In the UK, when you think gardening, you think Dobbies. They’ve been doing business for over 150 years and now run 69 garden centres across the whole country from Belfast in the West to Middlesborough in the East, Inverness in the North down to Brighton Beach in the South. They serve a wide range of home care and gardening products that satisfy the needs of a large group of green thumbs, from well-versed horticulturalists to budding gardeners.
But be wary, as big companies are
often prone to inconsistent quality and service across all of their locations.
We reviewed all of the essential aspects of these garden centres to give you
the full picture of what you’re getting when you visit a Dobbies Garden Centre.
Ease Of Access
Dobbies is by far the most prominent
brand of garden centres in the UK, with none other coming close. Their 69
centres are spread out well across the nation, so you can be sure that there’s
a Dobbies just a trot away if you ever have some time-sensitive gardening or
dining needs. Not to mention they’ve also got an exquisite and user-friendly
online store for those who don’t have time to pop out to the shop.
No one could ever accuse Dobbies of
getting pigeon-holed or stuck in one lane—they’ve got a little something for
everyone, haven’t they? While it is mainly a gardening centre as its moniker
suggests, Dobbies can serve a lot more than just the needs of a green thumb
with their eclectic product lineup.
If plants are what you’re looking for, then Dobbies is a great place to start. It’s got loads of variety for you to look at throughout the centre. From bedding plants to bulbs and seeds to small trees and hedges, Dobbies has one of, if not the, most extensive range of plant options you can find at a garden centre in the UK, though their prices are not the easiest on your wallet.
Dobbies has perennials and climbers
for outside of your flat, and houseplants and artificials for inside. They also
boast nearly 700 different edible products, so you can go to Dobbies for the
plants you like looking at, as well as the ones you want to eat.
Most Dobbies garden centres come with
a restaurant or cafe serving hot food built right in. While you can usually
count on friendly and prompt service, the food is not always up to snuff, with
the quality varying a reasonably large amount depending on which location you
visit. Don’t order anything crazy here; you’re more likely to be satisfied if
you order something simple like a cup of tea or a rasher of bacon.
Of course, you can’t do much with all
those plants without a wee bit of help from your trusty tools, right? Dobbies
has gloves, rakes, wheelbarrows, and every bit in between. But it’s not just
tools, they’ve got helpful gardening machinery, such as mowers and chainsaws.
They also have pretty pots, planters, and baskets to display your plants, all
the composts and fertilizers you could need, and enough accessories to make
your garden the best bird spot in your neighbourhood.
Admire all of the lovely garden pieces
afforded you by Dobbies while you’re decked out in a Dobbies gardening kit as
well. They don’t just sell clothes for wearing in your garden, though. You can
also find many other quality pieces from boots to scarves to jackets.
Dobbies can also cater to those
looking to beef up their patio or backyard game with some lovely new pieces. If
you can’t decide on a theme, Dobbies has four already prepared for you:
Moroccan Mood, Colour Pop, Urban Coastal, and Rustic Farmhouse.
If you do have something in mind for
yourself, you’ll probably find it browsing through the hundreds of pieces in
the garden centre. They’ve got gazebos, garden furniture, and parasols, even
outdoor heating and lighting. Just be wary of the price tags because, while
Dobbies has got endless amounts of products, they don’t part with them for
Inside or outside, Dobbies has got
countless products and pieces to give your areas the style and feel you want.
Kitchen appliances, toiletries, cleaning products, tableware, and drinkware are
all offered in a variety of options at Dobbies. They’ve even got sofas and
throw pillows for your living room for crying out loud!
Dobbies has done well to integrate
themselves within the communities they serve. They have a Little Seedlings Club
where youngsters aged four to 10 can learn about plants, wildlife, and the
environment for free.
In 2018, Dobbies announced its
first-ever national charity partner, Teenage Cancer Trust, a partnership that
has continued through 2020. To raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust,
Dobbies runs a wide range of lively fundraising events across all of their
locations throughout the year. Since the beginning of the partnership, Dobbies
has raised over £642,000 for the charity, which helps young people diagnosed
with cancer find the proper treatment and nursing support they need.
Dobbies holds countless other events
as well. They’ve got activities such as Storytime for Kids, Afternoon Tea, Kids
Parties, and Easter Bunny Breakfast. And you can’t forget about the wildly
popular Christmas-themed events, including Tea with Santa and Breakfast with
Dobbies also employs several immensely
customer-friendly policies that extend through all 69 of their stores. In
response to a large number of customer requests, all Dobbies Garden Centres now
welcome all well-behaved dogs.
They’ve also introduced a free plastic
plant pot and tray return service, as well as a free planting service where you
choose a pot and a plant, and one of their horticultural-qualified staff does
the rest. Dobbies also offers a lifetime plant guarantee, along with a price
guarantee that states Dobbies will match any published garden centre or
department store price, excluding promotions.
While the restaurant has received lukewarm
reviews online, with quality wavering depending on which location you visit,
there isn’t much else that we don’t like about Dobbies. If you can get past
some of the higher prices, you’ll open yourself up to a gardening and home care
wonderland, and your dog can come too!
They’ve got endless shelves and aisles of the highest quality plants, outdoor living, and home care products on the market, and they make sure to train all their staff so any employee you talk to will be a knowledgeable one. They also support the communities where they have a presence with free youth programs and other events that help raise funds for charity, which is always a huge positive.
To find out about all Dobbies garden centres make sure to use our garden centres near me locator to find the one closest to you.