Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
Article and photos by Paul Wright, 2019
Cherry Lane Garden Centre
formerly Podington Garden Centre

Podington Garden Centre was set up by Colin and Norma Read back in 1976, originally as a plant centre. Colin was working for local building company Marriott’s in Rushden, while Norma was busy starting the business. Back in the mid 1960’s Colin would be seen, and heard, entertaining by playing the drums alongside Dougie George on the piano, who came from Irchester. This was on a Friday night in the old wooden Podington cricket pavilion, that has long since been replaced by the current brick built one.

The seeds were sewn, and the business thrived, at one stage it had nearly three and half acres of land, with 9,000 species of plants and trees. And it was a real family affair, with the couple’s sons taking an active and creative interest in keeping everybody happy. So for the best part of forty years the reputation of Podington Garden centre was second to none.

Also operating in the village during that time, was “Gardencare” landscapes, that was run by Lee Chambers and his son Stuart. The company has now ceased trading.

I was surprised as anyone when the “Read” family decided to sell Podington Garden Centre to the Wyevale garden centre chain. After that it never quite managed to give that same level of satisfaction when it changed hands. The Wyevale situation was to be fairly short lived, with most of their portfolio being put up for sale. The Wellingborough Garden Centre on Millers Lane will be developed into a major landscaping showroom by its new owners Higgins Building Supplies. (This was a Wyevale too).

Welcome builders at work
Welcome sign
Builders at work

Alas Podington was sold to Cherry Lane Garden Centre, and became the 14th Garden Centre to be owned by the family run “QD” group. They took over in early August, 2019, and the builders moved in to do a total revamp. I was assured that plants are going to be supplied by Cherry Lane, with many grown within the Group’s three nursery operations, located across the country.

Carp pond displays
Carp pond
Outside display area

The former Wyevale staff at Podington are staying on to ensure a smooth continuity, and are now sporting their corporate Cherry Lane uniforms.

roses well stocked shelves
English Roses
Well stocked shelves

And as a closing note, on my visit on Tuesday 13th August, 2019, it was good to see garden centre founder Colin Read making a tour of inspection of the gem that he and his wife Norma created back in 1976.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the villages index
Click here to e-mail us