Mr Beardshaw, who is a Shrewsbury Flower Show ambassador, returned to the town on Sunday (April 7) to officially open Love Plants, which is located within Salop Leisure’s successful caravan dealership based at Emstrey.
The Cotswolds-based star of BBC2 hit television series Hidden Gardens and the hugely popular The Flying Gardener spent five hours meeting customers and giving gardening tips as spring sunshine finally arrived in Shropshire.
Love Plants has a team of nine experienced staff, who provide expert advice to customers at the 4,500 square metres plant centre. The £500,000 centre has been developed in association with Dingle Nurseries and Derwen Garden Centre, well established and highly respected businesses in Guilsfield, near Welshpool and all plants are sourced and selected by their experienced staff.
Love Plants sells a diverse range of specialist plants, alongside old garden favourites and accessories that support plant growth and plant health. Members of staff have different areas of expertise as well as a strong interest in horticulture and gardening as a whole.
"It's a really ambitious step to combine plants with another business sector but the links here are so clear," said Mr Beardshaw. "The same people that enjoy getting out in caravans and motorhomes and exploring the countryside are gardeners at heart.
"Love Plants is bringing the passion for plants back into people's homes. Having access to a high level of expertise at the centre will give people confidence to use plants in their gardens. Gardening isn't that difficult if you have someone to bounce ideas off."
He said opening Love Plants was like returning to his roots, as his first job as a landscape architect 20 years ago was to redevelop a traditional caravan park to unite caravanning and leisure. He also started his career in a nursery that was similar in scale and ambition.
Salop Leisure's managing director Mark Bebb emphasised that the specialist plants centre was very different to a modern gardening supermarket. The company had been careful to employ a team of staff, each with different expertise, but with a shared passion for gardening and providing fantastic customer service.
"It's a specialist plant centre where customers can buy top quality plants and receive great advice from knowledgeable staff on a wide range of topics, from growing vegetables to providing exciting planting combinations," he said.
"What we are doing here is turning back the clock 30 years to a time when customers could talk to knowledgeable staff and get really good advice," he added. "All our plants come from Derwen Garden Centre and Dingle Nursery, which guarantees quality."
Kath and Andy Joseph, from Derwen Garden Centre and Dingle Nursery, gave Love Plant their seal of approval. "Salop Leisure has interpreted our advice brilliantly and we are very pleased with how the plants centre has been developed," said Mrs Joseph.
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