Around 250 International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) delegates from 19 countries visited Squire’s Garden Centres in Hersham and Badshot Lea on September 4. IGCA delegates from as far afield as the USA, Europe, South Africa, Australasia, China and Japan visited Squire’s in Hersham and Badshot Lea, to gain inspiration in the horticulutural industry.
Every year the IGCA Congress visits a different country to see some of the best garden centres and recent destinations have included Canada and the Czech Republic.This year the event was held in the UK, and Squire’s was one of a handful of garden centres to be chosen to showcase its horticultural credentials.
Sarah Squire, chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres commented: “It was an absolute honour to be chosen to host the IGCA at two of our garden centres. At Squire’s Hersham we welcomed the delegates with a glass of champagne and canapés, then they browsed the garden centre whilst a band played. Then at Squire’s in Badshot Lea, as well as touring the centre we entertained delegates to dinner and evening entertainment with an ‘English Country Garden’ theme, that included ‘Quintessentially Wind’ quintet playing during the meal and ‘The Cheers’ party band who got everyone on their feet.
We are a family owned business and it was lovely to have three generations of our family there to meet everyone – myself, my father Colin, and my son Ben, who with his friends provided the music at Hersham. Our plant areas and shops looked absolutely stunning and we had so many amazing comments from everyone who visited. Our team should be very proud – in fact they gave delegates such a warm welcome that some of them didn’t want to return to their hotels at the end of the evening!”
The IGCA is a non-profit organization committed to growing and improving the garden centre industry worldwide. They provide a platform where garden centres can connect and exchange ideas, information and resources with like-minded members anywhere in the world. Next year the IGCA congress will be held in South Africa.