THE GARDEN Centre Association has announced Phil McCann and Mark Taylor will be joining its team of inspectors.
The pair will be responsible for inspecting member garden centres in South Thames with Phil inspecting those in the Garden Centre category and Mark checking members in the Destination Garden Centre category.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “We’re thrilled to have Phil and Mark joining our established team of inspectors.
“Phil has vast experience in the horticultural industry and graduated as a Plant Scientist and Mark studied at Writtle Agricultural College and has a HND in Commercial Horticulture.
“They will be integral in helping members to keep on improving standards and innovation through their annual inspection visits. The inspection process is very thorough and detailed, the GCA inspectors not only complete the inspection form during their visit but also give objective and honest feedback to the centres’ teams on the day before sending them their report.
“They will then make presentations at our regional meetings and during our annual conference in 2021.
“The 2020 inspections for member garden centres commence on March 16, 2020 and the inspectors are out visiting them until June 19, 2020, so those in South Thames can expect to see Phil and Mark soon.”
Phil graduated as a Plant Scientist and began his career in the horticultural industry as a Houseplant Manager at Prettywood Garden Centre near Manchester. He went on to become Plant Centre Manager at East Bridgford Garden Centre in Nottingham before selling seeds and young plants throughout the north and midlands for Unwins Seeds.
He then went on to sell Hillier Nurseries’ hardy nursery stock to garden centres across the north, midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland and has worked for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) as PR Manager for Shows and Gardens.
Recently Phil has been involved in creating an online garden centre and provides content for a variety of gardening websites. He is also a horticultural researcher and assistant producer for BBC gardening programmes and is the author of five gardening books and one cricket book. He is also a regular contributor to the RHS The Garden magazine.
As well as a HND in Commercial Horticulture, Mark has merchandising experience at macro and micro level having worked for Sainsbury’s Homebase. He was also the Planning Manager at Wyevale Garden Centres, where he was responsible for drawing up plans for refits and independent layout changes.
Prior to joining Wyevale, Mark worked for garden centre suppliers Nortene and Westland.
The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.
For further information, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, please visit www.gca.org.uk, log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.