We’d love for you to get to know us a little better and our Latest News pages are a great place to start! From fundraising activities to fun and games at our garden centres, we’ll keep you posted here with all our latest Notcutts goings on.
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Rare plant is star attraction at Notcutts Garden Centres
Gardeners across the UK have a rare opportunity to plant something special in their garden, with a brand new hibiscus arriving at Notcutts Garden Centres this month. The new variety with its glorious flowers has been exclusively launched for customers at Notcutts’ 18 garden centres across the country this month.
The new Hibiscus, called ‘Starburst Chiffon’, has special double flowers that can grow up to 10 centimetres in size. The flowers have a soft pink centre surrounded by an array of pale pink petals, each with striking deep pink lines which seem to ‘bleed’ from the centre outwards.
Bred in Norfolk by Dr Roderick Woods, the new hibiscus plant produces a rich abundance of flowers from July through to September, and can grow into a nicely shaped shrub with an average height of 175 centimetres. The plant is low maintenance, can survive in temperatures as low as -25 degrees and is ideal for adding a splash of summer colour to any garden, sunny terrace or balcony.
Stuart Andrews, Plant Buyer for Notcutts, said: “We’re very proud to offer customers an exclusive launch for the stunning Starburst Chiffon Hibiscus. We stock a wide range of plants at all our garden centres year-round, but it’s particularly exciting when we can provide gardeners with something extra-special.
“The Starburst Chiffon hibiscus is a truly unique and beautiful plant that will add a ‘wow factor’ to any outdoor space. Also, as Hibiscus are hardy and flower late in the season, it will keep your garden looking bright and colourful until early autumn.”
Customers are invited to visit their local Notcutts Garden Centre to take a look at the new Hibiscus Starburst Chiffon. The exclusive plant is available to buy in all 18 Notcutts centres from July 2017.
Notcutts Wheatcroft unveils spectacular Display Garden
A special ribbon cutting event has been held at Notcutts Garden Centre Wheatcroft in Edwalton to mark the opening of the new ‘Notcutts Garden’. The garden was officially opened on 2 June by Garden Centre Manager Nic Perrett, alongside customers, local gardening groups and the Notcutts Wheatcroft team.
The Notcutts Garden, which is split into two zones, aims to inspire visitors with creative ideas for their own outdoor spaces, featuring over 350 plants from 45 different varieties which have been carefully selected to suit different areas of the garden.
Zone A includes an impressive water feature table in which culinary kitchen plants and herbs are the star of the show, whilst Zone B is inspired by a vintage country garden. The main feature of Zone B is a corner arbour seat, which is framed by large multi-stem birch trees and overlooks a sea of soft white, pink and purple blooms. The two zones are linked by a pathway which is covered by a wooden venetian pavilion.
The garden was designed by Notcutts’ Head of Visual Merchandising, Marco de Jongh; Plant Buyer, Stuart Andrews; and Chairman Nicky Dulieu. Alongside the local Notcutts team of horticultural experts, the garden took just over two weeks to complete.
Nic Perrett, Garden Centre Manager at Wheatcroft said, “We’re delighted with the beautiful Notcutts Garden and we’d like to thank everyone who joined us at our official opening event. The garden celebrates the best of what we do at Notcutts – to provide expert advice and inspiration to customers with all levels of gardening experience, and with outdoor projects of all sizes. Over the years, Notcutts has won 50 Gold medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, so we’re pleased to bring our expert experience to Wheatcroft with a stunning garden design to inspire our customers.”
The Notcutts Garden is open to visit for free all year round at Notcutts Garden Centre Wheatcroft and is the second of Notcutts’ 18 garden centres across the country to have a garden of this kind. Throughout 2017, which marks Notcutts’ 120th anniversary year, further gardens will be created at other centres.
Notcutts Shows Support For East Anglian Air Ambulance
Staff at Notcutts’ head office in Woodbridge have teamed up to raise hundreds of pounds for East Anglian Air Ambulance, which provides a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) for the people of East Anglia.
Money was raised through a series of charity events held at the headquarters of the garden centre group, including raffles, baking competitions, and sample item sales. Members from Notcutts’ sports & social team presented the cheque to East Anglian Air Ambulance at their offices on the 4 May.
Lee Rogers, who works as an IT Systems Assistant at Notcutts, but also acts as a sports & social representative for the company, said: “When we voted on who we wanted to donate the proceeds of our fundraising to, East Anglian Air Ambulance was a unanimous choice. It is an extremely deserving charity and we’re very happy to do our bit to support their lifesaving work in our region.”
Anna Karien-Drost, Fundraising Officer at East Anglian Air Ambulance, said: “We were delighted to receive this generous donation, and would like to thank Notcutts for choosing us as their nominated charity, we are very grateful for their support.”
Notcutts Garden Centres and Shrek's Adventure! London Strike up 'Green' Partnership
Notcutts will be welcoming a visitor with very green fingers to its stores this summer when Shrek the Ogre will be taking a break from his London attraction to encourage children to get planting in their gardens.
The partnership between Notcutts and attraction DreamWorks Tours: Shrek’s Adventure! London aims to encourage children to discover their own ‘green’ fingers and get planting.
The partnership will kick off this May with a focus on bee-friendly gardening. Notcutts garden centres will be hosting an activity trail themed around Barry B Benson from DreamWorks’ Bee Movie. The trail will showcase bee-friendly plants and help young gardeners to encourage more bees and other wildlife to their gardens. At Shrek’s Adventure! London, the Bee Movie experience will offer visitors a glimpse into Barry B Benson’s world and to find out why plants and gardens are so important to Barry and all his buzzing buddies.
In the summer, Shrek and Princess Fiona will be visiting Notcutts garden centres around the country, sharing their own gardening tips and teaching children how to make their very own swamp gardens. At Shrek’s Adventure! London young visitors will receive their own ‘swamp garden’ seed packs to take home and see how green they can be!
Commenting on the partnership Julie Murray, Marketing Director at Notcutts said; “We are delighted to be teaming up with Shrek’s Adventure! London to encourage more children to get outdoors, whether it is to help wildlife or to create their own little garden. Gardening is such a fabulous hobby that gets children outside, using their imagination and hopefully having lots of fun too!”
Steve Blackburn, General Manager for Shrek’s Adventure! London concluded; “Our attraction is all about whisking our guests away to the magical land of Far Far Away and we wanted to extend that magic experience by giving them a little bit of ‘green fingered’ magic to take home to their own garden this summer.”
Notcutts Staff Raise Over £2,000 For Stroke Association
Notcutts garden centre in Maidstone has presented a cheque for £2,400 to the Stroke Association in support of a long term employee who had a near-fatal stroke whilst at work.
Hannah Green, who worked at Notcutts for over 30 years, was rushed to London’s Kings College Hospital in January 2013 with a slim chance of survival after suffering a major stroke which left her unable to walk and with a lasting disability. She was on a life support machine and spent the next nine months in Sevenoaks Hospital.
Since Hannah’s stroke, her colleagues at Notcutts Maidstone have rallied together to aid her in her road to recovery, supporting her husband and two daughters and running activities such as cake sales and in-store collections to raise vital funds.
Hannah said: “Having a stroke is so unexpected, I felt fine that morning and then my life completely changed. However, everyone has been wonderful in supporting me and my family and I’m so grateful. My heart is in Notcutts and I still volunteer at the centre when I can which really boosts my mood.”
Jon Kemp, Centre Manager at Notcutts Maidstone said: “The shockwave of Hannah’s stroke sent ripples throughout the company. The recovery to where she is today has been painful and slow but we’re delighted that we have been able to do our bit to support a much loved and well-respected colleague.”
The South East branch of the Stroke Association is based at Turkey Mill in Maidstone and offers support and friendship to stroke victims and their families in the area. The money raised will go towards vital research, support services and campaigning in the region.
Our refurbished Wheatcroft garden centre is complete!
We've put away our hard hats and put on our gardening gloves. Yes, our brand new 268-seat restaurant ‘The Street Kitchen’ and refurbished home, gift and seasonal departments are now ship shape and ready for inspection at our Wheatcroft Garden Centre.
Alongside improvements made to access, parking and layout earlier in the year, we're very proud to introduce new and improved at our Wheatcroft centre:
Find out more about what we've been doing, including a collection of photos, on our dedicated Wheatcroft information page.
Our brand new Tunbridge Wells centre is open
We're absolutely delighted to announce our beautiful new garden centre at Tunbridge Wells is now open. Over the past year, teams of architects, designers, builders and fitters have been working to create a centre that places gardening and plants at the heart of the shopping experience, reflecting our rich horticultural heritage and expertise.
Our new Garden Centre is in the exact same spot as the old one, beautifully nestled into a softly rolling landscape and surrounded by lovely established woodland. However that’s where the similarities end!
There are four new areas at the centre: the garden, the conservatory, the barn and the courtyard, each with their own distinct feel and featuring displays designed to inspire our customers as they explore. It also houses a 220 seat restaurant inspired by market stalls and street food, serving locally sourced produce. As well as the restaurant, the centre will house a food department complete with local butcher Ian Chatfield. This combination of sleek design with local, rustic features is designed to create a friendly and earthy feel that inspires green-fingered enthusiasts to think creatively about their own space and lifestyle.
The new centre spans across 25,000 square foot and includes a ‘living wall’ as well as a new children’s play area, a pet department and a bandstand area for demonstrations and increased disabled access. Alongside these developments, the new complex is eco-friendly, hosting solar panels, movement sensor taps to save water and a low energy ambient lighting system, amongst other initiatives.
Garden Pride Garden Centre
We've very pleased to announce we have acquired Garden Pride Garden Centre. Garden Pride is an independent garden centre in the village of Ditchling in Sussex. It is a thriving business with a turnover of over £5m and has a strong horticultural offering and a popular restaurant. The 26 acre site is located in the South Downs National Park on the busy B2112, linking Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath to Brighton.
The centre has been run by Trevor Wenham for over 20 years. Trevor is now planning to retire but will be staying on in a consultancy role along with Kathleen McDonald. The existing staff at Garden Pride will be welcomed into the Notcutts family, minimising disruption to them and customers in the run up to Christmas.
Andrew Staff Interim CEO at Notcutts said “Garden Pride is a great fit with the Notcutts business. It is an independent garden centre with all the qualities that are important to us as a family owned company; great service, strong local reputation, quality ranges and a real focus on plants and gardening. We are delighted to welcome the colleagues into the Notcutts family”.
Trevor Wenham said “I am delighted to be selling to a family owned business that I know will continue to provide excellent ranges and service for the local customers and continue to look after my valued staff”.
Acquisition has been a key business objective for Notcutts in 2013, so the addition of Garden Pride to our 18 centre strong group is a positive and progressive move for the business. We are also looking forward to the opening our brand new garden centre in Tunbridge Wells in spring 2014.
And the winner is....
Notcutts. Twice! We're absolutely delighted to announce Notcutts won two awards against stiff competition at the prestigious Marketing Society Awards in London on Monday 10th June.
With National and Global brands such as John Lewis, Sainsburys, Audi, British Airways and Unilever in attendance, Notcutts was an underdog on the night.
It was our Sage Privilege Club that impressed the judges and won the awards for best Customer Relationship Marketing and also the Finance Director’s prize.
The Finance Director’s prize was one of the three biggest awards of the night and recognises the company that the judges feel has best demonstrated effective use of marketing expenditure. The judging panel included Finance Directors from Unilever, Boots and British Gas.
Marketing Director Minnie Moll was delighted with the wins. “We were very proud to win these two awards while rubbing shoulders with much bigger brands with much bigger budgets.
It has been great team work with our agency partners babyGRAND and Coniak and every part of the Notcutts business has made the Sage Privilege Club the success it is. Most importantly it is our colleagues in the garden centres who deliver the benefits to our customers each day.”
Big changes are afoot in Tunbridge Wells! We’re very excited to have just had planning permission granted for a redeveloped garden centre at Pembury. Opening in spring 2014, the new store will offer our customers a fantastic state-of-the-art shopping experience.
With more space (25,000 square foot in fact!), our new building will feature a covered planteria area, a demonstration zone, 220-seat restaurant, food hall and pet department. Access will be even easier and we've taken special steps to ensure our new centre will be kind to the environment. To find out more, visit our redeveloping Tunbridge Wells page.
Have no fear about us closing while the development takes place. We’re putting up a temporary building on the site up the hill, to act as our garden centre whilst the new centre is constructed from June 2013 to March 2014. Keep up to date on the latest news and developments - watch this space!
Introducing our new magazine!
At Notcutts HQ we've been busy creating a brand new magazine. We're really excited about it. Called 'Garden Ideas' our magazine replaces the seasonal newsletter we sent 3 times a year to our Sage Privilege Club members. The magazine is full of lively and informative features, advice and product ideas, and will be published twice a year.
In our first issue, you'll find tips on picking combinations for your bedding plants, how to attract wildlife to your garden, creating the perfect patio and much more! Free to Sage Privilege Club members and just £2 to non-members, we think our new magazine is great value for money and an engaging read for amateurs and experts alike. Notcutts has been helping gardeners since 1897 - now with Garden Ideas, you've got even more reasons to get gardening!
Garden Ideas will be hitting Sage customer's doormats from the beginning of April. It'll be available for non-Sage customers in our garden centres from then too.