Are garden centres open? If Homebase and Dobbies are closed during lockdown - and where to buy paint, compost and equipment

On 23 March the government increased measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, with certain businesses and venues instructed to close

Those deemed as “non-essential” were required to temporarily close their doors until further notice - but does this include garden centres?

Here’s what you need to know.

Are garden centres closed?

On 23 March the government increased measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, with certain businesses and venues instructed to close

Although some garden centres and others businesses selling garden furniture, plants and equipment originally closed, some have now started to reopen.

For example, B&Q has reopened 155 stores across the UK, meaning that around half of its total number of branches are now open for business.

Which businesses and venues remain open?

- Supermarkets and other food shops

- Medical services (such as dental surgeries, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, chiropody and podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services)

- Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies

- Petrol stations

- Bicycle shops

- Hardware shops and equipment, plant and tool hire

- Veterinary surgeries and pet shops

- Agricultural supplies shops

- Corner shops and newsagents

- Off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries

- Laundrettes and dry cleaners

- Post offices

- Vehicle rental services

- Car garages and MOT services

- Car parks

- High street banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points

- Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off points where they are on the premises of any of the above businesses

- Public toilets

- Shopping centres may stay open but only units of the types listed above may trade

Where can I buy compost, paint and other gardening materials?

As listed above, hardware shops and equipment, plant and tool hire, and agricultural supplies shops currently remain open, many of which sell items that you are looking for.

Alternatively, online gardening supply stores sell a range of day-to-day gardening items, and garden centres may now also be selling items online while they are closed to visitors.

B&Q

Although B&Q stores originally closed stores, with customers only able to order essentials from B&Q's website or via click and collect from your local store, the chain has now reopened 155 stores across the UK. Around half of its total number of branches are now open for business.

Homebase

Homebase has also temporarily closed its stores, but is still operating an online delivery service.

However, according to its website, there's a delay of up to three days on some items.

Standard delivery is free of charge. Next day or named day delivery costs £6.

However, the chain is opening up 20 of its stores on Saturday, 2 May 2.

The following stores will be reopening:

Hamilton

Edinburgh

Altrincham

Telford

Sheffield Chesterfield Road

Leeds

Worcester

Rugby

Newmarket

Norwich Sprowston

Bridgend

Haverfordwest

St Albans

Bracknell

Ewell

Streatham Vale

Basildon

Haringey

Folkestone

Orpington

Dobbies

Dobbies garden centres across the UK remain temporarily closed, after coming under fire after originally remaining open when lockdown was first put into place.

Supermarkets and stores such as Wilko and B&M sometimes sell seeds, plants, compost and basic gardening equipment, so you could check these if you’re already there buying essential food items.

However, it’s worth remembering that you should only leave the house for very limited purposes, one of which Gov.uk explains is “shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible”.

The other three times you are allowed to leave the house, according to Gov.uk, are for:

- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household

- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home