industry news Simon Fraser appointed

to HTA Board Simon Fraser, managing director of Ben Reid & Co in Aberdeen, has been appointed to the HTA Board. With a Diploma in Horticulture and an HND in Commercial Horticulture Simon has worked for a number of nurseries and garden centres in Aberdeen, Lincolnshire, Kent and New Zealand. This was followed by a six-year stint managing the family forestry business

before a number of roles outside the industry. Now as managing director of Ben Reid & Co, Simon is the fourth generation of his family that have owned and managed this Aberdeen business. Simon has represented Scottish members on the HTA Council for the last 10 years. He said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed to the Board of the HTA at such a dynamic and exciting time in the organisation’s development. I look forward as a retailer and a grower to representing the HTA’s membership to help their trade association effectively support their businesses.” HTA president Adam Wigglesworth said: “Simon’s experience will strengthen the Board and assist in ensuring the HTA helps our members to meet the challenges and embrace the opportunities they face. Simon has been an active member of the Association for many years and I am delighted that he has agreed to take up this position.”

Squire’s donates plants to

White Lodge Centre Squire’s Garden Centre in Chertsey has donated over £200 worth of bedding plants, hanging baskets, herbs, seeds and compost to their charity of the year White Lodge Centre, which supports disabled people of all ages in Surrey.

Squire’s deputy chairman Sarah Squire commented: “White Lodge Centre is a fantastic charity, and one that Squire’s in Chertsey have been supporting all year. We wanted to brighten up their outside space and give the children and adults fun gardening activities that they can really get involved in.” White Lodge Centres community fundraiser Jane Cartwright added: “Our children have really enjoyed planting the flowers, making hanging baskets, and then taking care of them. This has been part of their Summer project, and it’s been great as they have learnt how to tend the plants, how to water and deadhead them, and they have noticed how the flowers begin to grow and are really excited by how quickly things change. Some of the other products donated by Squire’s were shared out with our adults who run a gardening club, and they have been thrilled to have more work to do with all the wonderful pots, herbs and plants that they received.”

GCA Ruxley Rose finalists announced

The Garden Centre Association (GCA) has announced the names of the finalist garden centres in its Ruxley Rose competition. The 20 centres all received top scores in the

spring bedding and hardy nursery stock categories from the GCA’s spring inspections and have now been put through for autumn judging. GCA chief executive Iain Wylie said: “Our

member garden centres received visits from our inspectors throughout the spring and their findings have determined 10 finalists in the Garden Centre (GC) category and 10 finalists in the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) category, who will go through to the autumn competition. “Our Ruxley Rose judge, Roger Crookes, will

visit the centres again in September to see how members are continuing to promote and sell plants during the autumn selling season. Roger will be looking for excellent quality, range and presentation of plants. Layout of the plant area is also considered, including overall impression, access and use of demonstration areas. “Staff at our member garden centres are also

judged on their knowledge and customer care, the promotions they run and special features, such as new varieties. “A winner from each category will be

determined and announced during our annual conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon from January 21 until 24.”

24 |

The finalists in the Garden Centre category are: • Cowell’s Garden Centre in the North East (pictured)

• Fairways Garden Centre – Ashbourne in the Midlands

• Fron Goch Garden Centre in the North West • Garden Wise (Dumfries) Ltd in Scotland • Mains of Drum Garden Centre Ltd in Scotland

• Meadow Croft Garden Centre in North Thames • Pacific Nurseries in the Midlands • Planters at Bretby Ltd in the Midlands • Stratford Garden Centre in the Midlands • Sunshine Garden Centre in North Thames The finalists in the Destination Garden Centre category are: • Aylett Nurseries Ltd in North Thames (pictured)

• Barton Grange Garden Centre in the North West

• Bents Garden & Home in the North West • Bicester Avenue Garden Centre in North Thames

• Burston Rose and Garden Centre in North Thames

• Pennells Garden Centre – Lincoln in the Midlands

• Perrywood Garden Centre & Nurseries Ltd in North Thames

• Simpsons Garden Centre in Scotland • Squires Garden Centre – Twickenham in North Thames

• Woodlands Nurseries in the Midlands.

Iain added: “This prestigious competition aims to inspire our member garden centres to maintain best practice at all times and have centres that are inviting and attractive to customers. It is a competition that our members work hard towards throughout the year. Members also benefit simply from having a visit from Roger to give them practical advice on achieving best practice as well as showcasing their own innovative sales initiatives.

“Congratulations to those garden centres and their teams who have made it through and good luck and best wishes to them all for the next stage of the judging process.”

GCU September 2017

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