Garden centre grows!

Juliet Taylor at Avant Gardens

Juliet Taylor at Avant Gardens

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Impressive designs to expand a family-run garden centre in Leyland have been unveiled.

Plans have now been approved to create an extended glass-house cafe at Avant Gardens on Wigan Road, and manager Juliet Taylor hopes the improvement will help put the centre on the map.

She said: “We have a lot of regular customers, and we don’t want to lose them, but we’d also like to attract new customers, because people are always pleasently surprised when they come inside.”

She said the single storey front and side extension, including an extended item display area, cafe and toilet area, is a way of the family keeping up with the demands from shoppers in 2011.

“The whole emphasis of garden centres has changed,” she said. “They’re very sophisicated these days, and offer more than just plants.

“Visitors want a day out to look at garden furniture and gifts, and to have something to eat.

“We’re creating a new type of cafe area which won’t get too hot in the Summer or too cold in the Winter, and we’ll also be able to stock cards and wrapping paper because the patterns won’t fade in the sun with our new design.”

Juliet has been surrounded by horticulture all of her life. Her grandad was a farmer and her dad a landscaper, and she opened Avant Gardens around 14 years ago.

“This is the first big imporvement we’ve made,” she said.

“We’re just moving with the times, but we’re not trying to be flashy. I’m hoping this will get us some more curb appeal and people will notice us from the road. I want to put us on the map.”

Work is due to start in mid February, and although she expects there to be some desruption, Juliet says the business will be open as usual.

The main bulk of the building work should last about a month, but the project is only expected to be completed sometime in April.