My Beef with B&Q

B&Q Tower garden

The B&Q garden was a showcase of fine, well-grown plants, so why-oh-why is it that every time I go to a B&Q the plants are either dessicated or drowned – unless I get there immediately after a delivery.  B&Q is known for its good eco-credentials, but putting energy into growing good plants and then failing to care for them properly is extremely wasteful. Maybe they should be giving grants to horticultural students who can then manage their gardening sections.

'Balconies' cascading with tomatoes and nasturtiums

Ferns planted in gravel between the raised beds

3 thoughts on “My Beef with B&Q

  • May 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm
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    I couldn’t agree more! Yesterday I was trying to figure out a way to complain about this very topic. The plants at my local B&Q have been in a complete state this year being totally under watered. This is not new either, last year I didn’t buy one vegetable because they were all dried out and dying. I have managed to find a couple of things this year, but to be honest I have more or less give up.

    We complained in store last April and were told it was because of the dry weather. But plants in modules need a bit of water everyday and that should not be a surprise to them.

    The waste and expense they must go through surely could for decent irrigation and watering systems or hire a few more staff to take care of the plants. Or maybe they should simply produce less stock.

    Anyway, I am less than impressed and have been forced to go to their competitors this year.

  • July 7, 2012 at 10:30 pm
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    I think I can shed some light on this. After working for a major DIY store I have seen first hand the problems and pitfalls. You can imagine how much it would pain you to discover a whole delivery of tender plants had been received when no garden centre staff were around and then left outside to freeze! Or to see healthy plants being put in the skip because a computer says they are no longer on sale. No common sense prevails in these stores. I was in a team of four trained horticulturalists and keen gardeners in our store, then the number of us halved. The replacements and “relief” staff have all been teenage boys, who have no desire to learn about plants or the care of plants, they are employed because they are cheep and happy working random hours. Our team was stretched as it was to keep everything organised and watered, especially when you have to deal with being called inside to do other stuff. One of the main problems was always distribution, the plants would be sent out to us wether we had room for them or not, or if they would survive our colder northern climate!
    At the end of the day, from what I could see the ones in charge had little knowledge or care about the needs of plants, they certainly weren’t willing to put the time or money into paying/ retaining well trained staff.
    Sorry this “rant” is a year late, but as someone who’s been there, done that I’ve seen both sides. I’ve also seen our plants in tip top condition, nursery area spick and span and with lovely displays…. But only after blood sweat and tears! 😉

  • March 8, 2015 at 9:25 pm
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    What the earlier comment said basically. Had 3 trained horticultural staff on gardening section where I was (including me). Then they’d throw on some incompetent member of staff from another department to do the easy jobs like watering the plants (because basically that’s all they were use for). Had one of these that would drown the plants despite me telling them not to and what required a lot of water and what liked to be on the drier side. Their reply was always “well I’d rather over water them than get done for under watering them” – unbelievable! We must have chucked out most of the begonias when they were still employed there. And yes, we had more plants than we could handle. We’d ring up to cancel them but got sent them anyway and the garden centre was always jammed full of them. But they sold well and for the most part were well looked after. But try managing a garden centre when there’s no space left on your plant beds and another delivery of 20 trolleys.. We had to magic space out of thin air. Add to that that you spend half the time hauling compost for people and advising people on fence panels and what compost to use for growing acid loving plants and such and it greatly eats into your time. Then aisles inside have to be managed, usually overloaded with stock with no home for it and garden furniture and barbecues moved every other day because of managers highly likely to have a mild form of OCD. Instead of leaving us to do what we do best they’d create a summer long headache by pushing us to the limits with the deliveries, the excessive amounts of stock and babysitting the incompotents. The actual trained garden staff aren’t at fault, we got jobs there in the first place because we knew what we were doing.

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