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The Story of British Garden Centres

The story of the British Garden Centres begins in the sleepy Lincolnshire village of Woodthorpe, the home of our company founders, Charles and Robert Stubbs. Charles started the business whilst still at school – he sold seedlings and Leylandii to neighbours and passers-by from a stall at the end of their drive.

Through hard work, determination and drive, the business grew with Woodthorpe Garden Centre, being their first, opening in 1987. The business flourished under the ownership of Charles and brother Robert, becoming famous for, amongst other things, huge sales of compost to keen gardeners from all over the region. Over the years, the brothers’ reputation grew far and wide. They were featured on the local news program Calendar for their entrepreneurial skills.


The business at Woodthorpe grew, and with the addition of Brigg Garden Centre, the company’s reputation for quality and value began to spread under the leadership of Charles, Phillippa and Robert Stubbs. Further centres were added, and the company became known as the British Garden Centres Group. Since 2018, the company has grown at a rate even faster than Charles, Phillippa and Robert could ever have imagined, and now, it has over 60 centres around the country. Their ambition to have a British Garden Centre within easy reach of everyone in the UK really is starting to take shape!

The Future

As the number of centres has grown, so too has our team. We’re thrilled that the next generation is now working in the business. No matter what challenges the world may throw at us; we will stay true to our founding principles – providing great plants and products all year round, delivering first-class service through our fantastic team, and offering all this at affordable prices.

In 2023, we launched our new online store, giving our customers the convenience of shopping 24/7 and having products delivered straight to their door. We hope you love our centres and online store as much as we do.

Charles and Robert Stubbs

Early days selling plants and compost

Charles Stubbs with daughter Amy Stubbs – the next generation

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