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Happy New Year!  Going into the New Year, it is always good to reflect on the previous year, and to look forward and be positive for the next.  2018 in horticultural terms has probably been one of the most challenging years we have ever encountered.

A relatively mild first two months were then totally upstaged by the ‘Beast from the East’, swiftly followed by the longest, hottest and driest summer we have had for many, many years.  The two extremes were really influential on the plants that were growing at the time, daffodils seemed to last for weeks as it was so cold, but some summer bedding plants just could not cope with the heat, and consequently did not last very long.

Lawns took an absolute ‘hammering’ over the year and many will struggle to recover without a bit of TLC.  Parking 35 cars on your garden, like I had to during weekends in December, is not conducive to a fine looking lawn in spring 2019!

As a business, 2018 was a massive step for us, as we took the opportunity to add a second retail site.  Taking on the Walled Garden at Elton Hall has been hard work, but is a great opportunity, and we will be working over the next few months to improve the layout of the Planteria as well as widening the plant offering.  Many people have said to me - all after the event! - that taking on a second site is a bigger step than taking on a third or fourth (not that we are planning on that) site as you know what you are doing by then.  I can vouch for their comments, it has been a huge task, and requires a completely different mindset as you cannot just replicate what we do at Burton Latimer.  But we are learning, and hopefully things will become a bit more straightforward in 2019.

One thing that 2018 has re-affirmed to me, is that any business that is successful, has to have the support and encouragement of its staff.  With both sites, our nursery, and our landscaping teams, we now have over 100 staff employed.  As any business will tell you, employing people is the most challenging part of running any operation; however, despite the odd challenge here and there, I strongly believe that Tania and I have the support and encouragement of the most wonderful group of people.  As our customers, I am hoping that you will have experienced the great customer service that we aim to deliver, all provided by our staff, whether they are students working one day a week or regular full-time team members.  What you often do not see, is the behind the scenes work that is essential to the smooth running of the operation.  The late nights and extra hours that were put in by many people to build our wonderful Christmas displays, the time spent clearing up by our catering team after Tea with Santa and the long and late hours spent putting Elton together are massively appreciated by Tania and I.  I would love to mention everybody individually, but that is really not practical, so simply “Thank You” to all our staff.

So looking forward to 2019, what are our plans and aspirations?  Most importantly, we will look to continue providing a great customer experience, both in terms of service and product offering.  In order to make gardening easier, a proper winter and cold snap in January or February to kill off the bugs, then a mild March to May to enable us to appreciate all the spring growth and flowers, followed by a warm and sunny summer (with a bit of regular overnight rain) to enable us to enjoy our gardens.  Perfect!  As to the third and fourth site, I think I need to convince Tania the second one was worth doing first!

Not Just A Garden Centre
Finedon Road
Burton Latimer
NN15 5QA

Also at

Elton Walled Garden

Elton PE8 6SH

01832 343104

Only minutes from J10 off the A14 and midway between Kettering  and Wellingborough
OPEN:  Mon-Sat: 9am - 6pm Sun: 10am - 5pm
Disabled Access
All Credit Cards Accepted
01536 722635
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November & December Gardens

January and February Gardens 2019

January and February Gardens 2019