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UK’s finest garden centres revealed6 December 2011
Britain’s best garden centres have been named at a prestigious awards ceremony.
Scores of garden centres entered the annual Garden Retail awards to prove that they offered amateur gardeners the finest selection of plants and products – and the best customer service.
Sidmouth Garden Centre in Devon was named Retail Outlet of the Year 2011 (under £3million turnover) while Woodcote Green Garden Centre in Surrey picked up the same accolade for retailers with a turnover in excess of £3million.
Scotsdales Garden Centre in Cambridge picked up an award for offering gardeners the finest customer service in the UK.
Matthew Appleby, editor of Garden Retail magazine, which hosted the awards, said: “Giving something back to the community is a big trend for garden centres.
“A strongly contested awards category was ‘community involvement, won by Woodcote Green Garden Centre for a 228-school scheme that has helped thousands of children get into gardening through donations of products and time.”
The awards come a week after a report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) found that garden centres formed the hub of community life in many parts of Britain (AG, 19 November).
Best new plant 2011 was Physocarpus ‘Little Devil’ which is widely available at garden centres, while Roseclear Ultra, made by Scotts Miracle-Gro, was deemed best new product.
Judges included The Sun newspaper’s gardening correspondents Steve and Val Bradley, and AG news editor Marc Rosenberg.
Marc said: “With household budgets under increasing pressure, shoppers are voting with their wallets and only the best retailers will thrive and survive.
“These awards offer gardeners a tip on where they’ll receive the finest shopping experience. And, as the winners proved, garden centres play a fundamental community role in modern life – from providing allotments on-site in some cases, to encouraging school-kids to take up gardening.”
Picture and news item courtesy of Amatuer Gardening