Squire’s Garden Centres turns 85

Squire’s Garden Centres celebrates its 85th Anniversary this year. Sarah Squire now Chairman, speaks about the changes in gardening and garden centres over the last 85 years.

How did Squire’s come about?

My grandfather D.J. Squire (1905 – 2003) started our business in the mid-1930s after he was made redundant. During the Second World War the company built Anderson air raid shelters in the Twickenham area and turned the nurseries over to food production. Colin Squire, my father, developed the company into one of the first garden centre businesses in the UK when he opened Squire’s in Twickenham in 1964. Today we operate 16 garden centres located in Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex and Berkshire.

How have garden centres changed?

The early garden centres sold plants and gardening products, usually from converted greenhouse buildings that were nowhere near the shopping environment customers quite rightly demand today. From the 1980’s, garden furniture and BBQs started to take off, and then cafes became an intrinsic part of the experience. At the same time garden centre businesses invested in their buildings to create more attractive, better insulated and water tight places to shop.

Have plant trends changed over the years?

Plant trends come and go but many plants are just as popular now as they were 85 years ago. Roses, Clematis and Lavenders are perennially popular, and there’s increased demand for ‘grow your own’ fruit & veg and large statement plants. Planting for wildlife is a trend which quite rightly keeps on growing in popularity. We are also seeing a resurgence in bright colour schemes this year as we all look for something cheerful.

What are you doing to celebrate the 85th Anniversary?

Look out for special flowerbeds our garden centre teams have designed to celebrate our ‘85 years’ in plants. We are also offering a special Anniversary Cream Tea in our Café Bars in July and August.


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