Garden centres offer a great combination of light shopping with refreshments or a meal out for the elderly. Here are some garden centres to try around Basingstoke.
Unlike bustling shopping centres, a wander around the garden centre is unhurried and relaxing, and can be so beneficial to your elderly friend or relative’s mental wellbeing. They also offer great opportunities to get out of the house and spend some relaxed, quality time together over a coffee, snack or lunch.
Older people are often keen gardeners, whether that means just a few pot plants or tending a long-nurtured garden, so an outing to a garden centre can be a lovely, nostalgic and stimulating experience.
Most garden centres also stock a diverse range of often locally produced foods and other goods for sale, so plenty to browse through as well as the plants.
Here are five garden centres that we think you would like around north Hampshire.
Avenue Nurseries Garden Centre is a family run independent garden centre near the village of Lasham, between Basingstoke and Alton.
We chatted to the manager, Dan, who was pleased to show us around their extensive shop floor. As well as plants and gardening supplies, they offer indoor plants, garden furniture, barbeques, cards, gifts and homeware, and they have a pet & wild bird section with food and accessories for pets, poultry, fish, wild birds and small animals.
Satellite in-store retailers include the famous Edinburgh Woollen Mill (clothing), The Works (art & craft supplies, toys, books & stationery) and The Vintage Butcher who sells fresh, local meat products.
Then there’s The Avenue Restaurant, a lovely café with friendly staff who will whet your whistle when you fancy a break. Hot and cold food is prepared in their own kitchen daily, from breakfast to afternoon tea & cake, and you can have a traditional roast dinner with all the trimmings not only on Sundays but also on Wednesdays.
Why not pop in for a browse and late breakfast?
Avenue Nurseries Garden Centre can be found on Avenue Road, Lasham, Alton GU34 5SU
Basingstoke Garden Centre, also referred to as Dummer Garden Centre, was previously part of the Wyevale group but is now owned by Maidenhead Aquatics. They are deeply involved with the local community, supporting local schools, the local children’s hospice and various events such as the National Carriage Driving Event at Farleigh House.
As well as a diverse range of plants, shrubs & trees, they have a floristry section and house plants, and plenty of friendly expert staff to help with your gardening questions.
The shop offers seasonal goods, giftware, cards, books, garden furniture, barbeques and bid care products, and they have a huge fish tank with lots of inquisitive koi. You can even feed the fish – £1 per pot of fish food.
Their café is part of the Honesty Group, whose core values are where food comes from, what’s in it and how it is produced. The café is run by Sharon, who makes delicious coffee and tea, and she offers a wide variety of handmade cakes, pastries and bread which are brought in every day.
After browsing the plants and the shop, and feeding the fish, why not take the weight off your feet and enjoy a coffee and cake?
Basingstoke Garden Centre can be found on Winchester Road, North Waltham, Basingstoke RG25 2DJ
Conkers Garden Centre is a family run business, the current generation benefitting from a long horticultural heritage. As well as the on site plants and shop, they offer a web shop whereby gardening supplies of all kinds, including for wild birds and pets, can be bought online for collection or delivery.
We could spend many hours wandering around here – there are so many quality seasonal gifts, homeware and trinkets on offer inside… and a huge range of pots, plants and shrubs outside in the garden. Everything you need under one roof!
Fortunately the revamped and extended River Bank Tea Room is right on site. They have plenty of seating for you to recharge your batteries with a cuppa and a slice of cake.
Conkers Garden Centre can be found on London Road, Old Basing, Basingstoke RG24 7LJ
Elm Park Garden Centre is a family run business set up by John and Jane in 1975, located on the Aldermaston Road between Basingstoke and Tadley. The garden centre also accommodates two complementary independent services: NST (landscaping and hard flooring) and Mowers UK (horticultural machinery sales, hire and servicing).
As well as a huge selection of plants outside, Elm Park has a great range of garden furniture, gardening products, heaters & fire pits, wild bird & pet food and accessories, homeware and seasonal items.
When you’re tired and thirsty from all that browsing, Little Roses Coffee Shop just across the way will happily rehydrate you with a cup of tea or coffee, sandwich and a slice of cake.
Elm Park Garden Centre can be found on Aldermaston Road, Pamber End, Tadley RG26 5QW
Redfields Garden Centre, or more properly Redfields Home of Garden & Living, is one of a large number of garden centres, restaurants and other enterprises within the Blue Diamond group. It is in a league of its own, with plenty of parking and large, clean and spacious showrooms with everything you could possibly want for your garden and home
For garden centre shopping this would be our favourite by far. Apart from an extensive range of plants and gardening supplies, flowers and indoor plants, garden furniture, gazebos, barbeques, homeware and cleaning paraphernalia, Redfields offers a huge and diverse selection of quality items including soaps, fragrances, toys, books, fashion, gifts and artwork, and many items are available via Blue Daimond’s online shop. Independent concessions within the garden centre include Brown & Green, who specialise in regional artisan food. There are two cafés, the Café Theatre and Treetops Café, offering scrumptious home-made dishes throughout the day and leaving you spoilt for choice.
I found some really unusual hand carved wooden items – the other half had to drag me away. If you want a shopaholic to accompany you, just give me a shout!
Redfields Garden Centre can be found on Redfields Lane, Church Crookham,Fleet GU52 0AB
Next time you’re wondering where to take your elderly loved one, try a garden centre for a lovely relaxing time together. It’s a great way to have an unhurried shopping experience with a comfortable tasty reward in the onsite café afterwards. We hope you enjoy the experience.
Would your elderly friend or relative like more support to help them continue to live independently in their own home? We could continue your good work by providing companionship at home, help around the house, outings to garden centres or similar, or if needed help with their personal care.
For more information about how our Basingstoke team could help please give us a ring on 01256 840 660 or email us on [email protected]