One look from your window today and my bet is that a spot of gardening is not on the top of your list of things to do this weekend. With unexpected snowfalls hitting parts of Oxfordshire overnight, and March already recording two of the coldest days on record for the past 20 years, our gardens have had to take a bit of a back seat, when it comes to love and attention.
But perhaps Waitrose know something we don’t, and are predicting warmer weather in the next few weeks, as they announced today that they are launching a brand new gardening range instore, and to compliment this, they are also collaborating with the UK’s best known gardener – Alan Titchmarsh, who will appear on their newly formed website, offering tips and advice to gardeners.
Alan Titchmarsh is well known for presenting the BBC’s coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show and he also hosts an afternoon TV show on ITV, in which he interviews celebrity guests on a range on topics including gardening, cooking, pets and the latest gadgets.
Speaking of why Alan was approached by Waitrose, Rupert Thomas, Waitrose marketing director, said: “Our customers’ two top interests are good food and gardening. As one of Britain’s most loved and trusted experts, Alan will bring his skills to developing our new gardening ranges and a very special voice to our communications.”
And Alan was keen to get involved, he said: “Having spent almost my entire life growing everything from fruit and vegetables to flowers and plants I am delighted to have this opportunity of working with Waitrose to help raise the profile of British agriculture and horticulture,” he added, “There is a real need to promote a greater understanding of just what is involved in producing healthy, well-grown produce and transporting it from field to fork so that it arrives with the consumer in the best possible condition.”
The gardening and floristry range will be called Waitrose Flower Garden, and will offer customers a choice of over 850 different flowers and seeds along with 80 gardening products. Prices will range from £3 to £75 and it is estimated that around 41 branches will allow at least 120 sq ft of outdoor space to the range, which will include an outdoor gardening area, dedicated to selling plants and gardening accessories.
The website, called Waitrosegarden.com., will focus on sharing Alan’s tips on how to care for your garden through the seasons, and he will also pick his top 50 gardening products for each season. There will also be the opportunity to purchase products from the website, as it will sell an estimated 5,000 horticulture products, all in association with the online garden supplier, Crocus.
Rupert Thomas, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer such an inspirational range of floristry and gardening products. This will make us a serious player in what is already a hugely successful category for us.”
The gardening and floristry range and website launch next week.