Value garden centre group Cherry Lane is celebrating its 21st anniversary. A month of events, activities and special treats are planned at the local garden centre in Long Melford, which was one of the very first Cherry Lanes to open.

Celebrations at Cherry Lane kick off this week and run until 3rd July. Among the festivities will be competitions, giveaways and gifts for customers. The garden centre will be bustling with birthday excitement, as well as offering massive savings for customers across its outdoor summer ranges – perfect for holding a garden party of your own!

As part of the 21st anniversary, Cherry Lane is looking to reward great causes in the community. 21 special hardwood garden benches are being donated in the communities around each Cherry Lane garden centre to local groups, clubs or charities, with nominations being invited from customers to help identify worthy recipients. Customers can submit their nominations in-store or go online to download and submit a form before 3rd July.

The UK’s only value garden centre group, Cherry Lane was established in 2001 by parent company QD, which made its name on the high street as an independent family-run discount retailer running QD stores since 1985. Long Melford was one of Cherry Lane’s first three garden centres, with long-serving employees Sharn Cleverley and Stuart Bowers still working there today.

Sharn began her garden centre career at Pulham Market, which was sold with Long Melford and Fritton (known as South View) to create the Cherry Lane group in 2001. Sharn became manager of Long Melford in 2021.

Stuart began working at Long Melford as plant area manager in 1998, and stayed with the garden centre through the acquisition. 21 years later, he is Long Melford’s horticulture manager.

During the past 21 years, Cherry Lane has gone from strength to strength, starting as a group of three garden centres in East Anglia and growing to 17 across the country today, reaching from Suffolk to Worcester and Essex to Yorkshire. Cherry Lane now also has five of its own on-site nurseries, which cultivate the group’s Grown by Us range of homegrown plants that are sold across the business.

Nick Rubins, chief executive of the QD Group, which owns Cherry Lane, said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone. Since launching Cherry Lane 21 years ago, the garden centre industry has changed considerably, but our garden centres have always kept up with the times by providing welcoming restaurants and introducing new departments in-store such as pets and groceries, not to mention creating exciting soft play areas in some locations too. Throughout the years we’ve always strived to offer customers great quality products at amazing prices across our stores – this is something we believe has really been key to our success and we will continue to do as the Cherry Lane group grows further.”

Sharn Cleverley, manager at Cherry Lane Long Melford, said: “Great people lie at the heart of our business and it’s the entire team that makes Cherry Lane so special. We are very excited to be taking part in these birthday celebrations – particularly as we’re one of the original three Cherry Lanes – and can’t wait to see what the next 21 years hold! We’ve so much planned to celebrate this brilliant milestone in-store, from giveaways to great savings. We look forward to welcoming our customers to join us and mark the occasion.”

For more information on Cherry Lane, see Nominations for the bench donation can be made in-store or online.

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