Horticulture Industry Guide

Wheelbarrow, plant pots and plants

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the horticulture industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Fencing Contractor  BOP461 
Florist  BOP055 
Garden Centre  BOP070 
Garden Designer  BOP252 
Gardening Service BOP290 
Landscape Gardener  BOP014 
Plant Nursery  BOP159 
Tree Surgeon  BOP134 

Mini-Business Opportunity Profiles (MBP)

Garden Furniture Maker  MBP357 
Garden Consultant  MBP145 
Urban Garden Designer  MBP144 

Sector Guide (SEC)

Horticulture, Landscaping and Garden Products  SEC025 

Small Business Help Books 

This is a collection of books located in the Business & IP Centre with practical information aimed at those starting and running a business. The books listed below can be found in the Small Business Help section under the Business Topics category.

Design Grow Sell: a guide to starting and running a successful gardening business from your home
by Sophie Davies (2013) [SBH.BT.22]
Looks at everything from researching the competition, training and internships, to how to get your first job, develop a network and grow the business.
Gardening for profit: from home to market garden by Kate Collyns (2013) [SBH.BT.36]
How to start a business selling fruit and vegetables you grow from a vegetable garden or wholesale. Includes both technical and business advice including finding land, what to grow and marketing and selling advice.

Start and run a gardening business by Paul Power (2015) [SBH.BT.103]
Practical advice and information on how to run a profitable gardening business.

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

EMIS logo

  • United Kingdom - Home & Garden Products (MarketLine)

IBISWorld logo

  • Agricultural & Forestry Machinery Manufacturing in the UK
  • Florists in the UK
  • Flower & Plant Growing in the UK
  • Flower & Plant Wholesaling in the UK
  • Forestry & Logging in the UK
  • Garden Centres & Pet Shops in the UK
  • Household Appliance & Garden Equipment Repair in the UK
  • Landscaping Services in the UK
  • Pesticide & Other Agrochemical Manufacturing in the UK

Mintel logo

  • Consumer Attitudes Towards Cut Flowers and Houseplants
  • Garden Products Retailing

GlobalData logo

  • UK: Home: DIY & Gardening 2019-2024
  • UK: Sector Data: DIY & Gardening - Annual Forecasts H2 update 2015-2025

EMIS logo

  • United Kingdom - Home & Garden Products (MarketLine)

Passport logo

  • Gardening in the United Kingdom
  • Home and Garden in the United Kingdom
  • Home and Garden Specialist Retailers in the United Kingdom

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.

Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

Chronica Horticulturae (International Society for Horticultural Science, quarterly) [(P) DT 34 - E(5) Science 2]
Includes reports on international symposia and conferences and news on horticulture from around the world. There are also articles about different countries, regular features on new books/websites and an events listing.

Commercial Greenhouse Grower (ACT Publishing, monthly) [(P) DT 37 - E(2) Science 2]
Monthly publication which has news items and feature articles covering topics which fall into such categories as 'ornamentals', 'cut flowers' and 'salads'. There is also coverage of major shows like the one held at Hampton Court.

Flora International: floral art, floristry, flower crafts (ZK.9.b.18307) [must be ordered using Explore the British Library]
Includes articles on all aspects of floristry, flower arranging and allied crafts, with inspiration for new contemporary ideas from around the world. Features include seasonal ideas, articles on 'how to' and up-to-date information on the myriad of products and services available to the florist and flower arranger.
Garden Answers (Haymarket Publications, monthly) [(P) DT 53 - E(10) Science 2]
As well as providing answers to readers’ questions has features on particular plants, garden design and 'fruit and veg'. Practical advice on gardening is also given.

Garden Design Journal (Society of Garden Designers, monthly) [ZK.9.b.7569] (must be ordered using Explore the British Library – 48 hour delivery)
Covers technical advice, techniques and best practices. Industry news and comments and designer’s profiles.
Garden & Hardware News (Media One Communications, bi-monthly) [(P) 338.47635028 -E(1) BUS]
Covers industry news and hardware innovations. Also has a Retail Plants and Shrubs supplement.

Garden Trade News (Garden Communication & Media, monthly) [P.2000/907] (must be ordered using Explore the British Library – 48 hour delivery)
All the latest garden retail news for garden centres. Gives the best-selling gardening products from around the UK.

Garden Trade Specialist (Arundel Publishing, bi-monthly) [(P) 338.47635028 -E(2) BUS]
Includes news, Trade Show reviews and a buyer’s guide.

The Horticulturist (Institute of Horticulture, quarterly) [(P) DT 00 - E(45) Science 2]
Has articles covering such topics as seeds, plant-collecting and organising gardens (including dealing with problems). Regular features include 'Research Round the World', book reviews and lists of events.

Landscape & Amenity Product Update (Tanner Stiles Publishing Ltd, monthly) [(P) WF 00 - E(23) Social Science]
Has information about and photographs of garden products and machinery (including seats and lawnmowers).

Which? Gardening: independent expert advice (Consumers' Association, monthly) [(P) DT 53 - E(9) Science 2]
Includes 'News and Views' section, reports on tests of new products, advice on various aspects of gardening and plant-growing, new plants and flowers and also features about garden birds and garden design.


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.
Garden & Hardware Yearbook 2018 (Media One Communications) [(B) DIR 338.47635 BUS]
Directory of suppliers. Industry predictions. Also lists exhibitions and events.

Horticulture Week Buyers' Guide 2019 (Haymarket Publications Ltd) [(B) DIR 635.02941]
Directory for commercial buyers of horticulture products and services.
Horticulture Week: Plant Suppliers Guide 2020 (Haymarket Publications Ltd) [(B) DIR 338.47635 BUS]
Guide to nursery stock, bedding and pot plant suppliers in the UK and overseas.

SALTEX: official catalogue 2018 (The AFL Deeson Partnership Ltd) [(B) DIR 635.96402941 BUS]
Institute of Groundmanship catalogue and industry buyers guide for groundscare, landscape and turfcare equipment.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

Alpine Garden Society

The Society is for anyone interested in alpine plants, rock gardening and rock garden plants or any small hardy plants and bulbs. Has specimen seed list, details of foreign tours and information about shows in the UK.

Arboricultural Association

The Association sets standards of practice for tree surgeons, as well as running courses and publishing research into plant and tree health.

Association of Professional Landscapers

A specialist national group within the Horticultural Trades Association. Provides advice, education, research, public relations, benchmarking indexes and representation services to its members.

British Association of Landscape Industries

BALI is the national body representing landscape contractors in the UK. Included on the site are news items and a notice board.

British Florist Association

Primarily aimed at professional florists however does have a consumer section with flower care tips and other information. Has an online directory of florists which can be searched by region. There is also information about courses and shows.

Chartered Institute of Horticulture

Includes information about the institutions and organisations offering courses, events worldwide and consultants. Also included is a bibliography covering 'Research Round the World' taken from the Institute’s journal The Horticulturalist.

Commercial Horticultural Association

The trade association for suppliers to commercial horticultural growers. The site provides a buyer’s guide to exporters/manufacturers and distributors, information about new products and listings of trade shows in the UK and overseas.

Flowers & Plants Association

Promotes cut flowers, indoor plants and other aspects of commercial floriculture. Membership is open to anyone working in the cut flower, indoor plant and related areas, including wholesalers, importers, exporters, retailers, growers, colleges, distributors, manufacturers and publishers.

Garden Centre Association

Provides a garden centre association members’ directory which can be searched by name or area and a list of UK events.

Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association

The Association describes itself as the 'major trade association in the UK garden market'. The site gives general news, information about the GIMA awards and useful industry links. Plus a New Products digest.


Covers topical items (e.g. company results and price comparisons) and events world-wide. There is also a section which provides advice from industry specialists on a wide variety of subjects.

Horticultural Trades Association

Has information about the HTA services and recent research. The full database is available to HTA members only and details about joining the Association are given.

AHDB Horticulture

Provides 'near-market research and development for the benefit of UK horticulture'. The site includes news items and details of UK events.

Horticulture Week

The latest news, jobs and technical advice for nurseries, edibles production, garden retailing, landscaping, parks.

Horticulture Week – What Kit?

Buyers' guide for landscape, turf, grounds maintenance, arboriculture, horticultural and amenity equipment. Includes tests, reviews, buying advice and product information.

International Society for Horticultural Science

Apart from giving information about the Society (including the events it organises and the text of its journal Chronica Horticulturae) the site allows the user to search the latest edition of the ISHS Horticulture Research International directory. 

Landscape Institute

The Landscape Institute provides a professional home for all landscape practitioners including landscape designers, planners, scientists, managers and urban designers. 

Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association

LOFA is a trade association representing over 80% of the UK's manufacturers and suppliers of garden furniture, barbecues and accessories. 

National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners

Gives information about the Society’s advice/legal services and lists allotment and gardening societies both in the UK and abroad.

Professional Gardeners Guild

Website for professional gardeners employed in private gardens and estates.

Royal Horticultural Society

Gives news, information about events worldwide, a full list of gardens open in the UK, advice about popular gardening topics and details of RHS libraries.

Society of Garden Designers

Professional membership body representing garden and landscape designers.

Soil Association

Charity and organic certification body providing facts and figures about the organic food and horticulture sector, including market information for organic growers.

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

Images by Andew Michaels, lizjones112, sha-put-ski under a Creative Commons license