Oxford Garden Centre: A horticultural haven in natural surroundings
Starting life as a pig farm – rather ironically, the source of perfect organic fertiliser – the original farmhouse can still be found on the South Hinksey site where Oxford Garden Centre thrives today.
The pond at the front of the Centre is fed by a natural spring, which bubbles through the ground at the top of the Centre and pools before trickling back under the A34 to the River Isis. Mallards are regular characterful visitors and come spring and summer you can feed the fish from the bridge!
Our proximity to nature doesn’t stop there. A circular walk on the Chiswell Path surrounds the Centre and comprises a wildlife reserve run by Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT). The boardwalk will lead you to a reedbed, fen and wet woodland that provides the perfect habitat for wildflowers and birds of prey.
Many find that the Oxford Garden Centre Cafe, serving cakes and savoury bites homemade from seasonal local produce, is the perfect start or finish to this refreshing stroll. Sit outside in our Kitchen Garden Cafe and you might see resident robins hopping around clearing up crumbs or glimpse the swallows swooping home to nest in our roof.
The Oxford Garden Centre Horticultural team
When AWBS took over from Wyevale we were keen to retain the vast majority of seasoned staff, which today make up our horticultural team that comprises an impressive 85 years’ experience. Headed up by our Head of Horticulture, who has worked at the South Hinksey site for five years, the team is blossoming. We’ve also introduced a few members from the original AWBS Group, with proven aptitude for retail and customer service, and cultivated a lovely hybrid of old-meets-new that works wonders.
Jacky, Horticultural Assistant
Chalking up 35 years of horticultural experience, and with a love for shrubs and woody plants, Jacky has been with us since 2017 and enjoys getting muddy at her nearby allotment.
Laura, Horticultural Assistant
A qualified florist with more than 20 years’ creative and horticultural experience, Laura has been an asset to Oxford Garden Centre since 2017. From Mister Lincoln to Lady Emma Hamilton, Laura knows a thing or two about roses.
Lorna, Horticultural Assistant
Oxford Garden Centre’s resident GYO expert since 2018, with three allotment sites and over 30 years’ experience, what Lorna doesn’t know about veggies isn’t worth knowing.
The AWBS Group timeline
- 1988: Adrian White Building Supplies (AWBS) was formed to sell products to trade customers in the Oxford area. The first AWBS showroom opened at South Hinksey (next to where Oxford Garden Centre is found today) in July.
- 2001: AWBS Landscaping was launched to offer a complete landscaping service in the Oxfordshire area. It now has the following statuses: Trading Standards Approved, Brett Approved Installer, Bradstone Assured Installer and Millboard Approved Installer.
- 2003: We introduced two more AWBS showrooms at Cheney Manor Garden Centre in Swindon, and Yarnton Nurseries at Sandy Lane, Yarnton.
- 2004: Our Witney aggregate bagging and gravel bagging facility was opened.
- 2005-2010: The AWBS website was launched. From 2010 our customers were able to order and buy online 24/7 and make the most of free local delivery.
- 2018: AWBS acquired Wyvale Garden Centre, now Oxford Garden Centre, at the South Hinksey site.
- 2018-2019: A new distribution in Eynsham near Witney in Oxfordshire, with 10,907 square feet of dry storage, is built and opened.
- 2020: The second phase of our distribution centre development, involving offices for the AWBS group’s new headquarters, will be completed.