The Garden Society has been a customer of WBC since 2017. We officially met Sam and Aaron back in May of this year when they booked an appointment to visit the WBC Showroom. Welcomed by Gerry, our in house retail consultant, their mutual passion for everything design & lifestyle blossomed into a successful working relationship.
The Garden Society was officially launched in 2017 when they were offered the opportunity to develop their restaurant on-site and take over the whole garden and aquatics centre. 2 years later, they have built a new breed of a garden centre. Pulling on their creativity, hands-on attitude and previous experience in hospitality and event planning, the Garden Society is changing the way we shop for homewares and garden.
Since their first visit to our showroom, Gerry and I thought it was polite to return the favour and spend a day exploring the wonders of their extensive site.
The Garden Society
The Garden Society is a space like no other. It is formed of lifestyle shop featuring stylish homewares and artificial flowers; ‘The Planteria’ with a variety of seasonal outdoor plants, and the ‘Nature Collective’ full of house plants, aquatics and reptiles. Their restaurant offers three unique spaces. The Palm Room, Orangery Tea House and their outdoor area which is also host to a stage where unique events take place.
Their afternoon tea and seasonal menu attract a plethora of customers across different age groups. It keeps the team busy and always inventing new and exciting things to add.
THE RESTAURANT & BAR
Aaron and Sam had a vision for their restaurant and bar area. Whilst it has been a success for over 2 years, their vision was of grandeur and edginess. It brought them to us and our BRIX modular display system.
Thanks to their incredible vision and creativity, the end result was stunning. The first set of BRIX units created an archway into the Orangery Tea House, filled with simple and stylish homewares and framed drawings. A feature that helps to create a room separation, they have also utilised the wooden shelves to up-sell their products within a realistic environment.
The second set of BRIX was used to create an eye-catching bar area. By hanging BRIX units, they have optimised space and created a frame for the bar that they can sell from while featuring best-selling wines.
Used predominantly during their ‘summer sessions’ events, the bar area is situated by the door to the garden dining area. The space allows customers to spend their evening amongst nature.
THE ORANGERY OUTSIDE
Used as an outdoor dining area, tables are scattered within two parts allowing a seamless journey from lunch to plants. Cleverly, this journey planning also allows customers to preview outdoor plants without having to go out of their way after eating.
Amongst a flurry of seasonal bedding plants, herbs, pots and garden furniture, Sam and Aaron have created spaces to be used during events.
Scattered amongst the different areas is the Planteria. The event spaces have been used to host gigs by upcoming musicians, yoga sessions and even wedding workshops! Creating experiences that take the customer out of the traditional garden centre and into an experience-led space, create additional selling opportunities. The space can be transformed into anything.
THE NATURE COLLECTIVE
This is an area that doesn’t feature any of our products, but we still couldn’t stay away from The Nature Collective. Featuring a large range of exotic tropical fish unique to the Garden Society, marine organisms, marvellous reptiles and amphibians. The Nature Collective is one part of the businesses previously owned by co-founder Sam. His passion for marine life even resulted in a collaboration with biOrb, designing a range of fish tanks and accessories that they now sell in the shop.
WHAT’S IN THE FUTURE
Thanks to the success of their ‘Summer Sessions’, Aaron and Sam recently decided to do a pop-up shop and event at Westquay Shopping Centre in Southampton created to bring nature to the city.
Hugely successful, then plan going forward is ambitious, to say the least. A Christmas grotto with a Santa Claus, a themed Halloween event, and much more. It’s safe to say Aaron and Sam won’t get bored.
With heaps and heaps of passion and go-to attitude, The Garden Society is definitely much more than just a garden centre. We’re lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them and look forward to seeing where they take it.