Veggies grown in park

Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre at Monkton Heathfield will be re-creating a potager in its car park to give visitors the chance to find out about the benefits of Grow Your Own (GYO).

A Somerset garden centre will this spring be re-creating a potager in its car park to give visitors the chance to find out about the benefits of Grow Your Own (GYO).

Staff at Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre at Monkton Heathfield have developed a mini allotment, which this year will include raised beds, and will be growing fruit and vegetables on-site.

Norma Moore, General Manager of the award-winning, family-run garden centre, said: “Last year, we pulled up the shrub border and established two separate growing spaces in the garden centre’s car park.

“We did it to highlight the trend for GYO, which is one of the country’s fastest growing hobbies. This year we will be putting in raised beds to help show people just how easy and fun they are.

“People are very keen to try growing their own food, even if it’s just in a small way with tubs on a patio or in window boxes and we wanted to get involved too. This area in the car park provides a fantastic space to grow our own fruit and vegetables and shows that you can have a plot anywhere.”

GYO fruits and vegetables have become very popular in the past few years, with many people becoming concerned by food miles.

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Norma continued: “The home-grown products we grew last year were very tasty, in particular the leeks and sprouts. We’ll be planting these again this year, as well as potatoes and onion sets, which also proved to be very successful.

“The plot in the car park is contained by a picket fence, so garden centre visitors will be able to see quite clearly what is growing and follow our progress.


“The potager will combine companion plants with more exotic herbs and vegetables. We’ll be planting marigolds to detract insect pests from crops as well as sweet peas, which are used to fix nitrogen from the air into the soil and attract pollinating insects. Potagers are stunning plant areas that combine GYO with beautiful flowers, so we’re very excited about this new development.”

The garden centre has an extensive GYO sales area to cope with the growing demand for plants and related products.

Norma added: “There are lots of benefits to GYO. For example, there is a wonderful sense of achievement growing your food. It is also a great way to get away from the stresses of the day too.

“There are numerous health benefits as well. All the produce has a much higher nutritional value as it hasn’t been stored and transported for miles before being eaten, which makes it better for you.”

To find out more, please drop in to Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre, which is located just off the A38 at Monkton Heathfield between Bridgwater and Taunton, call 01823 412381 or visit

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