Garden Centre Association announces Christmas display winners and conference line-up

Barton Grange Garden Centre in Lancashire and Castle Gardens Garden Centre in Dorset are winners of the Garden Centre Association's (GCA) annual Christmas Display Competition.

More GCA awards will be announced at the association's annual conference on 25-27 January at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel.

Speakers on 25 January include Alf Dunbar, the creator and founder of the customer service coaching programme You are the Difference. Eden Project foundation director Tony Kendle will discuss plants and a healthy society.

On 26 January, DunnHumby market analyst Clive Humby, the chief architect of Tesco's Clubcard and segmentation programme, will speak.

Other speakers already announced are environmentalist Jonathon Porritt (25 January), business leader Lord Digby Jones and shoe tycoon James Timpson (26 January).

Evening events will be dinner on 25 January and a formal dinner on 26 January with an after-dinner speech from political diarist Quentin Letts.



Above £3m

  • Barton Grange Garden Centre, Brock, Lancashire
  • Cadbury Garden & Leisure, Congresbury, Somerset
  • Garsons Garden Centre, Esher, Surrey


Below £3m

  • Castle Gardens, Sherborne, Dorset
  • Stratford Garden Centre, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
  • Sunshine Garden Centre, Bounds Green , London


Roger Crookes, this year's finals judge said he saw "lots of quirky colourful inspiration, fun ideas and theatre, laughing and excited families, one or two jolly Santas and lots of happy staff".

He reported that the two worthy winners excelled not only in their displays of decorations but were also maximising the sales of other product groups such as Christmas tableware, plants and gifts.  

Crookes said: "Barton Grange, Brock had a real sense of an 'international exhibition' with the Christmas colour themes being linked to different countries — this idea was inspired by the international visitors at the IGCA Congress this September.

"By contrast, Castle Gardens very sensory experience revealed a heart for the local community and traditional family values at Christmas. Its alpine village with working trains was obviously very popular and the sensory experience was enhanced by different sound effects in the various themed zones."



Less than £3m
More than £3m
Stratford Garden CentreMelbicks Garden & Leisure
North East
Armitages Garden Centre, BirchencliffeLanglands Garden Centre
North ThamesSunshine Garden CentrePoplars Garden Centre
North West
Gateacre Garden CentreBarton Grange, Brock
Wales & West 
Brimsmore GardensCadbury Garden & Leisure
South Thames 
Castle Gardens

Garsons Garden Centre, Esher



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