Garden Retail Awards 2009: Best Themed Promotion

WINNER: Burleydam Garden Centre - The Good Life Garden

Inspired by BBC series The Good Life, Burleydam's objective was to show how customers could grow their own in a small area. Burleydam wanted to show customers, talk through questions, provide answers and achieve a better understanding of how it is done and therefore provide a better service. The garden centre also hoped to drive more sales of seeds, fruit and vegetable plants, herbs and all other products used in the garden.

In January, Burleydam started a complete revamp of the area. It stripped back to the grass area, re-laid with a special surface and fitted bespoke raised beds to allow for maximum planting. The greenhouse, compost maker, water butt and hen house were all then placed, taking into consideration the customer flow paths, the customer seating area and the direction of the sun. Finally, Burleydam replaced some turf, laying it under the hens' runway, ready for the arrival of the chickens.

In February and March, a team of experts put their heads together to plan the planting layout. Space was maximised as much as possible with tomatoes in the greenhouse, herbs and strawberries in hanging baskets and potatoes, green beans, lettuce and fruits in the raised beds. Critical to all this effort made was the high level of maintenance required. This was acknowledged early on and staff planning and commitment was organised to take this into the daily jobs routine.

While Burleydam knew the business opportunities surrounding hens, space restrictions were a drawback to actually selling them on site. The centre decided to recommend its customers to the local hen specialist/supplier that supplied it with Penelope and Felicity. The supplier agreed to offer Burleydam customers a 10 per cent reduction in prices on production of a voucher supplied by the centre, in return for Burleydam driving customers there.

To assist communication in the garden, Burleydam produced a weekly bulletin and displayed it in the garden. Back issues were filed away and left in the greenhouse for all to pick up and read. There was also an opportunity to use the outdoor audio sound system and customers can hear a prepared recording of a staff member talking through the stages of growth for that month by pressing a button. This audio is also available at



Alton Garden Centre - Dig for Victory allotment project
Burcot Garden Centre - Fashion Evening/Christmas


Gordale Nurseries - The Hauntings
Homebase - Grow Your Own
Langlands Garden Centre - Santa's arrival by helicopter



Garden Expo Garden Expo is the UK's only focused garden and outdoor-living event and is the only UK event to be exclusively supported by the industry leading trade associations the HTA and Gardenex. This new dedicated trade exhibition for the garden and outdoor living industry and has been described as a 'breath of fresh air' for the buyers and suppliers.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Botanist Dr Trevor Dines suggests there are commercial opportunities for local seed supply in the UK.

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

Australian analysts suggest Wesfarmers could pull out of the UK following the continued woes of Bunnings/Homebase UK & Ireland, but is there a way forward for the 250-store DIY/garden centre group?

Business planning - cash-flow management

Business planning - cash-flow management

Wider market volatility can have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to avoid problems, Neville Stein explains.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy