Latest figures for the 12 months to December showed its garden centres performed 20% better, excluding coffee shops, which improved by 35%.
Group operations director Simon Edwards said: "The weather was on our side, our teams worked hard and it was a good year. People stay at home during recession and the garden is a low-cost way to pass some time."
Golden Acres' refurbished its John Browns centre in Three Legged Cross, Dorset, increasing footfall by 30%.
Edwards said: "It demonstrated how reinvesting money wisely pays. Getting the environment right for customers and staff is crucial now - and we hope to see the same thing at our Parley centre when it comes out of refurbishment later this year."
Golden Acres' overall nursery sales were up five per cent, which included a 24% fall in cash and carry sales, hit by landscapers buying less as housebuilding fell in the recession.