Conservatory furniture at Van Hage
VAN HAGE GARDEN CENTRE, WARE
The Van Hage Garden Centre in Great Amwell, Ware won the 2010 Best Plant Area in the UK award from the Garden Centre Association. The area is indeed well laid out but best in the UK? Not in our opinion. We have reviewed over two hundred UK garden centres over the past few years and several other garden centres surpass Van Hage in Ware.
THE OUTSIDE AREA AT VAN HAGE, WARE
The paths are solid and wide with all areas accessible by wheelchair users, they were all free from obstruction. It's a large plant area even for a big garden centre but the signage is poor. There are only a few overhead signs and none as you enter the area. As an example, if you are looking for roses there is no indication where they are, the same is true fruit trees and other plant groups. The shrub section is arranged alphabetically though which helps.
The area nearest the main garden centre is covered and the main pathways are covered which makes shopping in this area easier during a rainy period. To the right side of the plants area lots of compost, stoneware and other "hard" gardening goods are displayed. fencing is also well featured, lots of it to choose from.
Because the plant area is so large there is plenty of room to stock a wide variety of plants. Specialist areas include roses, ornamental trees and grasses.
Prices were on the high side. Example prices are £8.99 for a potentilla, this went up to £24.99 for a very large potted potentilla. If you are searching for larger potted plants then Van Hage may well have what you are looking for. Roses start at £7.99 and they have lots to choose from. Potting compost is £5.99 for a 60 litre bag or two for £10.
The hardy plants come with a guarantee but it's not clear how long that is. A large poster we saw declared the guarantee to be for two years but carved into the wooden supports of the covered plants are it declares the guarantee to be for five years. We suspect that the real guarantee is for two years because the poster is obviously more recent than the carving the wood. Either way, it's a worthwhile guarantee because of the confidence it shows they have in their plants.
INSIDE VAN HAGE GARDEN CENTRE IN WARE
The interior gardening section is well stocked and prices were on the cheap side. For instance 1 litre of tomato plant plant food was selling for only £2.99, the Miracle Gro was selling for a normal £4.99. Branded spades and forks were selling for only £12.99 and stainless steel ones were priced at £19.99.
Other interior sales areas included books, cards, gifts, clothes, shoes, an excellent range of up market barbecues, gifts, floristry and kitchen goods. The indoor plants were particularly interesting. Lots of variety, well-displayed and in good condition. The popularity in garden bird watching has not been missed at Van Hage in Ware. There is a large area devoted entirely to bird foods and bird tables.
All Van Hage garden centres are well known for their range of garden and conservatory furniture. All up market and some costing well over a thousand pounds. If you have the money then you'll find it here. We particularly liked the way the furniture is on show at the Great Amwell branch. Matching sets of furniture are displayed in small offset areas of the sales area.
VAN HAGE CIRCUS
VAN HAGE SKATING ICE RINK AT GREAT AMWELL, WARE 2012
The Ice rink will return again to Van Hage Great Amwell in 2012 over the Christmas period. As always it's a massive 600sq m size, big enough for over 400 people at any one time. They will have a heated area for viewing plus a cafe specially for the ice rink. Skates are available for hire.
The ice rink opens on 14 November 2012 and closes on 6th January 3012. Skates are available for hire and sessions last for 45 minutes - if you have the energy. For more details, click here.
We hope you have enjoyed and benefited from this independent review of the Van Hage Garden Centre, Ware. Remember that it is our opinion and may be the result of one visit only. If you are the owner of the Van Hage Garden Centre in Ware and want to discuss this review with us then please contact us by going to our "contact us" page which can be found here.
Entrance to Van Hage, Ware
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