Current Haskins chairman Warren Haskins, took over the family retail nursery business forty years ago after his father’s death, and opened a small garden centre shop at Tricketts Cross in Ferndown.
This added a range of garden sundries, furniture and other gardening equipment to its already extensive range of plants.
The first year’s turnover was £28,000 with a staff of 10 people.
Haskins said: "In 1994 we relocated from Tricketts Cross to our site at Longham which gave us the opportunity, with a lot of detailed planning, to open our first ‘new concept’ centre.
"The shopping experience that we created has proved so successful that we have since demolished and rebuilt two of our other centres, the latest being our centre near Worthing which reopened last spring following a £12 million investment."
The £32 million turnover company is still family owned and operates four centres near Bournemouth, Southampton, Worthing and Crawley.
Haskins added: "We are now regarded as destination centres in that our garden centres are considered places to visit as much as places to shop.
"The introduction of bigger, more sophisticated restaurants has definitely not taken the focus from our core gardening offer. Our buying team now sources suppliers from across the UK, throughout Europe, and sometimes further afield, to introduce new interesting and exciting ranges each year."
He says that the company hopes to acquire a fifth garden centre in the south of England in the "near future".