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Having to traipse through garden centres pushing trollies of plants

(67 Posts)
rosesarered Thu 17-Mar-16 23:30:10

AIBU to complain about having to push a trolley full of shrubs and plants through the whole indoor garden centre before I can reach the tills to pay.Today we visited a very large garden centre ( DH insists we go there as he likes the orange and carrot cake they do with his coffee) we had to then take ages as it was busy, trying to get the unwieldy trolley past people who were stopping to sniff candles etc or choose books and goods all the long winding way to the till. Could there not be tills for customers who are just buying plants and sited nearer to the actual plant part of the shop. grrrrrrr.

mollie Fri 18-Mar-16 03:12:49

It would certainly make sense, but where's the sense in any retail tactic to get you to pick up a few extras as you struggle to the till? It's a deliberate ploy...

jusnoneed Fri 18-Mar-16 08:32:14

I must admit all these "garden" centres that have things like stinky candles/artificial flowers/crockery etc and hugely expensive furniture really put me off and I avoid them if at all possible. Some of them seem to put actual garden plants way down the list of priorities.

Indinana Fri 18-Mar-16 08:44:38

I think all the National Garden Centre branches are like that. Very irritating. We have a couple of local garden centres that put all the non-garden stuff off to the side in another area, so the main focus is, as it should be, the plants. I much prefer going to these two nowadays.

Teetime Fri 18-Mar-16 08:45:15

There is large one near us - Gates near Oakham and it is laid out in the way you recommend. the gifts and fancy good can be paid for at a till in their part and you can go straight to the plants section and pay as you exit. It also has a huge restaurant and coaches come from miles around - I recommend it.

Indinana Fri 18-Mar-16 08:48:41

Meant to say - even better is Trago Mills at Newton Abbot. Their garden centre is superb, rivaling any specialist garden centre. You have to walk right through the huge store to get to it. BUT, once there, it has its own tills where you can take your trolley, pay for your goods and leave it for collection. Once you're finished in the store you bring your car round to the collection point, a decent sized car park.

petra Fri 18-Mar-16 08:53:59

Roses. They are arranged as in 'Exit through the gift shop' as are all Museums and stately homes.

annodomini Fri 18-Mar-16 11:37:02

The garden centre which I most often visit is just as bad, except at very busy times - weekends and bank holidays - when they have a till at an exit from the outdoor plant area which is adjacent to the car park.

tanith Fri 18-Mar-16 12:13:14

I want a garden centre to be just that, not a gift shop, furniture shop, cafe/restaurant, clothes, shoes, books store etc etc etc. Wade through hundreds of tourists who've come by Charabanc for a day out. I just want to browse and buy plants.

annsixty Fri 18-Mar-16 12:35:47

Dissenter here. I love the garden centres where I can browse, smell the smellies, check out the books , kitchenware, even shoes any handbags. Always have coffee and a long chat with the friend who takes me, but then I'm not a gardener.

Juggernaut Fri 18-Mar-16 12:44:05

We tend not to use garden centres when buying plants, we visit nurseries instead. Almost always cheaper, knowledgable staff, unusual varieties and no crowds of non-gardeners to wriggle past!
However, I do rather like the bacon and brie paninis at one fairly local garden centre, so on occasion, we have a wander around there!

tanith Fri 18-Mar-16 12:51:33

Juggernaut do you know I'd completely forgotten there were such things any more I'm going to look for one local to me, I may be some time wink

Lavande Fri 18-Mar-16 13:35:40

The garden centre I visited on my last UK trip had in my absence of five years changed the entrance and exit route. I had gone there with the intention of buying their 50% off the price of shrubs, to find I had to wield a laden trolley through the lifestyle section. As an inveterate browser I could cope with that and picked up more reduced price bargains on my way to the exit.

Fortunately Mr L. was not with me, as he would have thrown a wobbly. He complains about what he calls the Ikea nightmare where customers are trapped in a long one way system. I am not sure if it is genuine panic or fear that prolonged shopping will expose his wallet to further damage. Probably a bit of both.

rosesarered Fri 18-Mar-16 13:36:52

teetime I have been to Gates a few times, it's brilliant and my fave garden centre of all time! The cafe is lovely and spacious and light, and as you say all the different areas are separate, so if you want the clothing bit, or books/games then you can just go there.
I love garden centres and all the things they sell, BUT if they were all laid out like Gates or Trago it would be nicer when pushing a trolley full of plants.
Burford Garden Centre dies the best cakes.grin

rosesarered Fri 18-Mar-16 13:37:41

Typo! Does not dies ( though you may if you eat too many.)

rosesarered Fri 18-Mar-16 13:39:22

We use nurseries as well, but they don't always have the particular shrub/plant you want, and garden centres have a larger choice.

rosesarered Fri 18-Mar-16 13:40:41

petra I think there is a recent book called 'Exit Through The Gift Shop'grin

pollyperkins Sat 19-Mar-16 10:20:12

Im wirh Annsixty! I go as much for browsing in other Areas and visiting cafe as for buying plants. Im not really a gardener either. But it makes sense to have tills in both areas.

annifrance Sat 19-Mar-16 10:44:29

it's getting like Ikea - difficult to find the way out.

Thankfully so far the French garden centres haven't cottoned on to lifestyle sections yet.

Scooter58 Sat 19-Mar-16 11:38:21

I work in a nursery,we have a small selection of gifts etc as people like to browse,but mainly we have shrubs,trees,bedding,etc,mostly grown in the nursery,one exit with a few tills,we don't have a cafe but we do have a full size aeroplane,a fire engine,and yesterday we had a new addition,an original Red London double decker bus lo.

winifred01 Sat 19-Mar-16 12:13:10

Once heard a top gardener at a lecture advise ' never buy plants from a company which also sells double glazing!( or gifts etc.)

oldie730 Sat 19-Mar-16 15:14:44

No large garden centres near here, thankfully. B&Q about 12 miles away but small store. On holiday and we escaped the rain by going in a large centre mainly for a cuppa, but watched the mayhem with large trolleys trying to negotiate large bending bottoms sniffing candles, etc. Would never visit such a place for plants, prefer proper nurseries of which there are several here.

rosesarered Sat 19-Mar-16 15:29:49

oldie grin
I must say that the more robust and value for money plants we buy tend to come from Homebase!
We have a few small nuseries here, and would like to use them more, but they never seem to have the things we want.

merlotgran Sat 19-Mar-16 16:03:05

We are spoiled for choice for garden centres around here. There are loads of 'em and they're always packed. The thing that annoys me is having to park in the overflow car park which is a long way to push your trolley load of plants because the cafe is full of people who have arrived early so they can queue up for lunch hmm

Greyduster Sat 19-Mar-16 17:15:05

We have three garden centres in close proximity to us. Two of them seem to have less and less connection with the term 'garden' every time I go in there (which is not often these days). The other one, though it does sell a certain number of garden ornaments, water features and the like, seems to have avoided going down the waxed hat, tacky gift and scented candle route. It doesn't even have a coffee shop. We like it. The best garden centre is the one in the middle of St David's (I know, a bit far to go!). A one man band, raises a lot of his own plants, very knowledgeable; looking forward to seeing him again this year if he's still there and I can persuade DH to keep a corner of the boot free!