With the latest phase of its expansion progressing well, the team at a Bradford garden centre have announced further plans to enhance the visitor experience.
In addition to providing new facilities for the 200 strong team and extending the range of gardening products and houseplants, the second storey of the 25,000 square feet extension at Tong Garden Centre will be home to a new 180 seater restaurant, The Mezzanine. With panoramic views over the Tong Lane site’s established grounds, the new table-service restaurant will offer a relaxed dining experience with new brunch and lunch menus and a choice of sweet and savoury sharing platters when it opens this autumn.
Mark Farnsworth bought the ailing garden centre in 2015 with business partner, Tom Megginson and the pair have invested over £7million in a bid to become one of the North’s leading centres. MD Mr. Farnsworth outlines the improvements: “We’re excited to add a second restaurant to our destination garden centre and extend the current gardening range.
Early this week work officially began on the new Remembrance Garden at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People in the East Midlands – the first Greenfingers garden to be created following the easing of the nationwide lockdown.
This garden designed by VaRa Garden Design and supported by the landscape team at Alfresco Landscaping, will ensure this very special and unique place continues to be a peaceful space where families can visit, reflect and remember. The brief set by the hospice staff was to create “a garden which will reflect the beauty of each child whose memory is held in this space”. The Remembrance Garden has been redesigned to optimise the existing footprint, whilst sensitive expansion plans will add new areas of interest and more places for families and staff to come to remember those that lost their brave fight against illness.
With work now underway it will only be a matter of months before families and hospice staff can enjoy new paths which will create a journey through the garden, as well as new trees and seating which will help to create quiet corners for peaceful reflection. Increased planting and sculptural elements, along with a water feature will help to soften the noise around the garden.
Greetings card brand Umbellifer has teamed up with the horticultural charity Perennial, meaning that a proportion of profits from the sale of Umbellifer's 2020 range of Christmas cards supports the charity's important work in helping everyone who works in horticulture, and their families, when times get tough.
The 12 beautiful designs were created by artist Stephen Lennon who set up the botanical cards and prints business three years ago and has seen it flourish. Stephen says, "Perennial is the perfect fit with Umbellifer and it's a charity I feel very strongly about, having worked in horticulture myself and seen how people can struggle, financially, physically and mentally, in a business so dependent on increasingly unstable weather. My work is inspired by my love of plants and the Umbellifer range is a celebration of both garden plants and British wildflowers. Perennial helps the gardeners and garden industry workers who make British gardens world famous – what a great cause to support!”
The Garden Centre Association (GCA) and The Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association (GIMA) has launched a new joint initiative to enable debate and communication between retailers and suppliers (July 2020).
A programme of joint virtual forums between both associations members has been created to aid healthy debate to enable a stronger, more resilient, and dynamic supply chain going forward.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive explained: “We are delighted to have joined forces with GIMA to create a space where members of both associations can come together to discuss the industry and how we move forward after the recent COVID restrictions and closures.