Visitors to Dobbies Garden Centre near Edinburgh will be the first to see a new exhibition marking a momentous milestone in the company’s history.
As it counts down to the launch of its Christmas collection later this month, the centre at Melville, Lasswade, is preparing to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of its founder, James Dobbie.
An exhibition commemorating the anniversary was unveiled during a special celebration attended by Scottish Minister for Business and Innovation Paul Wheelhouse at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh last week.
As well as showcasing Dobbies successes, past and present, the event was an opportunity to preview this year’s festive trends and to set out the company’s vision for the future, including plans to promote local sourcing in support of Scottish growers and farmers.
Matthew Bailey, general manager of Dobbies Melville, said now was a key time for gardeners and shoppers alike.
“We’re still really focused on our Autumn gardening shopping journey, but we’ll be starting to make way for our new Christmas collection which launches at the end of October,” he said.
“Our Christmas this year will hark back to Christmases past, with nostalgia and tradition being key trends. There will be hand-crafted, British-grown wreaths and local artisan produce within the farm shop which embody the very essence of a classic Christmas.”
The centre is already taking bookings for its festive grotto, which will be open from November 18, and its popular breakfasts and afternoon teas with Father Christmas.
The grotto is the creation of British artist Carol Forbes-Boulter, designer of the Christmas collection, who invites visitors to follow the Magical White Hare through frosty winter woodlands and across starry northern skies to collect a series of charms from the angels – Love, Peace, Joy and Hope – which will open the door to the grotto.
The team behind the anniversary exhibition worked with a leading archivist to curate a collection of historical artefacts, which will show visitors how Dobbies evolved as horticulturalists over a period of 150 years.
Mr Bailey said it was fitting that the Melville centre would be first to host the display as part of its nationwide tour. “Dobbies’ move from Portobello to the 70-acre site here at Melville, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, happened in 1934 where our company headquarters remain to this day – so Melville has played a fundamental part in the history of our business,” he continued.
“Importantly, Dobbies, Melville is also home to our company’s flagship garden centre – one of our largest and most well-loved garden centres.
“We are really proud to be selected as the first Dobbies to host our 200th anniversary exhibition, and we know our loyal customers will be excited to learn more about our history and how we’ve grown over the past two centuries.”
For more information about the exhibition and Christmas bookings, visit www.dobbies.com.