What's Next? Garden Centres Opening and Visiting Spaces

Published on May 12th 2020
A close up of a flower garden
Following the Prime Minister's speech on the 10th of May, the government's advice has changed from "Stay At Home" to "Stay Alert", along with some changes announced regarding the lockdown restrictions. We at Candide would like to encourage everyone to stay safe and at home at possible.
However, with the changes coming into action, businesses in horticulture are reopening their doors in one way or another.
A close up of a flower shop

Garden Centres

Although the Horticultural Trade Association is still waiting on confirmation from the Government whether garden centres can reopen on the 13th of May in England, some have already started trading in Scotland and Wales.
In Swansea, Dobbies Garden Centre has opened it's doors for the first time in over six weeks on Monday.
Customers can expect restrictions in stores such as:
  • Limiting the number of customers in store at one time.
  • Customers shop alone if possible.
  • A queuing system in operation outside the store
  • Two-metre markers in place inside and outside of the store
  • Hand sanitising and trolley cleaning stations will be available at the store entrance
  • Protective screens at tills
  • Customers pay by card or contactless if possible
  • Appropriate PPE has been provided for team members
  • Team members will receive training and regular briefings on how to keep themselves and customers safe
  • Rigorous daily hygiene routines throughout the store
While the opening of garden centres is welcomed by the horticultural trade, there are amazing initiatives delivering plants to your home.
You can buy plants and more on the Marketplace as well, where you can sell your own cuttings or plants as well.

Public Gardens

UPDATE, 12/05/20: Public gardens and ticketed venues will not be opened yet, according to the latest advice from the government. Please do not attempt to visit gardens at this point.
Since the announcement from the government that people can travel to exercise, we might see some public gardens open for visitors.
These gardens might ask you to purchase tickets in advance and plan your visit with them more carefully than normal. This helps them control the number of people in one area. They are also expected to only open outside spaces, not cafes or shops.
Visitors are also expected to keep a safe distance from other visitors and staff, as well as keeping their hands clean and wearing protective masks or gloves.
We have been working hard to allow you to enjoy your gardens more from your home. Check out these gardens for more videos and tours of their green spaces:

The Newt in Somerset

Woods, orchards, and cultivated gardens are nurtured using age-old skills at The Newt in Somerset. Close to artistic Bruton, this large working estate immerses visitors in the tranquillity of nature. The world-class gardens at The Newt cleverly evoke different historic eras. Explore the Cottage Garden for a glimpse of Gertrude Jekyll’s famous landscaping style, and see the flowers that scented 19th century gardens in the Victorian area. The Cascade is a contemporary twist on traditional water features, and the Colour Gardens feature hellebores, astrantias and anemones inspired by garden designer Penelope Hobhouse. Her family home was The Newt’s Georgian manor Hadspen House – now a luxurious hotel. Once you’ve taken in the gardens and explored the woodland walkways, you can refuel at The Garden Café. Or, at the Cyder Press, sample the cider made from the estate’s 3,000 apple trees, perhaps enjoying a guided tour of the cellar and apple pressing demonstrations. Make sure to activate your Garden Membership on Candide, and return to The Newt as often as you like over the next 12 months. Accessibility Information All gardens areas are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, though via indirect routes – often up thick lawns, steep gradients, uneven ground and gravelled pathways. Pushchairs may be stored at the Threshing Barn, and for longer distances transport is available for those requiring assistance.

National Botanic Garden of Wales

Wales’ national botanic gardens are home to a dazzling range of themed gardens including the world’s biggest single-span glasshouse, unique Welsh plants, and a centre for birds of prey. Taking centre stage here is the Great Glasshouse, as well as the tropical butterflies in Plas Pilipala – keep your eyes peeled for the enormous Atlas Moth. See a rare Katsura tree in the traditional Japanese Garden and learn about beekeeping in the Regency-period Double Walled Garden. Then wander to the Apothecary Garden, laid out according to different parts of the body. Little ones will love climbing the trees in The Ghost Forest, and if you’re after some peace and quiet, visit the three Necklace of Lakes, where you might catch a glimpse of otters, kingfishers and dragonflies. Just moments from the more formal gardens is the wilder Waun Las National Nature Reserve, where you can see orchids in summer and wild mushrooms in the autumn. If you want to pick up a plant or two, stop at the Y Pot Blodyn Garden Centre before you head home.

Kathy Brown's Garden

Kathy Brown's Garden

If you’re into art as much as gardening you’ll love Kathy Brown's Garden, which combines the two. Developed by owners Simon and Kathy Brown over the last thirty years, there are five areas which cleverly utilise the textures, colours and architectural qualities of plants to bring famous paintings to life. Prepare to feel engulfed by towering waves of feathery Miscanthus and Calamagrostis in the Hokusai-inspired garden, lose yourself in a wall of colour in the Rothko Room and contemplate life among the shimmering grasses of the Monet inspired garden. But it isn’t just culture vultures who flock to Kathy Brown's Garden, the edible flower patch is a fabulous place to learn about the joys of cooking with plants, while guided by Kathy’s expert tips. In addition to the art-inspired areas, this award-winning garden includes a wisteria walk, an ethereal white-stemmed birch avenue, a fragrant rose garden and much more besides

Gordon Castle Walled Garden

Gordon Castle Walled Garden

Got a thing for walled gardens? Nestled between the glistening River Spey and the rugged Moray Coast, Gordon Castle Walled Garden is one of the oldest, largest and arguably one of the loveliest kitchen gardens in Britain. Thanks to a sensitive restoration back in 2012, this vast space bustles with the sight of gardeners digging, sowing and harvesting – much like they did in 1803 when the garden’s present form was created. Not that you’d ever be able to tell the place had fallen into disrepair from the abundance of carefully trained produce and flourishing borders. Everything grown here is put to good use, whether it’s essential oils from the herb garden, cafe veggies from the supersized allotment or the fragrant cut flowers that decorate the cafe, holiday cottages and castle. The seamless transition from 19th-century private kitchen garden to the gem of an attraction it is today is down to renowned designers Arne Maynard and Craig Hamilton and head plantsmith Ed Bollom. The great thing about the grid-like layout – aside from being pleasing on the eye – is that it’s easy to loop around and make sure you haven’t missed anything. Very important when there’s this much horticultural flair on display.

Or spend a few minutes at the Newt in Somerset with our ambience video. I would recommend casting it on a TV or computer in the background while you relax.


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