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YARNTON NURSERIES GARDEN CENTRE

   

 

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Northern Polytunnels

REVIEW SUMMARY

FOR
An excellent range of healthy plants.
A good part of the outdoor area is covered from rain.

AVERAGE
The interior shopping area is large but only averagely laid out.

AGAINST
The cafe layout and general decoration.

REVIEW RESULTS

THE PLANTS AREA AT YARNTON NURSERIES GARDEN CENTRE
The outdoor area at Yarnton Garden Centre is laid out in two parts. First is the covered area which then leads onto the uncovered area. The covered area is large by the standards of most garden centres and offers good protection on rainy days. Not only does it house seasonal plants which need protection but it also houses many shrubs.

The uncovered area is conventionally laid out out with rows of plants on stands. Not particularly interesting but there were plenty of signs indications where various types of plants could be found. The spacing between the rows was wide and relatively free of major obstructions. Wheelchair users will find no difficulties at this garden centre.

THE PLANTS
Yarnton Garden Centre stock a wide range of plants and they were of good quality and well cared for. As well as the common shrubs and herbaceous plants there were plenty of ornamental and fruit trees. If larger specimen plants are required then there are lots to choose from at this garden centre.

For a garden centre of this large size, a hardy plant guarantee might well be expected but we saw none being advertised.

INSIDE YARNTON GARDEN CENTRE
A significant part of Yarnton Nurseries Garden Centre is devoted to indoor shopping. This is one of the largest indoor shopping areas at a garden centre in this location.

This is not an up-market shopping area however. The rather ugly ceiling and metal supports are exposed throughout. This may have some charm in a small nursery type of garden centre but it is slightly unpleasant in a large garden centre. The layout of the various shopping areas is random and not well thought out. Little effort has been put into designing any overall theme to connect the different shopping areas.

However, this is a very comprehensive shopping area. All the normal gardening equipment is sold here and at reasonable prices. Fertilisers, tools, chemicals, seed and many more gardening items are on sale.

There is an excellent variety of outdoor furniture at Yarnton Garden Centre, much larger than most garden centres. Barbecues and chimeneas are well displayed and fairly priced. Also on site are a full range of sheds and conservatories,

There is a large number of other non-gardening related shops including clothing, shoes, bed linen, towels, antiques and lots more. Many of these are not run directly by Yarnton Garden Centre but are franchises. Of special note is the bed linen and towels shop, Christy's. The discounts offered on their top quality merchandise are very generous.

The houseplant section was impressive. There were lots to choose from and they were attractively displayed. Prices and the condition of the plants were both very good.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS
Disabled access in the plants area was good with almost all paths being wide enough for wheelchairs. The inside shopping area also had good access although some areas had restricted width of the aisles. There are a small number of wheelchairs at the front entrance (four according to Yarnton's website) which are available without any charge. See also the second comment (dated 29 May 2013) at the end of this article for more about disabled access.

OASIS RESTAURANT AT YARNTON GARDEN CENTRE
The "Oasis Restaurant" is a large cafe / restaurant with nearly 150 seats and had lots of customers when we called in at peak time. We had significant reservations about the layout and decor of the cafe, almost no effort had been made to make it a pleasant place to eat. The decor is poor with very few decorations. The cafe itself is only separated from the main garden centre by a metre high partition on one side. Overall it is not a pleasant eating area.

The layout was boring, with the plastic tables and cheap chairs being arranged in plain, straight rows. The ceiling had a a definitely ugly appearance with a green cover over half of the cafe. The other half had the roof exposed showing the bare metal girders.

The quality of the food which we ordered was about average, neither particularly good nor particularly bad. There is a wide ranging menu which included cakes, teas and coffees, paninis and toasties (4.50), ploughman's (6.25), main meal specials (6 to 7) and sandwiches. Prices were average to slightly lower than average.

There was an acceptable queuing time but the ordering system was a bit chaotic. When you placed an order for a toastie or a panini, for example, you would be told to move to another part of the counter and make your selection there, many basic fillings were sold out when we visited. Having made your selection you would then move back to your original place in the queue and continue ordering. A time wasting and confusing inconvenience.

Hot meals were served to your table but again, the system was found lacking. Rather than take a numbered tag and place it on your table, order numbers were shouted out by the waitresses as they moved around the cafe searching for the correct customer. While we were there they failed to find one customer, but after five minutes we pointed her out to the waitress. This customers hot food was no longer hot!

A small portion of the cafe was set aside as a children's play area and it was well used. Overall the cafe area was reasonably clean but some areas could do with a good clean, see the picture on the right of the base of a cabinet.

STAR RATINGS

We rate different aspects of each garden centre and then give an overall rating. We adjust the ratings for garden centre size and purpose. So for example a small nursery which is average compared to other small nurseries will be awarded two and half stars. A large garden centre which is average compared to other large garden centres will also be awarded two and a half stars.

YARNTON NURSERIES GARDEN CENTRE RATINGS

FACILITY BEING RATED  RATING
Plant quality
Outside area layout
Interior sales
Cafe food quality
Cafe decor and atmosphere
Overall rating

OTHER STUFF
Car park - this was on solid land and within an easy walk to the entrance. We did notice that there were few free spaces when we visited.

Pet Centre - there were no live pets for sale and only the very basic pet accessories. There was an excellent selection of fairly priced bird foods and bird houses.

Aquatics - there was an aquatics centre which stocked mainly cold water fish.

Water Features - Nothing in particular of note.

Sheds and Greenhouses - A full range of sheds and conservatories with some greenhouses.

Toilets - Basically portaloos and outside the main garden centre. They were clean and functional however.

CONTACT DETAILS AND DIRECTIONS
Address
Yarnton Nurseries Garden Centre,
Sandy Lane,
Yarnton,
Kidlington,
Oxfordshire OX5 1PA

Telephone: 01865 372124

Website
http://www.yarnton-nurseries.co.uk/

Opening Hours
Monday to Saturday 9.00 to 5.30
Sunday 10.30 to 4.30
 

AVERAGE USER RATING 1 star user rating 2 REVIEWS LEFT SO FAR

1 star rating 12 November 2012 Comment From: Disappointed
For us this was the worst Sunday roast meal. Beef was tough, roast potatoes either burnt or rubbery and vegetables just warm. Chaotic serving and long wait to pay. On the plus side - ample helpings - only they had been edible!

1 star rating 29 May 2013 Comment From: Shelly
I took my mum, who is disabled and on this occasion had her mobility scooter. We entered and on trying to look around the department with the books etc we were appalled at the clutter on the floor and it was almost impossible to get a mobility scooter around this area. We carried on around the store, which was more of a clothes store than a garden centre. I picked up a toy for my parrot on my way around the store. When we got to the end, which didn't take long! we approached the checkout and the staff were too busy chatting to serve and finished there conversation first before service. One lady then told us we were at the wrong side of the till, I walked around to the other side and as my mum reversed her scooter the other lady on the till said "whats that noise" she looked around and said "oh its a wheel chair" and rolled her eyes. I put my items on the counter and she picked up my parrot toy and said "You cant pay for this here, you have to go back to where you got it from" this was not said in a pleasant way what so ever so I said forget it we wont have it. I said there should be a sign up saying this. she replied again in a very unpleasant tone "There is a sign up as we told them we were fed up with people moaning to us about it all of the time" My Mum then went to pay for her items with a Scottish 10 and the lady said she had to check if they could accept this, they really need some training at this store!!! I would recommend you visit Burford, Leachlade, Dobbies or Millets farm as much nicer staff and much more organised.

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We hope you have enjoyed and benefited from this independent review of Yarnton Garden Centre. Remember that it is our opinion and may be the result of one visit only. If you are the owner of Yarnton Garden Centre and want to discuss this review with us then please contact us by going to our "contact us" page which can be found here.

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ENLARGE PICTURES BY CLICKING THEM

 

Covered plants at Yarnton Nurseries Garden Centre


Houseplants at Yarnton Garden Centre

Oasis cafe interior

Cafe food at Yarnton Garden Centre

A good selection of bird food and accessories

Aquatics

 

 

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