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being crowned the best in show by the judges and visitors alike. Results from the 2013 HTA

National Plant Show Visitor Survey reveal that 71 per cent of attendees come along to find a new supplier, 66 per cent to catch up with existing suppliers and 65 per cent come along to get ideas for new plants to stock. Overall 73 per cent of visitors claim to have discussed ordering plants with new suppliers who were at the show and 62 per cent claim to have discussed ordering new ranges of plants from their current suppliers who were at the show. Exhibitors already signed up

include: Allensmore Nurseries, Anglia Group of Nurseries, Ball Colegrave, Bell Brothers, Bransford Webbs Plant Company, Kernock Park Plants, New Forest Plants, Osberton Nurseries, Pentland Plants, Quality Ornamentals, Seoint Nurseries, Whetman Pinks and Young Plants. For further information, including

a full list of exhibitors, and to register to attend please visit

Top of the Pots! This spring’s industry wide PR campaign ‘It Starts with a Pot’ is going from strength to strength with media mentions across the country and many garden centres really getting behind the initiative (as demonstrated by Trelawney Garden Centre’s impressive display pictured). We’d love to see how you are embracing ‘It Starts with a Pot’ in store, so please post the photos of your pot merchandising displays on our Facebook page – itstartswithapot and on twitter #topofthepots. The team behind the winning display will be rewarded for their efforts. The closing date is Friday 6 June. The beauty of ‘It Starts with a Pot’ is that it is not too late to join in! Tell us about your pot or container related activities and we will post details on the website and social media channels. Activities posted so far include Turners Plant and Garden Nursery ‘plant a wacky

pot’ competition, Perrywood Nurseries recipe cards with step by step guides to planting in pots and Whichford Pottery’s Summer Potting Masterclass.

Need some inspiration? Then have a look at our pinterest page startswithapot

For further information about the campaign visit

Calling all independents Organised by People 1st and now in its fourth year, Independents’ Day is a national campaign aiming to promote and celebrate independent businesses and raise awareness of the contribution they make to their local area. The campaign aims to encourage people to shop locally throughout the year and particularly on 4 July. Independents’ Day support materials can be downloaded from from 4 April (three months ahead of the day itself) in order to help you promote this to customers. Collateral includes logo, posters, banners, postcards, web buttons and a press release template. There is a real desire

Trelawney Garden Centre’s impressive display

amongst consumers to support local businesses and with such a huge number of independent businesses within the garden industry, this campaign presents a real opportunity to celebrate and make some noise.

be held in June to review progress and facilitate further learning before the summer project begins. It is anticipated that the best

10 individuals will be selected in September to continue into the second phase of the programme and from these 10, five will become finalists and be invited to attend the GCA Conference in Chester in January in 2015. After making presentations to the delegates the winner will be announced and presented with

his or her prize at the GCA Annual Dinner on Tuesday 27 January 2015.

Inspection time again… The GCA inspectors began their tour around the UK on Monday 17 March. The four inspectors will be visiting every GCA centre over the coming months with the final visits scheduled for Friday 13 June. Members should be ready for their customers and the inspectors as the unannounced visits coincide with the spring

trading season. The inspectors will be looking for high standards throughout the entire garden centre and searching for new

Ian Boardman, GCA Inspector

and innovative ideas to highlight the best practice within the GCA. Once the inspections are completed the winners can be determined, with the area winners being announced at their respective area meetings in July. Of course the national winners are not announced until the conference… which is where we started with the Rising Stars… but let’s have a busy and profitable season first, with the sun shining and customers able to enjoy their gardens!



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