younger generation how to get outside and grow. My grandchildren love their school garden and so I knew this would be a worthwhile way to spend part of the prize money.

Peter with trolley

“I have given the school an Olive Tree, which is what they wanted, a pot for it, compost (Westland of course!), and some play sand. For my own garden I have bought a few plants, a selection of Westland products and some tools I always wanted, and I’ve saved some vouchers for further items throughout the year.”

Westland also donated £150 worth of Kent & Stowe hand tools for the school which will be arriving in the coming weeks.

Jen Richardson, Senior Marketing Manager for Westland said: “We ran this promotion to celebrate the success of our popular Multi with JI compost which celebrates its 15th birthday this year. It’s been a highly profitable promotion for retailers, generating a 22% increase in sales so far. We will also be using PR to generate publicity around the winners as an added benefit for retailers.”

Contact your Westland Sales Rep to order in the celebratory 50L and 60L packs. The 3 competition winners for April were:

 Peter Knight, who bought from Monkton Elm Garden Centre in Taunton

 Julie Shaw who bought from Homebase in Huntingdon

 Sue Ainsworth who bought from Sycamore Garden Centre in Ellesmere Port

Mr Fothergill’s Launches David Domoney Seeds for Grow-Your-Own Newcomers

Following the success of continued partnerships with the likes of the RHS, RSPB, Sarah Raven and Jekka McVicar, Mr Fothergill’s has teamed up with celebrity gardener David Domoney for 2018, with the launch of David Domoney’s Get Growing seed range.

Aimed at newcomers to grow-your-own, the collection includes 66 of the most popular vegetable varieties and 10 easy to use seed mats and tapes. Packet backs offer simple, jargon-free instructions and a QR code links to further ‘on the spot’ advice from David.

Packet fronts employ easy reference icons designed to sell the simplicity of the products. In store, the stand-alone range is displayed A to Z, and uniquely includes smaller pea and bean packets more suited to smaller scale growing and beginner gardeners than traditional pea and bean packaging.

The targeted range joins Mr Fothergill’s growing portfolio of retail seed concepts aimed at specific consumer groups and skill levels. Segmented ranging has increased market share for the Suffolk seed firm in recent years, and this looks set to continue with further launches and product development in the pipeline for 2018 and beyond.

Mr Fothergill’s Retail Marketing manager, Ian Cross, said: “Beginner gardeners can be overwhelmed when faced with the full Mr Fothergill’s retail range for the first time. The David Domoney Get Growing range offers tried and tested vegetable varieties, backed by a trusted face of gardening. Newcomers can now make a quick and informed buying decision from a honed offering that is just for them. We’re increasingly seeing targeted ranges hitting the right spot with consumers, and our retail customers are seeing stronger sales as a result.”

David Domoney adds: “I am delighted to be working with the team at Mr Fothergill’s. Growing seeds is such great fun, and I want my range to encourage many more budding gardeners to get growing from seed. Whether garden experts or first-timers connecting with a plant, the moment seed germinates is a special experience that everyone should enjoy.”

The David Domoney seed range joins an RHS endorsed AGM collection and a premium Optigrow treated seed range as the key Mr Fothergill’s launches for the 2018.

Visit to build your retail seed offering for the season ahead.


Phil Hurst has joined Mr Fothergill’s as Finance Director. He comes to the Suffolk seedsman from the food group Hain Daniels where he was Financial Controller. This followed spells at Molton Brown and Activity Superstore.

After being a couple of weeks into the role, Phil said: “Mr Fothergill’s is clearly a very well run business and has clear goals and objectives. I am looking forward to contributing to future growth plans.”

In his life beyond spreadsheets and graphs, Phil enjoys travelling and has clocked up visits to 27 countries. He also runs home beer festivals for friends and family and admits to being a Spurs supporter.

Haddonstone’s award winning exhibit at The Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Haddonstone, the UK’s leading manufacturer of fine garden ornaments and architectural stonework, has been awarded a 4 Star Tradestand Award at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

Designed by Simon Scott, a previous Chelsea Show Garden medal winner, the exhibit is a classically inspired garden incorporating a landscape folly, a water feature and garden ornaments. Haddonstone’s exhibit is in Southern Row, stand SR35.

Simon Scott, Marketing Director, comments ‘We are delighted to have won the award as it represents a reward for all of the hard work that has gone into designing and constructing such a magnificent exhibit. My thanks go out to the exhibition build team and in particular to Mick Teall who lead the construction team and Andy Miller who was responsible for the planting.’
Established in 1971, Haddonstone is the UK’s leading manufacturer of fine garden ornaments and architectural stonework in traditional, classical and contemporary styles. Based at East Haddon, in the rolling countryside of Northamptonshire, Haddonstone has beautiful show gardens and an interior showroom where visitors can see many of the designs in their intended setting. The gardens are open to the public Monday-Friday from 9.00am until 5.00pm (excluding public holidays and the Christmas period). The gardens will also open on the first Saturday of the month from April to September. Haddonstone exhibits each year at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Gardman unveils environmentally focused new warehouse facility

The UK’s leading provider of gardening and wild bird care products unveils plans of its new purpose built warehouse which represents a significant investment of over £30m demonstrating the commitment of Gardman and Rutland Partners to further support its growth and the gardening industry.

A key consideration of the project was to reduce the environmental impact of Gardmans UK Operations.  By working with the project partners Winvic and Prologis the new facility has been designed to achieve ‘beyond compliance’ in all areas and has realised significant improvements over Building Regulations in terms of energy efficiency by using the following various methods to reduce not only the environmental impact but also to harness low or zero carbon technologies.

When completed the facility should achieve a BREAAM (Buildings Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certified “Very Good/Excellent” rating.

Environmental credentials

Reduce inter-site transport – The consolidation of stock to a single site will reduce the inter-site transport, whilst the new central location reduces the transport requirement to our international customer base delivering the benefit of over 20% reduced product miles (approx 382k miles, the equivalent of (1.5 moon trips).

Energy consumption – 34% CO2 improvement and a 29% energy consumption improvement.
Roof lights will be fitted to circa 15% of the warehouse roof area and offices designed to maximise the availability of natural light.
Cladding – High reflectivity (80% rather than normal 70%) liner panels have been installed to reduce the need for lighting.
Brise Soleil – has been fitted to the office elevations to reduce solar gain and improve thermal comfort
LED lighting will be installed throughout the development with movement controls, daylight sensing and dimming to make use of natural light wherever possible.
Rainwater Harvesting – A 10,000 litre system providing water for non-potable use and a mains water leak detection system

Publicly assessable nature Walk – Site plans include a publicly accessible Natural walk area directly adjacent to the site.

Low or zero carbon technologies
Solar panels – 265kWp grid connected photovoltaic (PV) array, which is expected to generate in the region of 230,000 kWhrs of electricity.
Rooftop solar thermal system – provides a renewable source of hot water.
Rain Forest Protection – by investing in protecting 328 acres (75,000 trees) of endangered Amazon rainforest through environmental charity Cool Earth we have also mitigated 110% of the building’s embodied carbon footprint.