Since its launch in 2003, Gardentime, based between Totnes and Dartmouth in south Devon, has evolved from a modest garden shop to a flourishing garden centre, cafe and farm shop at the heart of the community.
A business which has grown with its surrounding community, Gardentime’s 20-year anniversary has paved the way for a new Loyalty Card and Garden Club, giving new and existing customers the chance to earn points with every purchase across the centre, shop and cafe – a way of giving back and ensuring that younger generations and local families can enjoy gardening too.
As well as perks, Garden Club members also receive expert seasonal insight delivered monthly, including tips and tricks from the very best in the trade.
Hands on owners, Chris and Philly Varlow, have dedicated their lives to a business and an industry they love, growing things modestly but steadily. In 2016, the couple added a charming farm shop which stocks a curated selection of fresh produce, baked breads and larder goods sourced locally and from Italy – a reflection of their love of good food.
Alongside the shop is The Glasshouse Cafe, a light-filled and informal space at the heart of the centre which is open for breakfast, lunch, drinks and delicious cakes and gives visitors a place to relax and socialise amongst nature.
Families, groups and four-legged visitors are welcome daily and can enjoy delicious locally roasted coffee served alongside homemade west country classics – scones, pasties and Homity pies, baked in house.
In 2019, Gardentime extended the covered shop and plant area to offer a more comprehensive selection of plants to rival any national chain, including classic perennials, shrubs, fruit trees and climbers to more exotic varieties, including majestic olives sourced from Italy.
I have always been romantically attached to the South Hams and the sea, having spent my childhood here... My Dad founded his own family run garden centre – he was one of the first and renowned in the industry, so in many ways I feel like we’re keeping that history going in our own way.
20 years after launch, the couple remain humble about their success, citing it as a by-product of “doing what we love every day for 20 years”.
Day to day, you’re just as likely to find Chris delivering your compost in Gardentime’s distinctive lime green van and Philly potting up hanging baskets for local businesses, as you are to see them brainstorming plant expansion plans.
A former nursery, the site also includes Dunkirk House, where the couple live with their two dogs Lily and Daisy – who are arguably as recognisable as the couple themselves!
Living on site has allowed the couple to get to know their customers personally, managing the business closely alongside a passionate multi-generational team, who make the Gardentime welcome a warm and friendly one.
You can find Gardentime at Hemborough Post, Totnes, Near Dartmouth, Devon, TQ9 7DE. Gardentime is open from Monday-Saturday 9:00am-5:30pm and 10:00am-4:00pm on Sundays. To receive your free Loyalty Card and Garden Club membership, visit the centre today or sign up online.