Owners of a Jedburgh plant centre have a rosy future behind and ahead of them

A green-fingered couple who operate the Woodside Garden Plant Centre at Ancrum, outside of Jedburgh, have reasons for a double celebration this week.

Stephen and Emma Emmerson, owner/managers at Woodside Garden Centre. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Stephen and Emma Emmerson, owner/managers at Woodside Garden Centre. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

The unique award-winning outlet’s owners and management team of Emma and Stephen Emmerson reopened its birdhouse tearoom this week.

The couple are also celebrating a decade of trading.

That all follows a challenging 12 months, but Emma and Stephen are already planning ahead for the next ten years.

Emma said: “The plant centre is fully reopened, the tearoom has reopened indoors with social distancing and we have lots of picnic benches outside, so we have quite a high capacity for customers to sit outside in our big garden.

"Over the last ten years how it has worked is that for most of the time I have been running it and Stephen has been earning his living doing other things, but we are now so busy he is back onboard full-time.

"Stephen is an aquatics specialist so we have set up a new aquatics department as well. So we are doing pond plants, pumps, liners, everything you need to make your pond and we’ll soon have some pond fish in stock.

"Because gardening has taken an absolute upturn with nothing else to do during lockdown that’s why we have made that decision to expand into that side.

"It’s been a very challenging but rewarding 12 months and we’ve built up a huge, loyal customer database and the nice thing is that our existing customers are now recommending it to novice gardeners. We’re seeing a younger generation coming through now, which is very satisfying.

"I just hope that we never have to do lockdown again – doing call and collect with plants is very challenging.”

Emma added: “We’re here for the long haul, right up to retirement and beyond I would think.”