Smiths Garden Centre | Smith’s History Since 1931
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Smith’s History Since 1931

We love a bit of history, so we have shared some memories of days gone by here at Smith’s and hope you will enjoy reading the story below.

Back in 1931, Bertram Thomas Smith, started Smith’s Nurseries in Oxford Road, by growing in two small greenhouses, with an old coal boiler to keep the plants warm at night and ten acres of land, laid out to wallflowers and roses.

The Smith’s family grew the finest quality plants, working tirelessly, living in the house on site and went on to endure the Second World War.

Time moved on and Smith’s Nurseries continued to flourish building on their reputation for growing fabulous plants, delivering locally and listening to their customers.

Norman Smith had always been involved in the family business from the day he could hold a small trowel, but it wasn’t until the late 1970’s, that he thought about taking the helm.

Gradually Norman took on more responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Nurseries but it wasn’t until the mid 1980’s before he finally took over from his Grandfather.

Keen to move with the times, Norman’s first major update was the building of a new fantastic large Greenhouse.  This served Smith’s well until the mid 1990’s when they decided to stop growing and became an official ‘Garden Centre’ offering more than just plants, trees and shrubs.

With the majestic Greenhouse still in place, a renovation started, aimed at making Smith’s more environmentally friendly and included a new solid roof, which then became the existing main shop. Changes to the layout of Smith’s over the years have also seen the transformation of an old garage, to the Smith’s office (a bit chilly in the winter!) and the provision of 2 toilet blocks and baby changing area.

Fast forward to 2007 and ‘Bertram’s Café’ was born. With more building work and a re-design it was added to the main shop and named in memory of it’s founder.

We are always doing something at Smith’s be it changing the layout with the seasons or updating and renovating.  We’re very proud of our rich heritage and how we have evolved from a humble, hard working Nursery into a destination for all things plant, garden and home as well as a fabulous Café.

We hope to see YOU soon.  Best wishes from all at Smith’s.
Well what can I say about Callum and the customer service we have had, We have had a lot of issues with garden furniture we purchased and I must say this has nothing to do with the garden centre, I spoke to Callum and he sorted it out with the supplier and has resolved everything, Excellent customer service and I have no problems in recommending this company, they really do care about there customers You have a client for life with me and the family Amazing Thanks again Peter and gemma lawrence
Peter Lawrence
22:21 16 Mar 18
My partner is disabled and the staff were very helpful. The restaurant (Bertrams) does good food especially the full English breakfast.
Evelyn Blay
09:30 06 Mar 18
Love seeing all the spring and summer bulbs and vegetables and seeds coming out at this time of year. They have a fantastic array of solar lights and had to treat myself to a coupon.
Sue J
14:38 11 Feb 18
Our local choice for the quick ddaash for a plant to fill a gap or a light meal. Broad range of plants kept in good condition while waiting for the right purchaser. Constantly being upgraded and developed so allways worth a wander round.
Kevin K
23:02 08 Feb 18
Love this place. Great place to take the kids there, get them involved with the outdoors. So much to see be buy!
Katie Pang
19:31 29 Jan 18
Mrs loves it here, me not so keen. Always hurts my wallet. Lol.
Carlito Vidal
12:16 25 Jan 18
Was always big and now becoming huge. Not just garden supplies (which are increasingly hard to find), but clothes, furniture, fancy goods, fish, and a big coffee shop.Still a locally owned business, making a change from the big chain centres. Easy parking and friendly staff all the way up to owner/boss Norman.
Doug Neilson
14:12 05 Jan 18
This a privatisation owned garden centre with a wide range of outdoor and indoor plants and the things that go with them. They have an extensive range of pots, tools, plant foods and equipment together with garden furniture, barberry equipment, etc. and the usual range of gifts garden centres Regards as necessary these days. The staff are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable and always a pleasure to meet.
Ian White
16:26 30 Dec 17
Huge garden centre, nurseries and at this time of year Christmas shop. Plenty of parking, friendly staff and good prices.
Clive Garnham
11:51 24 Dec 17
Always great revisit this place. It's pricey but the staff are exceptionally great and always there to genuinely help you. Cafe is great and you can certainly fritter away hours here. Well worth a visit even if you are just window shopping!
Simon Bell
18:05 09 Dec 17
Loads to see inside and out. Very good cafe. Friendly staff.
Russell Ryder
13:12 01 Dec 17
Lovely garden centre, great plants, indoor & out, garden furniture & sheds, cafe with indoor & outdoor seating. Decorated for Xmas now. Kids can visit Santa and the train. Plenty of free parking.
Eve Kent
08:13 03 Nov 17
More than a Garden centre . Huge range of plants, furniture, gifts and all kinds of garden related hardware. Staff are always first class.
Steve Waite
13:57 11 Oct 17
Wide range of products, though sometimes a bit pricey. Nice cafe.
Chris Coulson
21:25 30 Sep 17
I've just discovered this place. Fabulous nursery with quality plants and wonderful plant advisers who are all so helpful and knowledgeable. I was equally impressed with the stylish gift shop which has a great variety of goods and furniture. I look forward to a return visit soon. Very impressed!!
Camilla Fawsley
19:43 14 Sep 17
First time at Smith's but think it will be more in future. Wide selection of plants and the quality seems consistently good. On site restaurant for food and refreshments.
Sandy Middlemas
13:25 22 Aug 17
Really good choices of plants, nice shopping (lamps/mirrors / furniture/ clothes etc) section . good cafe with in & outdoor seating. Free parking
09:50 17 Aug 17
Very helpful staff. Good coffee and cake. Excellent quality plants but a little pricey.
Susan Shaw
09:56 20 Jul 17
The garden centre that has everything. Clothes section, plants & garden accessories, bug killers & a very clean & efficient restaurant. Inside or outside seating. Excellent value for money.
Debbie Foskett
14:46 01 Jul 17
Smiths is very local to me and one of the largest garden centres within a ten minute drive of my house and there are several to choose from. I can't say if it is the cheapest but there is plenty to look at including garden statues and some quirky garden ornaments. There is also a small restaurant on site which serves good food. Plenty of parking.
Stephen Hall
13:38 30 Jun 17
Single handily the best garden centre I've been to. Took up gardening as a hobby when me and the wife bought our first house locally to Smiths. First year wasted a fortune at Homebase then a was put onto Smiths by a mate who use to run it. It turns out the owner (tall guy who whistles - Jon Petitfer) likes to employ locals who all clearly enjoy working there. Probably the size of 3 footballs easy. Happily spend a fortune in there, support your local businesses.
Danny McEvoy
23:10 13 Jun 17
Good selection of plants of all types, very many ornaments and a stupendous selection of garden sheds/furniture! The staff are friendly too. In the back of the main shop there is Bertram's, serving a good selection of food but I particularly enjoy their breakfast; inside, outside under cover or alfresco.
Louis Gillain
11:07 01 May 17
Other garden centres and D.I.Y stores offer similar types of products that are sometimes a little cheaper. Smiths has far superior quality goods that are only marginally more expensive and in some cases cheaper. The main difference is the goods from Smiths will outlast cheaper rivals many times over. Knowledge of staff is excellent too, you try asking a wet behind the ears 16 year old assistant in B&Q what the best plant for a pot in a shady area would be and they would most likely not have a clue.
Mark Lonsdale
07:28 18 Apr 17