GCA Area Award winners for 2023

Members of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) are celebrating this month after hearing who has won the top awards in each of the organisation’s seven regional areas (July 2023). Across six different events, the GCA’s Inspectors delivered their feedback and results after a 12-week inspection period during the spring.

Peter Burks, CEO at the GCA, said: “Our 2023 summer Area Awards Meetings were a huge success. We’d like to say a huge ‘congratulations’ to all our winners, they all thoroughly deserve the recognition and are a testament to our organisation and the high standards we espouse. We’re also very grateful to the teams at all our host garden centres. They were superbly welcoming and it was wonderful to have a good look around their centres.

“On behalf of all the attendees, we’d also like to say ‘thank you’ to our inspectors, Phil McCann, Gordon Emslie, Colin Farquahar and Alyson Haywood for visiting every member centre and providing extensive feedback at each meeting. This really is invaluable to our members and is one of the main benefits of GCA membership.

Two New Awards this Year

“This year we had two new awards in the mix too. One was for houseplants and the other for the Best Planteria. The top 10 Best Planteria highest scorers get a second visit to determine who wins the overall Ruxley Rose competition, which is announced at our conference in January. The area winners haven’t been recognised at these regional events in previous years, so it was very welcome by everyone.”

The first awards session took place on July 4 at Castle Gardens in Dorset and saw members in the South Thames region picking up their gongs during a special presentation evening with Inspector, Gordon Emslie. South Thames Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) category went to Ruxley Manor Garden Centre and the Garden Centre (GC) category award was presented to Coolings Wych Cross.

On July 5, at Gates Garden Centre in Leicestershire, presided over by Inspector, Phil McCann, the Midlands region Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre title was awarded to Webbs of Wychbold and the Garden Centre category award went to Fairways Garden Centre, Ashbourne.

Also, on the same day the North East and North West regions met at Tingley Garden Centre in Leeds with Inspector, Colin Farquahar. The North East’s Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre category was Cowell’s Garden Centre with Klondyke Beverley Garden Centre in the Garden Centre category.

In the North West, Bents Garden and Home (DGC, pictured above) and Klondyke Wilmslow Garden Centre (GC) received the top accolades.

Then the Wales & West region held its presentation evening with Phil once again overseeing proceedings, this time at Cadbury Garden Centre on July 6. The Old Railway Line Garden Centre was awarded the title of Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre category and Pugh’s Garden Village, Wenvoe received the accolade in the Garden Centre category.

For the Scotland and Northern Ireland regions, the presentation event was on July 11 at Simpsons Garden Centre in Inverness overseen by Inspector, Alyson Haywood. For Scotland, Klondyke Mortonhall Garden Centre (pictured below) was awarded Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre category and Klondyke Garden Wise, Dumfries in the Garden Centre category.

In Northern Ireland, Creative Gardens, Bushmills received the Garden Centre of the Year title in the Garden Centre category.

The last meeting was held on July 13 for the North Thames region at Poplars Garden Centre in Bedfordshire with Alyson once again presiding. Perrywood Garden Centre, Tiptree (pictured top) won Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre category, while Perrywood, Sudbury picked up the accolade in the Garden Centre category.

The GCA represents more than 200 garden centres nationwide.

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