SANA GCA Awards 2023 Winners

GCA Awards, SANA, Greenery, Gardening, Horticulture awards, colour, beauty

SANA GCA Awards 2023

The South African Nursery Association (SANA) held the annual Garden Centre awards conference on the 8th of June at the Indaba Hotel in Johannesburg. The prestigious black-tie event is fondly referred to as the Oscars for gardening and is a very exciting time for the horticultural industry.  Several outstanding Garden Centres received awards to honour their significant contribution to the green trade.

Here are your winners for 2023:

 

Independent Garden Centre

2nd Runner Up

Eckards Garden Pavilion

Water Wise Winner

Concrete & Garden Creations

Home Stores

2nd Runner up

Builders Express Northmead

All of these award-wining Garden Centres and Home Stores can be found on Life is a Garden’s website via the nation-wide store locator directory.

GCA Awards, SANA, Greenery, Gardening, Horticulture awards, colour, beauty

Everlasting and easy plants INDUSTRY EXPERT Q&A

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April’s topic: Glam-up gran’s garden
Theme: Everlasting and easy plants 
Industry expert: Wayne Stewart
Garden Centre: Eckards based in Bedfordview, Gauteng: https://eckards.co.za/ 

If you’re in Gauteng, a visit to this multiple award-winning Garden Centre may well be the Saturday outing you’re looking for. We sat down with Wayne from Eckards to get the best advice on how you can glam up gran’s garden this winter. Come gain some elderly-aimed maintenance tips and easy plant picks to help ouma get more wow for less work.

1. We loved exploring your website, especially the awards section. Eckards certainly has an excellent record of achievements. Could you tell us about some of your favourite accomplishments and how you maintain your multiple award-winning standard? 

 

Our Eckards recipe for success is simple: great customer experience + quality plants + a passionate team = an award-winning standard. Eckards has maintained our top ten rating in the GCA competition for over 18 years, which is something we are very proud of. Winning awards is not everything but it is a great way for the team to see the fruits of their effort benchmarked against the best in the industry.

grandams garden, life is a garden, greenery, begonias, clivias, daisies, tomatoes, geraniums,camellias, gaura, flowers, plnts, gca,beauty, LIAG
garndams garden, life is a garden, greenery, begonias, clivias, daisies, tomatoes, geraniums,camellias, gaura, flowers, plnts, gca,beauty, LIAG

2. Having spent decades in the industry, we’re sure you’ve seen many hybrids come and go as well as which plants seem to have withstood the test of time as SA’s favourites. Please tell us which plants and trees are your all-time best sellers. 

 

Gaura in all colours has been popular since it was re-launched when the pink varieties were added to the range. As a plant for pollinators, it has withstood the test of time as a must-have filler in any garden.

After the impatiens disease hit in 2007 we saw a big change in colour for shade. Consumers mixed it up, instead of just falling back on common impatiens.

Garden Centre Association Competition Winners

Want the best? Here they are!

As you know, Life is a Garden is the marketing branch of The South African Nursery Association, known as SANA for short. To become a SANA member, garden centres and home stores must meet a series of criteria and evaluations set out by experienced committee members. SANA’s goal is to set an industry benchmark and maintain the standard of their world-class retailers.

GCA stands for the Garden Centre Association, striving to present a professional image of the horticultural industry and encourage professional business practices through a code of conduct.

Here are your top GCA Garden Centres in South Africa:

  1. Plant Paradise Garden Centre
  2. Eckards Garden Pavilion
  3. Stodels Nurseries Bellville
  4. Heckers Garden Centre
  5. Stodels Nurseries Menlo Park
  6. Concrete & Garden Creations
  7. Builders Warehouse PE
  8. Builders Express Robindale
  9. Builders Express Hillcrest
  10. Builders Express Northmead

To find your nearest award-winning GCA, visit our website at www.lifeisgarden.co.za and follow the Garden Centres tab on the top menu.

What is a GCA and why should you visit one?

What is a GCA and why should you visit one?

Come and learn about the fabulous benefits of our quality-approved garden centres and what makes them stand out.

  • As you know, Life is a Garden is the marketing branch of The South African Nursery Association, known as SANA for short. To become a SANA member, garden centres and home stores must meet a series of criteria and evaluations set out by experienced committee members. SANA’s goal is to set an industry benchmark and maintain the standard of their world-class retailers.
  • GCA stands for the Garden Centre Association, striving to present a professional image of the horticultural industry and encourage professional business practices through a code of conduct. You can identify a GCA by the green sign in the front of the store, or even better, you can access our nationwide directory via the website.
  • Each year, there is also an exciting GCA competition that awards the Garden Centre of Excellence title to the best SA has to offer. Garden centres, home stores, and growers are judged according to their plants, products, service, and overall customer experience.

To find your nearest GCA, visit our website at www.lifeisgarden.co.za and follow the Garden Centres tab on the top menu.

SANA’s 2022 Garden Centre winners! SA’s Best Garden Centres for 2022

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South Africa’s Nursery Association (SANA) hosts an annual GCA Garden Centre competition to present to you, dear gardeners, the cream of the crop! Garden centres and home store garden departments are measured against a set of criteria aimed at assessing and improving product standards and professional service in the industry. Here are the best garden centres in SA! Did your favourite make it?

Stodels Nurseries Bellville – Garden Centre of the year 

 

Address: Eversdale Rd, Bellville 

 

From humble beginnings, Stodels Garden Centres have developed into a household name in gardening in the Western Cape. From the outset, Stodels Garden Centres focused on providing their customers with excellent service, top quality products and affordable prices. Fifty years later, the trio of service, quality and affordability has built a respected and much-loved brand. 

 

Originating from a mail order catalogue and door to door sales, the Stodels brand has grown to its current complement of seven award-winning garden centres today, two of which are based in Gauteng. The company was started by Mr Robert Stodel, in August 1962, when he started selling flower bulbs door to door and from the Parade in Cape Town. A mail order bulb catalogue soon followed and within a few years, Stodels Flower Bulbs became the biggest flower bulb retailer in South Africa, posting nearly 600 000 bulb catalogues to Cape households and importing up to 20 million bulbs from Holland every year.

 

 

Find out more: https://www.lifeisagarden.co.za/stodels-bellville/   

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Stodels. gca, winner, nursery, plants, life is a garden, bellville, greenery, competition, colour, beauty
Stodels. gca, winner, nursery, plants, life is a garden, bellville, greenery, competition, colour, beauty
Stodels. gca, winner, nursery, plants, life is a garden, bellville, greenery, competition, colour, beauty

Garden Pavilion Eckards – Runner up 

 

Address: 101 Boeing Rd East, Bedfordview, Germiston 

 

Eckards is a well-established garden centre that received a new lease on life in 1993. Along the way it became a Garden Pavilion and has continued to move with the times, maintaining a traditional feel with modern influences. Eckards prides itself on a high level of service, quality plants and helping gardeners and growers alike.

The Garden Centre Association: Quality guaranteed Garden Centre Association Press release

If you see a green and yellow sign outside your local garden centre, you know that you are visiting one of the best garden centres in the country. That little sign tells you that the garden centre is a part of the Garden Centre Association (GCA), and is a standard of excellence.

The GCA is part of the South African Nursery Association (SANA). Where SANA has a broader scope and plays a bigger role in South Africa’s gardening industry, the GCA is aimed at maintaining the quality of the garden centre customer experience.

To spread the word and the knowledge of both the GCA and SANA, Life is a Garden (LIAG) was established. While it is essentially a marketing division, its scope has grown organically until the website has become a one-stop guide to gardening in South Africa, where readers can find their closest GCA-approved garden centre, gain knowledge on plants and gardening, as well as discover fun projects for the garden and learn how to garden responsibly.

The monthly newsletter has become eagerly anticipated by gardeners around the country, full as it is with helpful tips and hints, news on new releases and ideas on how to get the best out of your garden, no matter the season.

The key objectives of the GCA are to ensure that each and every member garden centre constantly strives to improve nursery standards and is guided in this goal by the National Association.

While the business of a nursery is selling plants, the yellow and green sign is more than just a commitment to selling healthy, good-quality stock. It is also a promise to look after the environment, both in terms of not selling alien invasive plants, and in terms of environmentally friendly initiatives such as recycling projects. It is also a pledge to impart knowledge to staff members and the gardening public, because a knowledgeable gardener is a successful gardener, and successful gardeners will keep on gardening.