Garden Action

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Dobbies Garden Centre Atherstone

Dobbies Garden Centre Atherstone.
Click the picture to enlarge it.

Dobbies at Atherstone (West Midlands) claim on their website to be the largest Garden Centre in the UK. 

It's certainly "big", 118,000 sq ft of sales area and a total site size of 53 acres. But does "biggest" mean best? We visited Dobbies at Atherstone and tried, the plants, the restaurant, the toilets, the aquarium and pet centre, the disabled facilities plus several other features to see what it was really like. Our 100% independent results are set out in detail below for you to decide if this is a garden centre for you.

As you go through the main entrance at Dobbies, there is a well-staffed Help Centre immediately on your left. The staff are friendly and informative. If they can't answer your question, they use their company mobile phones to contact someone who can.

The plants were well-kept, well watered and looked healthy. The selection is undeniably large. Most hardy plants were labelled well with site and care information. Remember though that even the largest garden centre is not able to compete with a specialist nursery for their particular plants.

The layout is not the best we have seen for locating the plants you want, the sign-posting is lacking. However, some sections are arranged with plants in alphabetical order which helps locate your chosen plant.

Dobbies guarantee all hardy plants bought at their garden centre for five years. Click the picture on the left to see the guarantee. Not many garden centres offer this sort of guarantee and certainly not for five years. Very reassuring.  Plant guarantee


Dobbies Garden Centre Atherstone plant information centre In the middle of the plant area there is the well-equipped Dobbies Plant Information Centre. It does not always have staff available, but often does. The centre has reference books with an area of tables and chairs for reading. On the walls are a large selection of useful charts showing such information as the eventual sizes of fruit trees grown on different rootstocks.

The prices of plants and common gardener's needs were average for a garden centre. Example prices are listed below:

Rose, 3 litre pot �5.99

Common shrub (e.g. potentilla) �5.99

Potted fruit tree (various rootstocks) �24.00

Growmore, branded 3.5kg �4.99

Growmore, branded 1.5kg �1.99

Miracle Gro, soluble plant food, 1kg �3.49

The pricing on some items was not quite what you would expect. For example the small 1.5kg Growmore at �1.99 was better value than the larger 3.5k Growmore at �4.99. Same brand, no special offer, strange.




Name: ray massey
Date posted: August 09, 2010 - 04:50 am
Message: Hi last mon/tues I orderd a chicken house/run order 4337352 any idea when it will be delivered .I ordered on th enet but someone will be in next door to sign if need be thanks