For the individual who loves to make improvements to their garden, visiting the garden centre is up there with a kid visiting Santa at Christmas and a new homeowner buying their first set of matching furniture – you can’t beat it.
However, as fun and exciting as it is to step foot into the garden centre world, it can sometimes get a little confusing due to the sheer size of these places. Much like the Swedish furniture giant, some centres are like mazes – complete with smaller mazes in the middle. That’s enough to get anyone shouting Where are the stone statues? to the nearest member of staff!
That being said, this is simply not an acceptable way to behave, and will likely have you thrown out – which we’re sure you will agree is not ideal. So, if you’d like some top tips on how to deal with garden centres and get the most enjoyable experience out of it, then please do read on.
If there is a store guide or map, use it before you dive straight in. Being prepared is the best way to be! If you have a list of things you need – check against the guide so you can really plan your trip efficiently. There’s no need to traipse across the shop if the planters you need are on the next aisle to the plants you are looking at first!
Make every effort to look around the centre logically before giving up and taking your frustration out on the next available unwitting member of staff. They’re often not in charge of the visual merchandising and store layout.
If you are taking your children with you, don’t let them run around unsupervised. Before you know it, expensive stone ornaments are broken, plants are being pulled up, and your bill just got a lot more expensive.
Remember that some staff at garden centres are employed on a part-time sales basis, but there will be many there who can offer a wealth of advice and help if you need it. Their time with you might be limited but being courteous and polite goes a long way.
Finally – enjoy the experience. Make a day of it, so you don’t need to rush around in a blind panic. You might even find yourself a bargain that you would have otherwise missed or find inspiration among the garden furniture.
This might sound like common sense, but surrounded by so many exciting garden ornaments and every plant under the sun can take its toll on some people.
Regardless of whether you are looking for a gnome or a stone statue, a bird bath or a selection of planters and troughs, or the flowers and plants that bring your garden to life, the garden centre is a wonderful place. Make the most of it!