Award proves success of nursery innovations

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A nursery director has said winning the Horticulture Week award for best use of retail space in 2005 has given her customers and staff confidence that the nursery’s innovations are working. Tendercare Nurseries’ Angela Halksworth explained: “We were trying to launch ourselves as being a very user-friendly nursery for retail customers, whereas two years ago, we were principally a wholesale nursery. We wanted to see how the work we were doing would be received by outside opinion. “It gives confidence to staff in the organisation that the work being done, some of which is innovative — we’re not a ‘me too’ garden centre — has had recognition.” Halksworth added: “We used the award to give our customers, who found the experience here different from a garden centre, some reassurance that what we are doing has been recognised. “It’s a bit like going to a restaurant that has two rosettes. Even before you start, you know you’re going to enjoy it.” Tendercare has publicised its achievement in local newspapers and displays the award prominently in the nursery. Staff member Margie Ribton put the awards application together using her graphic design and garden design skills. Judges said Tendercare’s Right Plant, Right Space entry was “an ingenious use of space”. The Buckinghamshire nursery is entering again this year.

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