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  • william reed
  • Multiple Chelsea gold-medal winner opens new garden centre

    An award-winning designer has returned to his roots and taken over an abandoned garden centre where he had his first Saturday job.
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    Chelsea gold medal winner Peter Dowle has re-opened the garden centre which closed three years ago.
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    Peter says he wants Leaf Creative at Huntley to grow into something a little bit different.
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    ?The big plant market is not covered this side of the country,? he said.
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    ?We want to do something completely different and create a new style of retailing, rooted in design.
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    ?People will be able to come along, see the plants and have the opportunity to talk to our people. They’re all trained in horticulture and design.
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    ?Of course we will have some smaller plants as well. But there will be plenty there for people who do not want to wait 25 years for a bush or a shrub to grow.”

    Leaf Creative Garden Centre joins nursery portfolio

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    Leaf Creative will be the retail arm of his well-known nursery business at Howle Hill near Ross-on-Wye and Ruardean. This part of the business is too far off the beaten track to open to the public.
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    When Mr Dowle?s father Julian worked there it was Huntley Garden Centre.
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    Peter had a Saturday job there around 1978 and his brother and sister went to the local school in Huntley.
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    But the garden centre closed around three years ago and fell into disrepair.
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    Mr Dowle’s teams have been transforming the garden centre since the summer. He now has plants and a coffee shop called the Ferns.
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    The centre sells everything from oaks and olives. There are plenty of plants to reflect Mr Dowle?s love of large shrubs and specimen trees such as Acers.
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    The garden centre is still developing. There are plans for a shop, large indoor plant section and ?garden vignettes? showing planting combinations.
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    Already, there are existing mature borders at the six-acre site on the A40 with some unusual plants.
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    Mr Dowle is a well known name on the show garden circuit for his exhibits and has twice won best in show at RHS Malvern.
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    He is also a regular at other RHS shows. He’s best known for his Chelsea gold-medal winning gardens for companies such as L’Occitane and Renault .
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    Although demanding, he says show gardens are essential to keep up with new garden trends and products and showcase their work.

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