HTA Board finalises structure review

Following a review carried out over the last few months, the HTA Board has decided to appoint a Chairman to assist the Board in co-ordinating the activities of the Executives and their teams at Horticulture House.

Adam Wigglesworth, President, said: –

“The Board of the HTA has decided that the interests of the Members are best served by appointing a professional Chairman. He or she will be able to give the time and energy to ensuring that the strategic objectives of the Association are being achieved. In addition, the Board will be expecting the Chair to represent the HTA at a senior level to Government and other stakeholders.”

Adam added: –

“The Executive Team, headed by Alex Vick, are specialists in their areas, and I have no doubt that the individual, whether from the industry or not, will quickly be able to get up to speed on the significant issues for the members.”

“The Board will now commence a selection process with the aim of employing the new Chair in the next 6 months.”

Wyevale Ladies race for life and raise £245 for charity

Nine members of staff at Wyevale nursery in Hereford raised £245 for charity by taking part in the city’s Race for Life event last Sunday (July 9, 2017).

The team, which was headed up by Heather Williamson, Joint Chairman of Wyevale Nurseries, all took part in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Heather explained: “We were delighted that so many of our female staff members wanted to sign up for this fantastic event, raising money for Cancer Research UK. The team included Imme Davies, Jules Griffiths, Karen and Billie Jones, Elle Field, Diane Barber, Karen Edwards and Alison Watts. “This charity is entirely funded by the public and is the world’s leading charity dedicated to preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. We had such a fun day and all dressed in pink for the occasion. We couldn’t ask for better weather and we’re so pleased that we managed to raise £245 for such a worthy cause.”

Participants had the option to run or walk the event for either 5k or 10k. The venue meeting point was held at Hereford Leisure Centre and the route consisted of the perimeters of the Hereford Golf Course and the sports fields.

The product selection available from Wyevale Nurseries is enviable across the industry and the talented team regularly introduces new, award-winning plant varieties.

Its main business is to supply garden centres, landscape contractors, local authorities, foresters and landowners with a comprehensive array of trees, shrubs, hedging, herbaceous and specimen plants.

For further details about Wyevale Nurseries, which is based in Hereford, please call 01432 845 200,,

Fryer’s Roses, owned by Blue Diamond, launches a new rose at RHS Tatton Flower Show

Fryer’s Roses, part of the Blue Diamond Group of garden centres, the third largest garden centre retail group in the UK, will be launching a new rose at this year’s RHS Tatton Flower Show on behalf of the former and current Mayor of Knutsford called “The Mayor”.

The Mayor is a pretty vintage pink and gold blend floribunda rose that will continue to bloom throughout the summer. It has semi-double blooms that open to attract bees. The blooms have a light fragrance.

With dark, shiny leaves and a neat bushy habit, to a height of approximately 60-80cm, this rose will make a perfect addition to any garden.

£1 from every sale of this rose will be donated by Fryer’s Roses and Blue Diamond to charities nominated by the Mayor of Knutsford.

“Both the previous Mayor of Knutsford, Cllr Jan Nicholson, and I are honoured that there is a rose from Knutsford’s very own Fryer’s Roses being named “The Mayor”. Fryer’s Roses plays a big part of Knutsford’s history, having been here since 1912, and we are delighted that Blue Diamond Garden Centres are so supportive of the town and will be donating £1 to the Mayors’ charities for every rose sold.” The quote from the Mayor, Cllr Neil Forbes:

“The Mayor” rose is available to order now.

Order at Stand FM74 and PV 710 at the RHS Tatton Flower Show, buy online by visiting or telephone Fryer’s Roses on 01565 755455. Bare root roses can be purchased at a cost of £12 per rose (excluding delivery). Potted roses are £17.99 per rose (excluding delivery). Delivery charges apply. Please see our website for details.

Bare root roses will be dispatched from November 2017 onwards. Potted roses will be dispatched from April 2018.

The rose will also be available to buy from any Blue Diamond Garden Centre from April 2018 onwards priced at £17.99 (per potted rose), whilst stocks last.

A donation of £1.00 from each rose sold by Fryer’s Roses/Blue Diamond will be donated to charities nominated by the Mayor.

Skin Check Success at Hillier Eastbourne

Hillier garden centres recently teamed up with the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund, a local charity that raises awareness of the importance of sun protection and early detection of melanoma.  Each store featured their Watch Your Back! campaign, an initiative supported by 6 of the best-known gardeners in the UK, educating all gardeners on how to stay sun safe whilst pottering in the garden this summer.

On May 20th, the charity teamed up with Mr Siva Kumar and his team from the Melanoma & Skin Cancer Unit at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead to run a check clinic at Hillier’s Easbourne branch.

Siva Kumar and Joyce Skipworth, happy after her all clear skin check diagnosis!

Slots were pre-booked on-line and the event was fully booked in just over a week, proving how significant skin problems have become in recent years.  The day generated over 100 appointments with surgeons referring 10 people to their GP for further investigation, plus the early detection of two melanoma’s, potentially saving lives.

Charity representatives chatted with customers about their sun protection habits and provided advice on skin checking, discussing why, when and what to look out for.  The charity gave out bottles of Ladival sunscreen in return for a small donation to the charity, supported by the branch post event, raising a grand total of £1021.86.

All funds received will help the charity run its campaigns, raising further awareness of melanoma, which is now the fastest growing cancer in the UK.

Chris Francis, Hillier Wholesale and Retail Director, said “We are delighted to have helped directly impact the health of our customers by hosting this event.”.

For further details on the work the charity does, please visit

SBM Life Science – A New Time, New Way

SBM Life Science, established in October 2016 following the sale of Bayer Garden and Bayer Advanced to SBM, is now fully operational throughout Europe and North America and is moving into the next phase of its business development, with its New Time, New Way strategy.
This company strategy reflects the very different approach SBM will take in the market over the coming years.  It encompasses some of the significant changes and trends taking place in the garden care sector and aims to intimately connect with gardeners and their gardens, providing them with effective and trusted product solutions that are well balanced and ‘In Tune with Nature’.
In an increasingly restrictive regulatory landscape, companies in this sector are constantly obliged to redefine their offer. More than ever, organisations must question, re-adapt and reinvent themselves to ensure customer needs continue to be met. SBM is investing for long term success, developing its teams and industrial global footprint, expanding its product lines and powering up its brands.  Crucially for the industry, it is investing into real R&D to introduce much needed product innovations that are effective and respectful of humankind and the environment.
UK customers and stakeholders will see the emergence of the New Time, New Way strategy at GLEE this year; it will be SBM Life Science Ltd’s first full appearance at the event.
As announced in October 2016, the owners of SBM Life Science are committed to establishing the company as a true global leader in the Home and Garden Sector and have invested accordingly.
“In the UK, we have been extremely busy during the last seven months, establishing the foundations of a business that will provide a platform for growth to meet the exciting expectations of the new company,” explained Darren Brown Head of SBM Life Science in the UK.
“We will now go on to build on the strong assets of the business (Baby Bio®, Phostrogen®, Toprose and Provado®), continue to develop our people, expand our portfolio and introduce new brands and innovations.  But most importantly, we will forge even closer partnerships with our key customers and actively support the welfare of the wider industry.
“The first goal of our new organisation was to make the transition for our customers as smooth and pain free as possible, and on the whole I am pleased we have achieved this during the season.
“Furthermore, we have taken the time to talk to customers to understand how our new business can better meet their future needs and add increased value to the UK market.
“We heard they wanted more innovative products and simpler processes, bigger UK investment and greater customer flexibility.  This feedback is now at the heart of our business and was at the front of our minds as we developed our core values, which include a focus on Entrepreneurship, Support, Partnerships, Rapid Response, Innovation and Teamwork.
“We are proud of what we have achieved in the past seven months and extremely excited about the potential ahead.  We are looking forward to SBM Life Science Ltd’s official GLEE debut when we will showcase the next phase of our development and the innovative products being launched for the 2018 season.”

Landmann at the forefront of the barbecue market

For more than five decades, Landmann has been at the forefront of the Barbecue market with an innovative product portfolio of Gas, Charcoal, Outdoor Heating and Accessory Products. Landmann is now firmly established as one of the world’s leading Barbecue brands.
Following on from another successful season and with an ever-growing Garden Centre stockist network, Landmann is again gearing up for this year’s SOLEX show.

Landmann will be launching three entirely new product ranges at the show. As well as building on some existing product ranges to offer even more assortment.
Sitting at the top of the already highly successful Triton Gas Barbecue range is the new Triton 6.1 Burner PTS+ model.

Originally shown in concept form at SPOGA last September and developed over 2017, the product finally arrived in May when a small number of units were delivered in preparation for a full launch at SOLEX.

Triton 6.1 PTS+ carries many new and innovative features including, seamless cooking grills and an easy clean fire bowl, a high power 5.2 KW dual ring brass side burner and the unique and highly adaptable REDI TANK system that continuously weighs and monitors your gas supply as you use it.

Finished in stunning stainless steel and delivered 99% preassembled, you can find the Triton 6.1 PTS+ on the New Products Showcase and displayed on the Landmann stand.

The existing Triton Gas Barbecue range also receives a refresh from Landmann, with new options and materials being introduced for 2018.

Taking pride of place at the top of the 2018 Gas Barbecue range from Landmann is the all new Avalon II series.  Boasting even more features than Triton 6.1 PTS+, the new Avalon range also features Power Thermal Spreading Plus, the latest version of our high efficiency cooking system.

Not forgetting Charcoal Barbecues, Landmann is very excited to showcase the new 2018 Tennessee Smoker Range.

Like the new Avalon Gas Barbecues, the new Tennessee Smokers will be making their European debut at SOLEX; each Smoker features a unique design for improved smoke circulation.

Landmann Barbecues will also be previewing new in-store display concepts and an expanded Barbecue Accessory range.

Darren Rivers, UK Sales and Marketing Director comments, “As usual, we know it will be a very busy show and we are very excited about what we think is our strongest product range to date. Come and see for yourself. We are looking forward to meeting you on stand 340 at SOLEX.”

For more information contact

Do we really know our native plants?

Many of the plants we think are native, are actually foreign. We have to have foreign varieties because this gives us a wider range of fruit and blooms to choose from.

Even the fruits we think of as being British tend to rely on foreign genes. Markus Kobelt the managing director and founder of Lubera says “The garden blackberry benefits from genes from East Coast America, which are included in the Navaho varieties, which we sell on our website. There are also varieties from the West Coast that have valuable qualities, so they are being included in Lubera’s ongoing breeding efforts.”

Although we have wild crab apples in the UK, and have been using apples for a long time, our garden apples have developed from wild varieties in Kazakhstan, and were probably brought here by the Romans, or the Celts.

Garden roses are bred with genes from Asian roses from China and Japan, which makes yellow and orange flowers possible – we didn’t have them in the Middle Ages! The modern garden rose is at least 50% an immigrant.

And whilst rhubarb has a long history in the UK, it’s real heritage starts in the Himalayas.  It first left its homeland in Tibet or China to be traded as a medicinal product, via the Silk Road. Passed from hand to hand, the details got lost in a game of Chinese whispers, combined with a strong dose of commercial secretiveness.

So rhubarb was originally expensive in Europe, used medicinally by the Greeks and Romans. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that its culinary uses were explored by the West, with the first recorded recipe for sweet rhubarb tarts, and the plant was brought into cultivation in Britain via a strain from Siberia. Once the modern edible rhubarb had developed, it became incredibly popular.

Only wild/alpine strawberries are native to the British Isles. They’ve been cultivated for a long time, but it wasn’t until two American strawberry species (Fragaria virginiana from North America, and Fragaria chiloensis from South America) came together on European soil that the modern hybrid garden strawberry developed. There’s some wild strawberries in some of Lubera’s everbearing varieties (Eternal Love, Fraisonette and Fraisibelle), but most garden strawberries are entirely foreign!

So there you have it, a wonderful fruity tale of adventure and travel from the exotic to our back gardens here in the UK!


Warwickshire based Hawkesmill Nurseries have over 40 years experience of growing stunning flower varieties which provide bright displays and encourage seasonal sales.  These beautiful blooms below will bring a splash of colour to your July deliveries!  All of these varieties are supplied with large lock-in labels and a colour bed card.

The Crocosmia selection of late flowering perennials are abundant in their 3 litre pots and very popular.  Six of the best varieties are on offer including, ‘Babylon’, ‘Carmine Brilliant’, ‘Colombus’, ‘Emberglow’, ‘George Davison’ and ‘masonorum’.

Brand new for 2017 is Helenium ‘Short ‘n’ Sassy’, this compact formed variety has rich bright orange and gold flowers.  This super, colourful beauty blooms over a long flowering season and is supplied in 3 litre pots.

Another new stunner for this year is Lobelia ‘Starship Scarlet’, striking is the word for this variety!  Scarlet red flowers contrast above ruby red foliage to bring a blooming intergalactic sensation to the garden.

Who doesn’t love a Rudbeckia?  And Hawkesmills brand new ‘Goldsturm’ is a late summer/ autumn cut above the rest!  The masses of gorgeous yellow, daisy like flowers would be a golden asset to any plantaria.  Provided in 3 litre pots.

For a touch of blue hue mystery, Salvia ‘Mystic Spires’ is just the ticket.  The long flowering form of this variety is full of blue-purple flowers and fragrant foliage. The bees and butterflies just love it too!

It’s a one-pot-stop at the Settle Flowerpot Festival

For the second year running, Stewart Garden is playing a major supportive role in this year’s Settle Flowerpot Festival taking place in the Yorkshire town throughout July and August.

2016 saw the company install a giant flowerpot man called Stewart on Castleberg Crag, a limestone cliff that overlooks Settle. Stewart was highly visible from the town as he ‘climbed’ the crag.

This year, Stewart Garden is, once again, donating hundreds of planters, including selected products from its Palladian and Cilindro ranges. They’ll feature prominently in flowerpot displays adorning the town during the event.

The official opening of the 2017 Festival is on Saturday 1 July.

A beer festival will also coincide with the event. This will take place at Victoria Hall from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 July and feature 18 ales from across the country, real cider, wine, soft drinks and food.

The Vibrant Settle Community Partnership, the voluntary organisation that organises the Festival, expects the event to attract several thousand visitors to the town – including many people who wouldn’t otherwise come to Settle. The partnership will use money raised by the Festival to fund events and initiatives that promote the town and surrounding area.

The Flowerpot Festival will conclude with the Settle Folk Gathering, which this year runs from Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 September. The gathering comprises concerts, workshops and sessions in and around Settle.

Looking ahead to the Settle Flowerpot Festival, Andy Burns, managing director of Stewart, said: “For two months, the beautiful town of Settle will be a celebration of colour, fun and activity. There’ll be something for everyone to enjoy, so we – and our intrepid climber, Stewart – are delighted to playing our part and getting involved in this fantastic event.”

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.

Stewart Garden is a proud UK manufacturer. Its products are available in over 1,600 outlets across the country, including DIY retailers such as B&Q, Homebase and Wilkinsons. They’re also widely stocked at garden centres such as Dobbies, Notcutts and Wyevale and in over 1,000 independent garden centres.

For more information, visit

Pan-European study on neonicotinoids finds negative effects in bees under realistic conditions

Researchers from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) have published the results of their long-awaited, pan-European field study examining how real-world exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides affects bees. This important experiment, conducted in the UK, Germany and Hungary, supports the results of earlier, smaller-scale experiments which found neonicotinoids to be harmful to bees, especially wild bees. The study found negative effects in domestic Honeybees (Apis mellifera) in the UK and Hungary, while the most damning effects were found in the reproductive capabilities of Buff-tail bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and Red Mason bees (Osmia bicornis) across all three countries.

Buff-tail bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) on oilseed rape.

Lead author, Dr Ben Woodcock said “The neonicotinoids investigated caused a reduced capacity for all three bee species to establish new populations in the following year, at least in the UK and Hungary.”

Gill Perkins, Bumblebee Conservation Trust CEO, said ‘We welcome this major field study by CEH, the findings of which further support the action taken by the European Commission to ban the three most widely-used neonicotinoids on flowering crops due to their harmful effects on bees, particularly wild bees. We remain committed to keeping the ban in place and are currently in the process of updating our policy on neonicotinoid pesticides.  This will be discussed and agreed at our Trustee Board meeting at the end of August.’

Further information about the study, published in Science on the 29th June 2017, can be found here.

The current BBCT neonicotinoid policy is available here.