2020: new business developments and openings

David Ball - credit: Bridge Farm
David Ball - credit: Bridge Farm

January: 

IPM - the year starts brightly with the German nursery show, though Horticulture Week reports on exhibitor Raymond Evison's concerns about coronavirus in China.

Haskins bought Forest Lodge garden centre near Farnham, Surrey.

February: 

Storms. Dennis and Ciara damage trade and crops.

Haskins reopened the rebuilt Snow Hill garden centre, near Crawley, West Sussex.

March: 

Lockdown, furloughing and nurseries beg for support

Agralan partners with Remin Scotland

April: 

Lockdown - mail order booms.

Darsham Nurseries closes.

Defra bans/restricts Xylella-risk plants - the EU says the move in unlawful.

May: 

Lockdown ends.

Canadian company Sundial Growers' has sold Bridge Farm back to former owner David Ball.

The Parasene brand has been bought by a former employee, John Cartwright, the owner of Fireside Products.

HydroGarden head of sales Tom Ellis has been promoted to the chief executive of Grow In, after the companies merged. 

B&Q announces it will drop sales of glyphosate products.

June: 

Retail sales boom and plant shortages, Black Lives Matter on the agenda

Marlows Garden Centre in Bury St Edmunds to close. Walled Garden Nursery in Kent to close. Teviot Smokery in the Borders to close.

HW podcast launches.

July: 

Industry £250m bailout claim fails. Staycations lead to garden retail boom. Prolonged heatwave.

Burcot Garden Centre closes to go for housing.

Woodlodge bought Adobe Wholesale and The Garden Foundry.

August: 

Eat Out to Help Out. 100 million meals ordered at half price.

Tong plans a second storey restaurant.

Baginton Nurseries in Warwickshire closes.

Fosters Home & Garden in South Yorkshire to close.

September: 

Virtual showsMorrisons by Lansens Nursery to secure supply chain.

British Garden Centres grew to 58 centres after taking over former Wyevale Thatcham in Berkshire. BGC also plan to develop its Burford House garden centre as an attraction.

AHDB new chair Nicholas Saphir faces a vote on the future of the levy for the horticulture sector, set for January 2021.

Autumn storms destroy bedding in Lancashire.

Brown marmorated stink bug trapped in UK for first time.

Spirit of Four Oaks runs.

Fruit growers Boxford (Suffolk) Farms acquire Wallings Nursery.

Flooding hits north west England bedding growers.

National Trust and RHS among those to make redundancies in wake of coronavirus crisis. NT's Lanhydrock nursery set to close.

Metaldehyde outdoor use to be banned from 2022.

Ravensworth Nurseries in North Yorkshire £1.1m investment.

October: 

Peat on the agenda again.

Tong announced plans for a new garden centre at Tingley, south Leeds.

Brenda and Gary Groucott, who run Wymondham Garden Centre in Norfolk reopen Aylsham Garden Centre on October 31 after buying it at auction for £720,000.

IPM Essen among 2021 shows cancelled.

RHS Chelsea 2021 launched with slightly reduced visitor numbers, an extra day and a wellbeing category.

Granary Group develops Berkshire Gardener at Ladds Garden Village and has plans for two more centres.

November: 

Lockdown 2 - DIYs and mail order retailers have had a good year: T&M buys Suttons, Homebase up for sale, Primrose remains for sale.

Simpsons Garden Centre bought Happy Plant in Aberdeenshire.

Hillier grew to 18 garden centres after announcing it was taking over former Wyevale Syon Park. Hillier also bought a new tree nursery in the Meon Valley.

The first Little Dobbies opened, in Edinburgh, taking the chain to 69 centres.

AHDB five-year strategy launches

December:

Brexit looms

Alver Valley Garden Centre wins planning permission - third in Paul Richards' My Local Garden Centre group.

Royal Lemkes and Floreac in strategic partnership

Primrose bought by Risk Capital.

Tivoli Group buys Sodexo Horticultural Services.

Landmann bought by DS Group.

Dobbies and B&Q promise large-scale bagged peat reduction.

Coronavirus disruption reduces Wyevale Nurseries turnover by more than 10%.

Welsh, Northern Ireland and Scottish garden centres return to being non-essential retail are forced to close from immediately after Christmas.

2021:

2021: 10 changes on the horizon.

England Tree Strategy and England Peat Strategy to be published.


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