Only in a Garden Centre

Brits absolutely love garden centres! Customers enjoy filling their gardens and homes with plants and can’t get enough of the tea and cake. But what really goes on there? Lots of garden centre owners and employees say they should write a book…but few ever do. Stories get handed down through the generations and become folklore.

I plan to shed some light and share some of the tall tales the industry has been keeping to themselves…until now!

I’m collating a collection of funny, poignant and simply ridiculous tales from UK garden centres. To finish this book, I need your help! Please share your experiences of working in garden centres. They can be long or short, recent or ancient. I’m looking for true stories that are funny, moving, interesting or even shocking.

All profits from the book will go to Greenfingers, who build magical gardens for children’s hospices.

Here are a few prompts to get you thinking:

  • Mispronunciations
  • Customer service gone wrong
  • Unusual or ridiculous requests
  • Romance
  • Celebrities
  • Shoplifting
  • Garden centre super fans
  • Animals
  • Lockdown gardeners

All stories will be anonymous, so please share them with abandon. You can fill in the form below or email me via

Ts and Cs

By emailing/messaging me you give your consent to your story being included in the book. There will be no payments made to anyone who contributes. If I include your story, I will endeavour to email you before publication to let you know. I reserve the right to edit your story before including it within my collection. All book profits will go to Greenfingers. I will not personally profit from sales of this book.

About the Editor

Hannah Powell works at Perrywood Garden Centres, alongside her dad, two brothers and 235 employees. Before coming back into the family business, she worked in PR & Marketing.

In 2021 Hannah published her memoir The Cactus Surgeon: Using Nature to Fix A Faulty Brain. It explores her childhood, full of nature and plants living next door to a garden centre, and, in stark contrast, her time working in London. Surrounded by concrete in the capital she suffered burnout and functional neurological disorder and sought out nature to help her heal.

The Cactus Surgeon has won two awards including the Selfies Award for the best self-published memoir/autobiography in the UK.

I lived next door to a garden centre from the age of six until I left home. I’m now a director of the same garden centre – Perrywood Tiptree.
In the image above I’m in the pink t-shirt (1990s).
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