Carefully Curated Christmas Gifts at Squire’s
Sarah Squire chooses a selection of British sourced gifts
With 88%* of consumers saying they are more likely to buy British*, Squire’s is the perfect place to seek inspiring Christmas gifts for friends and family sourced closer to home – many very locally. A visit to one of its 16 garden centres this season will unveil the very best selection of gifts, perfect for everyone on your list – with a wide selection of stylish, quality, British made items.
Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, takes us through her personal favourites. Sarah comments: “In recent years there has been a real surge in demand for UK-grown or made products from consumers increasingly buying with a conscience – spurred on by the knowledge they are helping to preserve UK manufacturing, potentially contributing to job creation and reducing carbon footprint (according to a 2022 survey*). Squire’s has long been a champion of supporting local and British growers and suppliers – and we strive to look for and support innovation close to our centres and further afield. This enables us to deliver an exciting range of products our customers and colleagues tell us they love!”
Squire’s Garden Centres prides itself in supporting British producers – some very local indeed to its 16 centres New to the line-up this season is the hand drawn homewares range by local designer Victoria Eggs. A Surrey resident herself, Victoria’s artistic creations are “a snapshot of special moments in time”. The range includes fine bone china mugs, made in ceramic centre Stoke on Trent, aprons, totebags, make-up bags, tea towels and coasters. Victoria’s delightful creations come in two designs – Autumn Garden and Wildlife in Spring and the brand is proud of its dedication to being ethical, sustainable and recyclable.
A firm favourite at Squire’s is the Toasted Crumpet range, created by another Surrey resident, Jo Clarke. Jo seeks her inspiration for her exquisite designs from the countryside of the Surrey Hills and her ranges bring this beauty to the indoors featuring in her contemporary watercolours on a great range of products including soaps, candles, washbags, notelets and notebooks as well as a great selection of bone china mugs and jugs as well as tea towels.
Everyone loves a candle at Christmas and The Country Candle Company from nearby Alton in Hampshire has a quintessentially British heritage – and a wonderful selection of fragrances to boot! Balancing a contemporary country feel with smart new packaging, the brand remains true to its brand values and takes pride in producing candles and diffusers created from ingredients sourced from British suppliers. With an extensive range of fragrances for enjoying all year round, such as Lavendar & Patchouli Pastel and Orange Blossom Pastel, there are some wonderful seasonal additions too including Forest Sage & Pine, Red Amber & Clove, Cinnamon & Apple as well as Vanilla & Spiced Orange. Perfectly packaged in a smart tin, the seasonal scent selection will make a really welcome gift.
A family business based in Sussex, The English Soap Company continues to keep sustainability at the heart of all it does, striving to reduce its carbon footprint and “make the world a better place”. Producing its fragrant products on site in a countryside setting, where nature provides inspiration for its creations, the environment is central to the brand’s sourcing and packaging. The English Soap Company offers an extensive range of vegan soaps as well as eco-friendly toiletries including as hand creams and hand and body washes and with an array of evocative fragrances – Gardener’s Grapefruit, Vintage Lemon Mandarin, Vintage Genoves Fig as well as traditional Vintage Lavender.
Giving a nod to the season with soft furnishings may be simply done with the addition of a throw or some cushions. Yorkshire based Evans Litchfield supplies Squire’s with a range of cushions featuring nature and wildlife – two favourites this year area the stag and robin designs.
Welcome British garden themed gifts include the super Seedball range – a selection of nature attracting plant seeds enveloped in neat balls for sprinkling in the garden and presented in cute tins, mini tubes or bamboo pots. With seed mixes including Hedgehog Seedball, Bird Mix, Garden Meadow, Shade Mix and Bee Mix, they make an ideal eco gift or stocking filler. Perfect as an investment for a keen gardener is a pair of Eversharp Secateurs – designed and made in the UK. With super-sharp and anti-rust blades, suitable for left and right-handed green fingers, the secateurs have a sustainably sourced ash wood handle for ease of use and comfort and are lightweight too. For a welcome living gift, a fresh, seasonal poinsettia will be well received. Grown at Surrey based Woodlark Nurseries, very close to Squire’s Garden Centres, they can be in store within just hours of leaving the nursery.
Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, comments: “We are passionate about championing British producers while offering our customers an exciting range of products – and if they are grown or made close to our centres, this is great news too!
“We know our customers care about quality – but also increasingly important is the carbon footprint and provenance of their purchases. There is a strong desire to buy British and local plants and products, so we’re delighted to be able to offer a great range of thoughtfully curated items that match this criteria. As the festive season approaches, and our customers think about sustainably produced gifts for loved ones and friends, we’re sure they will find lots of inspiration in our centres that tick their list.”
Customers can identify British made products in centres by looking out for special ‘Best of British’ point-of-sale – or shopping online, products display a union jack symbol for easy identification.
Note *According to a 2022 survey by Make it British, demand for UK made product has increased by 69% since the pandemic, with respondents saying they are more likely to buy British. 88% of respondents said they were willing to pay more for British made goods.
Above: Gardeners Hand Cream from Sussex-based The English Soap Company