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ADDRESS:
Studley Garden Centre,
Henley Road,
Mappleborough Green,
Studley,
Warwickshire B80 7DR
 
OWNER:
Boyd Douglas-Davies
 
TELEPHONE NUMBER:
01527 852266
 
WEBSITE:
Click here for the Studley Garden Centre website

GOOGLE MAP: Click here for a Google map showing the location of Studley Garden Centre near Redditch.

MULTIMAP: Click here for a Multimap showing the location.

EMAIL: Not available at the moment.

 Entrance to Studley Garden Centre
Studley Garden Centre was previously owned by Hillier Garden Centres then sold to Boyd Douglas-Davies in September 2011.

Our visit was on a Saturday in late May when it was overcast but neither cold nor raining. What struck us as odd was that there was a total of only 12 cars in the car park at midday. Very strange for a garden centre of this size.

The plants area was completely deserted, not one single person it and there were no staff either. The area is well paved, no slopes or puddles to cope with and the paths are wide and obstacle-free.

There were no signs to indicate where particular plant types could be found which is never a good omen in a relatively modern garden centre. Although the plant bays were small and the area had the potential for a pleasant appearance, the overall impression was rather haphazard. Plants were not grouped by type, rather it looked like job lots of plants had been randomly placed to fill up the space. Very little thought had gone into the layout of the plants area.

 Plants display
About a quarter of the area is under cover the remainder being open. All hardy plants are covered by a five year guarantee, one of the longest which is available.
The different varieties stocked represent a good choice with a very good choice of larger plants and ornamental trees. Unfortunately some of the larger plants had been blown over although we don't recollect there being any significant wind that day.

As far as prices go, roses started at £8.99, clematis were from a low £7.99, we were unable to locate any potentillas (one of our normal price test shrubs) because of the mixed up location of plants. Arthur Bowers large multi-purpose was £4.99 or 3 for £12. In another part of the garden centre the price for three bags was also advertised as £10. Miracle Gro was £4.99 for 1 kg, Tomorite was £3.99 for a litre with an economy Yeoman spade / fork at £9.99.

OUR VIDEO OF STUDLEY GARDEN CENTRE

The overall impression as far as prices go was that Studley Garden Centre was below average in many areas for this type of garden centre. If piped music makes your shopping experience better then you will find it here at one end of the covered plants area. At the other end of the area they have announcements of special deals.

The main interior sales area is mainly devoted to gardening related goods and the choice would satisfy most people. They did however have a particularly large area give over to a display of garden and conservatory furniture. The choice of house plants was also unusually large for a medium sized garden centre. Also for sale was a good choice of bird foods and accessories and a range of barbecues.

There is also another smaller interior sales area which stocks gifts, cookery and food items.

CAFE


 Food from the cafe
There is a cafe at Studley Garden Centre which unfortunately has a low standard of decoration. The general appearance is that of a large shed with low exposed metal beams and exposed heating ducts.

The furniture was unattractive, cheap, plastic tables and chairs. The flooring might be called rustic by some but we thought it looked plain and unattractive.

The plastic plant dividers added another unattractive aspect to the cafe. There is an outdoor seating area with a similar standard of decor but because it was open it was a better place to have your coffee or tea.

 The filling of a panini at the Studley Garden Centre cafe
The prices of the food were on the low side (see below) but this was completely negated by the low quality of the food. The panini we sampled was quite simply the worst we have ever tasted.
It was so bad that we took a picture of the filling of a cheese and onion one - very few onions and the almost undetectable amount of cheese in the filling was tasteless. The food part of garden centres is highly competitive nowadays and food of this type is well below the standards expected.

Click the above picture to see an enlarged version more clearly.

Almost all food is served to your table by very pleasant staff and there are no queues (very few customers even at peak days and times) to speak of. Food price examples are small coffee at £1.60, paninis £4.80 to £5.50, sandwiches around £4, jacket potatoes £4.50 to £5. They also serve salads and rather unattractive looking cakes.

The cafe was awarded five stars for food hygiene in December 2012 by Stratford-on-Avon District Council. Click here for the full report.

Five star food hygiene rating

CONCLUSION

Our conclusions are not very difficult to guess given the above review! Poor plants area layout, no signs, haphazard layout and appearance are bad enough but the cafe doe not help matters at all.

We visited two other garden centres / nurseries on the same day within a mile from Studley Garden Centre and it clarified in our minds the reason for the lack of customers. The other two garden centres were satisfying the local customers' needs in a far better fashion. Badger Garden Centre (which has also recently been acquired by new owners) is a direct competitor and does the job far better.

Castle Nurseries, which was literally overflowing with customers, offers such exceptional value for money that Studley Garden Centre is simply not in the running in its present form.

We will perform a review update for Studley Garden Centre at a later date because we understand from an article in Horticulture Week dated 12 March 2012 that the owner of the garden centre plans to invest £500,000 in the catering facilities and other improvements which will clearly improve matters.

WEATHER FORECAST: Click here for the the weather forecast in the Studley area.

OPENING HOURS: STUDLEY GARDEN CENTRE IN WARWICKSHIRE

  Open Close
Monday 9.00am 5.30pm
Tuesday 9.00am 5.30pm
Wednesday 9.00am 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00am 5.30pm
Friday 9.00am 5.30pm
Saturday 9.00am 5.30pm
Sunday 10.30am 4.30pm

EASTER OPENING TIMES

Good Friday - 9.00am to 5.30pm
Easter Saturday - 9.00am to 5.3
Easter Sunday - CLOSED
Easter Monday - 9.00am to 5.30pm

CHRISTMAS OPENING TIMES

Christmas Eve - 9.00am to 4.00
Christmas Day - CLOSED
Boxing Day - CLOSED
New Year's Eve - 9.00am to 5.30
New Year's Day - 9.00am to 5.30
 

BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY OPENING TIMES

Includes May and August Bank Holiday:
Open 9.00am, closes 5.30pm


REVIEWS LEFT BY OUR READERS


3 star user rating 7 April 2015 Comment From: Not Given
The cafe has been refurbished since the above review. It is still in what feels like a greenhouse but with a new counter, furniture and decorations. Very pleasant in warm weather. Have coffee or a meal here then get your plants at Badgers or Tophams which are both almost next door.

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