Last updated: February 2016



Greener Garden


In this report you'll find a host of information to make sure your garden is as green as it can be.


How green is your garden centre? 


This guide covers the 11 major garden centre chains, from ones who focus on plants and gardening like Wyevale and Dobbies (the latter perhaps surprisingly owned by Tesco) through to the gardening departments of the big chain DIY stores like B&Q, Wickes and Homebase. Wyevale has more stores than all of the other ‘pure’ garden centres put together and four times more than its closest rival Dobbies. It owns a myriad of brands largely because it’s been buying up individual garden centres and chains.

Having said that, none of the garden centres are ‘pure’ garden centres anymore. Most of them are department store-like environments selling everything from clothes to gifts to pets. Cafes are the must-have attraction to make your garden centre “a pleasant leisure destination”.[1]

The supermarkets have been expanding their ranges but we have not covered them in this guide because we did a special report on them last issue.

B&Q and Homebase were still the most popular places to buy garden products last year, followed by small and large garden centres, and then supermarkets.[1]


Product Guide

Garden Centres

Ethical and environmental ratings for 21 chain garden centres with Best Buy recommendations, an independent garden centres directory, comparisons of garden centres' policies on peat, sourcing of wood and stone, and sales of bee-killing pesticides, plus which garden centres also sell animals

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Seeds for your garden 

UK consumer seed companies provide very little information on how they operate. Few companies score well for their environmental reporting or supply chain management. This is due to little information being publicly available and companies not demonstrating explicitly environmental or socially progressive practices, for example, offering organic products only. 

This is also the case for wood-sourcing and cotton-sourcing policies, where companies have uncertified products on sale. Little information is also provided on the chemicals and methods used for treating seeds.

Product Guide

Seeds For Your Garden 

Ethical and environmental ratings for 28 brands of seeds with Best Buy recommendations, company profiles, and information on seed diversity and seed freedom. 

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Peat-free compost

Despite the well documented environmental consequences of its extraction peat still remains the growing medium of choice among many amateur and professional gardeners. 

In 2013, 1.9 million cubic metres of peat were sold in the UK, which accounts for just over half of the overall market for growing media.

Of this huge volume of peat, over 95% was used in growing media, with the majority (two-thirds) being consumed by amateur gardeners, and the remainder by professional growers, local authorities and landscapers. Just under half of the peat sold for growing media came from the Republic of Ireland, with a further 38% coming from the UK, and the rest from Northern Europe.[1]

Reducing peat consumption among amateur gardeners is key to continuing the decline of peat production, not just in Europe but globally, as this group still presents the greatest demand.

Product Guide

Peat-free compost

Ethical and environmental ratings for 14 brands of peat-free compost with Best Buy recommendations, plus information on the benefits of peatlands and home composting.

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1. Mintel Garden Products Retailing July 2014