Open Garden Centres

Open garden centres. As easy for them to manage people as supermarkets and mostly outside anyway.

Why the contribution is important

Gardening is good for mind and body, important at this time. Also, if centres cannot sell their plants at this time of year, many will never reopen.

by Colliewalker on May 05, 2020 at 02:54PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 141 votes


  • Posted by Applecr0ss May 05, 2020 at 15:00

    YES PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Posted by Karinpaling May 05, 2020 at 15:00

    Totally agree!
  • Posted by DG May 05, 2020 at 15:01

    Far from essential.
  • Posted by June May 05, 2020 at 15:05

    It’s tragic that plants have been destroyed as they can’t be sold. If the supermarkets can sell plants, then it should be right to let garden centres open. Gardening is good for the body and soul, so really important that they open up again.
  • Posted by CarolConnell May 05, 2020 at 15:07

    Agreed. Social distancing can be applied.
  • Posted by DrT May 05, 2020 at 15:09

    I agree with Colliewalker that this would be a welcome move with minimal risk of increasing transmission of the virus and enhancing individuals’ wellbeing and mental health. It would also contribute to the economy.
  • Posted by yewtree May 05, 2020 at 15:10

    Why is it that B & Q can open their stores and the garden and plant sections within the stores but proper garden centres cannot open. This is discriminatory and very unfair. Gardening is as important to health and sanity, if not more so, than putting up a shelf etc. particularly for the older population. Allotments are allowed to open so supplies are required.
  • Posted by Firebird67 May 05, 2020 at 15:14

    Agreed as long as social distancing can be applied
  • Posted by SconeBurns May 05, 2020 at 15:17

    As a general suggestion, it might be possible for people to 'book' a time slot during which they attend a shop such as a garden centre. That would have the effect of limiting numbers in car parks while at the same time controlling numbers in the shops. Yes I can see problems with that but I do believe garden centres and the like are, for many, regarded as an essential, as much for their mental health. There could be a prescribed 'standby' group of people sitting in their cars for example, waiting for untaken slots, or people could wait in a virtual queue and be texted when a slot became available. Obviously though, people should be encouraged to shop online where possible an either have delivery or click and collect. I think that, provided suitable social distancing is in place, and shopper number restrictions are in place, I believe it is something that should be allowed and could be possible.
  • Posted by Patsy50 May 05, 2020 at 15:17

    Totally agree. Most of them have a large bit outdoors and could easily manage social distancing. It’s a nonsense that big stores like Homebase can sell plants but small businesses have to remain shut. It is a fav hobby amongst over 70s and will keep them sane during this lockdown. I would have not coped as well if I had not been able to go out to the garden especially at this time of year
  • Posted by annelindsaynicoll May 05, 2020 at 15:18

    Yes there are good reasons for so doing and garden centres are for the most part spacious enough to retain social distancing AND to introduce limitations on numbers and to introduce one-way systems. Although there are quite a number of people who seem unclear as to the direction of arrows!
  • Posted by LauraWright May 05, 2020 at 15:22

    Absolutely agree as long as normal precautions are taken.
  • Posted by joemaceachen May 05, 2020 at 15:31

    If suitable Social Distancing can be applied it would be great if Garden Centres could be re-opened both from the Garden Centres' point of view and the general public. Some Garden Centres are family run and may go out of business if the lockdown continues for a longer period. It is also important for the General Public in that gardening is a hobby and a source of exercise for some people. Garden Centres re-opening could also be important for some people's Mental Health as this might give them an opportunity to pursue an activity they enjoy.
  • Posted by fisher May 05, 2020 at 15:34

    Agree as most centres have ample car parking and outdoor space. Also agree with the idea of time slots being given as I think there would be a rush of customers initially. The British horticulture industry is really suffering at the moment.
  • Posted by Gardenlover May 05, 2020 at 15:48

    I agree with garden centres and also plant nurseries to be allowed to open. If supermarkets can arrange social distancing or limit numbers on the premises at once then so can these. The waste of plants and destruction of these businesses at this time of year is unnecessary.
  • Posted by Markxd May 05, 2020 at 16:06

    don't understand why they are not already open. Suspect someone somewhere wants them out of business. Supermarkets/B&Q etc all selling plants and enjoying 100% Business Rate Relief
  • Posted by AlexMD May 05, 2020 at 16:12

    They should never have been closed in the first place. Tesco / Morrisons / Asda etc all sell plants. Double standards.
  • Posted by vRam May 05, 2020 at 16:25

    Agree in principal. Especially for vegetable and fruit growing.
  • Posted by bank65 May 05, 2020 at 17:07

    Open as a priority but without the cafe/restaurant. No more of a risk than supermarkets. Supports good mental health.
  • Posted by deerhoundchris May 05, 2020 at 17:53

    I am sure this could be done safely and would be very beneficial to all.
  • Posted by Alasdrum May 05, 2020 at 18:02

    Open garden centres now. It is frankly a no-brainer.
  • Posted by Lewis May 05, 2020 at 18:04

    Agree as most centres have ample car parking and outdoor space
  • Posted by morningsidemusings May 05, 2020 at 19:18

    Agree as the risk levels are no greater than supermarkets. No cafes though!
  • Posted by mdinafala May 05, 2020 at 19:21

    Agree with this completely arrangements to limit no’s and no of visits could also be restricted
  • Posted by BruceE May 05, 2020 at 19:26

    it seems obvious that social distancing can be maintained in garden centres, allow them to reopen
  • Posted by LAM May 05, 2020 at 21:41

    Yes, do it now before these business and growers businesses are destroyed. Social distancing can be applied surely? Why is it OK for B and Q to be open and have huge queues and sell some of the same goods? People need an outlet for their mental and physical health and for many of us gardening is good for the soul!
  • Posted by lmjdear May 06, 2020 at 07:01

    yes..and now! should never have been shut.
  • Posted by jrob May 06, 2020 at 15:16

    Completely agree.
  • Posted by Gillon May 06, 2020 at 20:07

    Garden Centres are probably the easiest businesses to re-open given the relative ease of social distancing and given that stores such as the range, B & M, B&Q already have their garden centres open it just seems like a common sense approach
  • Posted by Me May 06, 2020 at 20:26

    Keep them closed garden centres sell lots of non essential items clothing and gifts to name but a few encourage people to come for a day trip out Gardening might be good for people’s mental health but has anyone ever considered the mental health of the staff that work in these places Would encourage all the day trippers
  • Posted by Pecurb May 07, 2020 at 10:56

    Garden centres can (and some do) operate a ‘click and collect’ system. The large car parks can be used to separate collection points and goods can be looked at online. If the garden centre is unable to operate online ordering then telephone ordering should be relatively straightforward. Obviously the travelling to and from the garden centre is an issue that would mend to be carefully looked at.
  • Posted by snapier May 07, 2020 at 11:06

    Definitely! There is no reason garden centres cannot open if they follow the same practices as supermarkets.
  • Posted by irene108 May 07, 2020 at 11:28

    It surely is much easier to social distance in a garden centre than supermarkets, so please let them open up, with the normal restrictions in place.
  • Posted by BH850 May 07, 2020 at 12:21

    Allowing garden centres to open with sensible precautions will hopefully help them stay afloat and will also encourage people to spend more time in their gardens. The non gardening sections of the shops can be closed off if that's a concern
  • Posted by DForr May 07, 2020 at 13:26

    Garden centres should be able to open with the same social distancing rules as supermarkets. Would provide important mental health benefits to people during lockdown - those with gardens able to work and improve their home environment & those without gardens able to purchase plants to brighten up their homes as well. Right now it's particularly important as if the centres are unable to open imminently, masses of plants will have to be disposed of, at huge financial cost to the centres.
  • Posted by jnoble May 07, 2020 at 15:45

    I see B and Q and Sainsburys selling plants and yet our third generation local nursery business which is mostly open air displays is not to open. This is a vital time of year for their business with hundreds of thousands of pounds at stake and people crying out for bedding plants which will maybe have to be destroyed. This is probably the single most nonsensical aspect of the whole lockdown.
  • Posted by Jharrison May 07, 2020 at 19:28

    If a gym can not reopen as it is non-essential then gardens centres 100% should not be opened. As someone who attends the gym due to anxiety and mental health issues I need to the gym to help eradicate this yet we have non essential shops opening where not a single person keeps there distance while inside the doors!
  • Posted by firehorse May 08, 2020 at 01:43

    Yes, should have done this 2 weeks ago, gardening has a 3 fold bonus, 1) it is used as a tool in a lot of therapeutic setting dealing with mental health issues 2) people could produce some home grow fruit and veg, thus reducing their food cost 3) most garden centres have open spaces, normally with pathways, so social distancing can be easily introduced. I would suggest that the internal shop/café remain closed for the time being, and a payment desk placed outside maybe under a gazebo.
  • Posted by Aud May 08, 2020 at 12:59

    This would be good for your health and well being.
  • Posted by Paul1953 May 08, 2020 at 13:53

    Could operate like supermarkets. Would have beneficial effects to people’s well being and help the horticultural industry. The operators would need to ensure that their staff were working is a safe environment.
  • Posted by Chimp May 08, 2020 at 17:21

    Supermarkets are required for people to buy food. Garden centres aren't. I'm all for easing restrictions but this is one I can't agree with. Hard to maintain social distancing (I see this all the time in the supermarket) and puts staff at risk. Sorry to generalise but I think they are also more likely to be frequented by people of a certain age who are at more risk than others.
  • Posted by JojoA May 08, 2020 at 17:47

    Some people, like myself, grow their own food and rely on garden centres to buy tatties, onions sets and seeds for planting for example. And garden centres can assure safe distancing in the same way other 'essential' shops can.
  • Posted by HighlandLass May 08, 2020 at 18:10

    Yes same as other retail shops with Social Distancing
  • Posted by acaringchap May 08, 2020 at 19:52

    I believe garden centres can reopen with strict social distancing in place and limited customers in centre at any giving time. Many DIY and supermarkets are selling gardening items and some have garden centres attached to their stores and they remain open with measures in place. We need to take into account equality and fairness in garden centres. So much plant stock wasted and if garden centres reopened this would significantly improve peoples mental well-being by promoting exercise within their own gardens and bring much pleasure even to our older population. This would allow limited numbers of staff to return to work place while helping families in financial difficulties to gain some income.
  • Posted by jeanm56 May 08, 2020 at 20:49

    completely agree that garden centres should be open for lots of reasons already pointed out by others. Our local garden centre has a large car park and plenty space inside to allow for social distancing, as most I've ever visited have.
  • Posted by Takingstock May 09, 2020 at 08:33

    Providing Garden Centres can organise the layout and purchasing process for physical distancing, they should definitely open. Gardening is therapeutic and helps improve mental health
  • Posted by waxwing May 09, 2020 at 09:46

    Absolutely agree. Social distancing should be easy to achieve at most garden centres.
  • Posted by MORNINGSIDE1 May 09, 2020 at 13:41

    Yes please. During the lockdown it is keeping people sane.
  • Posted by conniel May 10, 2020 at 11:22

    Garden centres should be one of the easier retail outlets to reopen as they have ample car-parking, a large area to allow adequate social distancing, and large outdoor areas. As long as numbers are controlled (as per supermarkets) and social-distancing measures are enforced they should be able to reopen.
  • Posted by johnxsmith2019 May 10, 2020 at 13:33

    Get them all open - from the plants required to help the bee population to home growing of food, along with the physical and mental benefits from gardening its a disgrace they are still closed. Dobbies will survive, but all the private ones may never open again.
  • Posted by Scotswede May 10, 2020 at 23:52

    There are problems with garden centres being allowed to 'open'. - likely to be busy when first open, meaning lots of traffic on roads near them, which are often rural. - there may be large outdoor areas, but cash registers typically in small indoor areas where social distancing will be harder to manage - shops and cafes not conducive to social distancing - not like supermarkets or B&Q at all, most garden centres don't have the square footage in store or the staff levels to manage crowds - people treat garden centres as days out- this will effect ability to social distance, have kids running around with older people etc -many garden centres more than just plant sales - how will this be controlled? Simple solution though - allow garden centres and other hobby stores to open on an appointment or booking only basis - even then need to employ supermarket style social distancing rules should then apply (no large family visits, numbers in store, hand gel etc) This limits most of the dangers listed above and allows for managed test trading. Many garden centres already operating click and collect - this should be strongly encouraged over opening.
  • Posted by MichelleH May 11, 2020 at 13:20

    These should have been open a month ago. Fresh air, plants, all good for immune system. With the current uncertainty we have started a vegetable garden for our consumption, should the suppliers be unable to cope with demand. Have had to grow from seed as garden centres were closed, which is taking a very long time. Pleas reopen so we can increase our supply. Healthy and fresh food is better than the sugar and preservative laden supermarket foods.
  • Posted by Bethany18 May 11, 2020 at 16:34

    It is definitely achievable to open them whilst maintaining safety measures
  • Posted by OliveBranch May 11, 2020 at 20:23

    Bonkers that Homebase and B&Q garden centre sections are open but other garden centres are shut, get them all open with social distancing observed
  • Posted by ScotScott May 11, 2020 at 20:29

    How come the garden centre in the Homebase is allowed to open but our local garden centre at Caulders can't. How is Homebase garden centre considered safe and Caulder's isn't? Seems very unfair. It looks like favouritism for big shareholders against small business people. Anyway, Caulders has WAY more space outside and isn't that safer according to the science? In fact, I'd say the garden centres have lots more reasons to open because they sell food and fruit and veg and pet food which Homebases don't. I suspect this time next year lots of the wee garden centres will be gone, the lockdown will have finished them off. We'll have lost loads of friendly businesses run by a local families who are good employers. And the big homebase chains probably owned by a hedge fund will get twice as much business. How's that good for our local economy, what a disaster. I have a feeling this is how things will turn out - small local companies will never recover but huge international companies like amazon and big supermarket companies will thrive. And how come the Range is allowed to be open? It's disappointing that it's the big superstores with shareholders who always come out on top at the expense of ordinary folk trying to run a business. Why is that?
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