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Deco-Pak – 2017 in Review

Deco-Pak Logo

Deco-Pak – 2017 in Review

For leading decorative aggregate, paving and decorative nest box supplier Deco-Pak, 2017 meant stepping up a level and refining its existing offering to focus its relevance to its core retail customers.

Deco-Pak GLEE Stand - 2017

As one of Deco-Pak’s new products appeared live on the BBC’s unprecedented coverage of GLEE this September, much had already been set in motion behind the scenes throughout the year as the family company began realigning its business strategy to focus more on traditional garden centres as its main avenue for sales.

At the beginning of the year, the Yorkshire based landscaping specialist began by visiting the consumer media in London, with Company Director Rod Slater presenting revolutionary porcelain paving and other new products to gardening writers at the Garden Press Event.  Deco-Pak’s new insect hotels, fresh from winning a highly commended award at Spring Fair were also a big hit with journalists at the HTA/GIMA backed event. 

The company’s close involvement with GIMA continued in 2017, with Marketing Director Craig Hall confirmed as a member of the council for a second consecutive year.  Raising money for Greenfingers and Perennial were the main recipients of Deco-Pak’s charitable donations in 2017, with company representatives also taking part in fundraising at the GCA conference, completing the Garden Re-Leaf walk and fielding a team for the Perennial ‘Play the Pitch’ charity football tournament which raised approximately £15,000.

New products

New premium decorative birdhouses were launched at GLEE, including additions to the Heritage Stone Co. range and more Italian cobbles and pebbles for the Milano range.  One Penny & Half Penny stepping stones were launched to great reception, boosted by their early appearance on BBC Breakfast.  Glee was also used to showcase all-new merchandising solutions, including garden vignettes – space-saving cutaways placed between palleted merchandisers which allow for easier and more effective cross-merchandising. The innovative new sample trays and micro sample bags are the ultimate solutions to control consumers splitting bags, whilst showcasing unique decorative aggregates.

GLEE 2017 - Chelsea Retail Theatre Product Stand

2018

Deco-Pak’s plans for the coming year include investment in deliveries, an increased presence at GLEE, and expanding with new members of the creative and sales teams.  The company will continue to source 95% of its products from within the UK, introducing new products and POS whilst also introducing a brand new packaging technology.

 

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A Guide to Insect Hotels in the Garden

Insect Hotels - The Tower

A Guide to Insect Hotels in the Garden

Our Insect hotels range features six key pieces in various sizes and colours. The Tower was a Gift of the Year Finalist in 2017 and now one of our best -selling lines.

Many gardeners often think about taking care of birds that visit the garden but not an awful lot of thought is given to the insects that also inhabit the garden. Deco-Pak has researched the average garden and subsequently introduced several innovative lines to the Garden Bazaar Range.

A key visitor to the British garden is the humble bumble bee which we should all consider giving some support to when the busy Summer comes to an end. Although most bees have vacated the garden now, ivy bees may still be out there looking for the late-flowering English ivy collecting whatever nectar is available to them.

From late September / October, most bees will be looking for shelter to get them through the Winter which is where Insect Hotels become the garden centrepiece. Key components to the hotels are logs, bark, bamboo and fir cones in various shapes and sizes to allow easy entry for all. The hotel is also a great spot for garden spiders.

Benefits of Insect Hotels

Encouraging biodiversity is good for the ecological balance in the garden. Since our gardens are home to a vast range of living creatures, in some cases over 2,000 different species of invertebrates it is important to try and conserve this wildlife. Giving these Insects a home can help your garden to prosper and help the conservation of vital wildlife. Gardens can flourish as these insects’ hotels will house pollinating bees, attract ladybirds and lacewings, both of which are natural aphid & greenfly (garden pests) predators.

Where to place your Insect Hotel

Solitary bees like to be warm so having the hotel on a south-facing wall is another consideration to aid their inhabitancy. Therefore, the best position for insect hotels is in sunlight or light shade, preferably 1.5m off the ground.

Bugs & Bees Where they go When to expect In the Hotel Garden Benefits
Solitary Bees Bamboo Tubes Spring / Summer Laying eggs Pollinating flowers
Ladybirds wood shavings Winter Hibernate Eat aphids (garden pests)
Lacewings Columns and tubes Winter Hide & Hibernate Eat aphids & greenflies (garden pests)
Other Invertebrates Acorns and other crevices All year round Shelter and Hibernate Wildlife conservation

Some interesting facts to make you think

• 8 out of 10 wildflowers could disappear without insect pollination

• Solitary bees make up the largest percentage of the bee population, with 90% of bees being in the solitary category

• Over its lifetime, a ladybird may consume as many as 5,000 aphids

To view our full range of Insect Hotels click here!

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Feeding our feathered friends in style

Feeding our feathered friends in style

Feeding the birds has become somewhat of a national pastime in the British garden. 60% of British households are thought to put out food for birds throughout the year – all for various reasons. From avid all year- round birds-lovers to simply the compassionate Winter feeder.

Whatever the urge to feed our feathered friends it will aid survival throughout the long Winter months and gets them fighting fit for the breeding season.

Garden Bazaar have designed a selection of innovative but practical bird feeder solutions all of which are ideal gifts for young and old. The Design Your Own Feeder is a popular gift for younger children whilst the British Collection features some of our best- selling lines namely, the Post Box, Telephone Box and Police Box feeder (a favourite amongst avid Dr Who fans).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the feeders are made of high-quality FSC wood and are easy to clean and replenish. Bird Feeders attract many birds to the same spot and it is recommended that you clean your bird feeders every month to avoid transmission of disease.

Whatever your reason for feeding our feathered friends do it in style!

To view our full range of bird feeders, click here!

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Deco-Pak commit to garden centres as Penny drops on live TV

Deco-Pak commit to garden centres as Penny drops on live TV

At this year’s Glee, decorative aggregates specialist Deco-Pak announced it would be refocusing its business strategy, with garden centre customers at the heart of this bold move.

In the wake of ending  a business partnership with a discount retailer, Deco-Pak has set out a strategy for the year ahead that is better reflective of its working ethos, and will see the market-leaders focus on core business, enhance its portfolio of products and continue to create POS best suited to the market.

National news coverage

The business strategy announcement wasn’t the only highlight for Deco-Pak as the company also made the national news. In an unprecedented one-off broadcast live from the first day of the show, Deco-Pak’s One Penny stepping stone became the star of BBC Breakfast’s news as Steph McGovern presented it to visitors waking for the first day of the show.

Exciting new products & brand new merchandising ideas

Launching new premium decorative birdhouses, heritage gravels and Italian cobbles and pebbles, Deco-Pak used Glee to showcase its new merchandising solutions, and unique quality of service.

Deco-Pak also demonstrated at Glee that they are continuing to push the boundaries of what is normally expected from landscaping staples such as gravel, bark, pebbles and compost.  Deco-Pak’s garden vignettes are space-saving cutaways placed between palleted merchandisers which allow for easier and more effective cross merchandising.  Products available on garden vignette stands include the Chelsea Garden Range which now includes top soil, bark and John Innes multipurpose compost.

The company also introduced a new way of creating easier add-on sales and cross-selling opportunities for weed control, with dispensers attached to pallets.  Accompanied by gravel sample trays and sample bags, the new arrangement helps to engage browsing customers whilst discouraging bags being opened.  New aggregates this year included Deco-Pak’s Heritage Stone Co. Pearl Grey, as well as Milano Silver Granite and Rose cobbles and pebbles.

Deco-Pak Director Rod Slater said:In my previous life managing garden centres, I was always passionate about creating great looking sales areas inside and out, whilst also making sure retail space was as profitable as possible. By investing more in the Deco-Pak Retail Theatre concept and other creative merchandising, we are moving away from discount retail and aiming to appeal more to traditional garden centres – and from the comments we received at Glee, so far it’s been the right decision.”

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Deco-Pak: Ahead of the curb

Talking exclusively to Gardenforum, decorative aggregate and paving specialist Deco-Pak reveal the effort – and risk – of developing new products that are streets ahead of the rest of the market. We also explore the level of effort and risk that goes into launching successful new products in the landscaping sector, and how garden centres can exploit the advantage they have over online.

Craig Hall, Marketing Manager for Deco-Pak said: “The pressure to launch a truly innovative product is a risk that only the most forward looking companies can take with confidence. It must not only solve a myriad of consumers’ problems, but also provide a lucrative enough margin and unique point of difference for retailers to even consider it.”

Deco-Pak’s latest product, the Glee award winning wood effect porcelain paving ticks every box imaginable. It’s anti-slip, non-fading, algae-resistant, frost proof, and stands up to a tonne of weight. The price, at £60 RRP a square metre, provides a cutting-edge product that retailers can make premium margins on. Also, the merchandiser strives for originality, with a vertical and horizontal display that somehow fits into a 2m x 130cm long space but with enough room to allow shoppers to visualise the product and get touchy-feely with the rough-sawn timber effect anti-slip coating.

It’s even been featured in Grand Designs – as a must-have for those looking for paving solutions that are a state-of-the-art, longer lasting, maintenance free alternative to decking.

Deco-Pak’s versatile porcelain paving range is unlike anything seen before in the market!

Craig added: “Every time we put the product in front of anyone – they’re blown away by the look, feel and quality of the product. The challenge is of course how to convey that online. But products like this actually present a unique opportunity for retailers to capitalise on their point of difference. With customers seeking out items that are simply too heavy to buy online, this is a great chance to show that the latest cutting edge products aren’t just on the web – they’re in the garden centre.”

Find out more
Visit www.deco-pak.co.uk, connect via twitter @deco_pak, or call the customer service team to find your nearest stockist on 01422 204394.

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Deco-Pak’s Play Pit Sand offers full educational play experience

 

 

Deco-Pak Play Pit Sand Handy pack – approx. 10kg – RRP £2.99

Brand new medium size, comes with easy to carry handle. An ideal starter pack for small spaces.

Deco-Pak Play Pit Sand Large – approx. 15kg – RRP £3.99

Large but manageable size, perfect for tipping manually. The cleanest, safest way to start your own sand pit in the garden.

Deco-Pak’s Play Pit Sand features helpful additional on-pack content – and now a new website – designed to help create the complete educational play experience.

With eye-catching, colourful packaging and illustrations, the new Play Pit Sand is the full package – featuring how to information, examples of learning and sensory activities as well as a link to the new website – www.playpitsand.co.uk – which goes into more detail.

The website, launched this month, is an evolution in Deco-Pak’s packaging, and signals a commitment to providing a consumer facing brand to assist retailers and their customers.

Deco-Pak’s Play Pit Sand is safe, non-toxic and fully tested for BSEN1177 impact absorption and BSEN71-3 chemical toxicity. Popular with schools in the North East, the sand is also being sought after by other regional school purchasing boards across the UK. The company is raising awareness and funds for Greenfingers charity through sales of the product, the popular garden industry charity that helps childrens hospices to create and enhance outdoor spaces for their patients and families.

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Deco-Pak manager raises over a £1,000 for local hospice

The staff of Hipperholme based decorative aggregates and bird box suppliers, Deco-Pak, joined over 1,700 runners in a 5k colour run to raise money for Overgate Hospice in Elland.

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Deco-Pak and an amazing 1,700 people made their way around the 5km route whilst being doused in several colours of powdered paint.

For Deco-Pak’s Finance Manager, Rachel Smith, the fundraiser had a particularly emotional significance. “My mother spent time at Overgate Hospice before she passed away, so I was thinking of her at every step of the way. The level of care she received at Overgate was just incredible and I am really happy that we can further support their work with our team donation.”

 

If you would like to see the current total raised and donate to the cause, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/teams/Deco-Pak.

 

Overgate Hospice, the only adult Hospice in Calderdale, provide the highest standard of specialist palliative and end of life care for adults who have active, progressive and life-limiting conditions; and furthermore provide support for their friends and family.

 

To find out more about Overgate hospice, visit www.overgatehospice.org.uk

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The easy path to an instantly refreshed garden

Creating a pathway in your garden might seem like a complicated job that requires a lot of backbreaking work, and expert knowledge. Thankfully, it’s easier than you’d think, and according to Deco-Pak – a Yorkshire based family company that supplies everything you would need to lay paths, driveways, patios and more – there are a ton of benefits when choosing to use gravel over other surfaces.

Avantages to using gravel on your garden paths

  • Low maintenance – pressure washing and sweeping not necessary, fewer weeds
  • Low cost (value for money)
  • Instant impact – a tried and tested way of refreshing any outdoor space
  • Added security – the crunchy sound under foot is well known to deter intruders
  • Frost proof – ice won’t go between cracks and break up as it might with paving and setts
  • Effective drainage – particularly on a very slight slope and with ground control fabric

 

Craig Hall from Deco-Pak says: “You could spend several days and hundreds of pounds, putting in a path made of concrete, paving or tarmac. A gravel path is not only more attractive but it also won’t break your back or budget. Traditionally, decorative aggregate is a path (and driveway) material that takes little skill to install. An afternoon to get it down and you’ll soon have a natural-looking, weed-free way to walk through your perfect landscape.”

Easy how to: Create a luxurious rustic path

Step 1: Choose a relatively flat, low traffic site for your walkway and dig out a path to a depth of 2-4 inches.

Step 2: Place large stones, single file, along both edges. Deco-Pak’s range of boulders and rockery stones, available from garden centres, are ideal for this purpose.

Step 3: You’ll need a permeable landscaping fabric to separate your gravel from the soil beneath – and to suppress weeds. Deco-Pak’s professional grade, heavy duty, Ground Control Fabric (RRP £7.99 for a 10 x 1m roll) is ideal – just ensure there is at least a few inches overlap each side of your path. Tuck the fabric under the stones and you’re ready for the final step!

Step 4: Choose a decorative gravel to lay over the path. Some prefer a round pebble style covering as it is less likely to get compacted, others a more angular and crunchy surface. If you aren’t sure how much gravel to buy – there’s a handy gravel calculator on Deco-Pak’s website: www.deco-pak.dev/gravel-calculator