Last year when Brothers & Sisters stumbled on Bud, a boutique garden centre in Burnage, we were so excited to find this lush oasis tucked away in M19 we started spreading the word.
Turns out Bud celebrates its 10th birthday next year and EVERYONE already knows about it.
If, like us, you don’t like being late to the plant-based party, Chief Buddist Brenda tells the story…
When was Bud set up?
Bud opened in April 2011, so we are 10 next year!
Where did the inspiration for Bud come from?
My horticultural journey began in 1999 when, inspired by a colleague, I grew a few bits and pieces in my tiny back yard in Levenshulme. It started with linseeds, scattered between the cracks in the old flagstones, flowering purpley-blue. It was a revelation.
My passion continued when we bought our first house, with a small south facing garden, and it quickly became a place to experiment with seeds and cuttings. I read a lot of books, so in many ways I am self-taught, though I do have City and Guilds and RHS qualifications.
How did you turn your passion into a thriving business?
I signed up for an allotment in 2006, whilst volunteering at a community growing project, which led to paid work on a Surestart project, and in the garden at Start in Salford.
Having lots of retail experience – I managed a healthfood shop and was a member of 8th Day Workers’ Co-operative pre-Bud – I dreamt of owning a garden centre… and it was realised when the site in Burnage became vacant in late 2010 (a long story). The rest is history.
What can we buy at Bud?
We focus on plants, because we love plants!
Bud is home to a varied and ever-changing range of herbaceous perennials, culinary herbs, climbers, dwarf fruit trees, fruit bushes, ornamental trees, shrubs, and houseplants, in addition to our homegrown vegetable plants and potted spring bulbs.
We support specialist UK nurseries, and order mostly from those who grow in peat free growing media. We also sell gardening sundries: peat free compost, organic seeds, spring flowering bulbs, terracotta and ceramic pots, organic plant feeds, and a small range of carefully chosen gifts, made in the UK, or Europe.
We don’t sell anything made in China or the far east. In December, we sell premium quality Scottish Christmas trees, locally made wreaths and ethical tree decorations.
What are your best sellers?
It does depend on the time of year but we sell a lot of herbs, perennials, houseplants, houseplant pots, and peat free compost.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to set up their own shop?
Have a strong mission statement. Start small and grow organically: increase opening times as business increases
If your shop is bricks and mortar, be open when you say you are open. Answer emails promptly.
What do you love about being an indie shop owner?
Every day is different, because every day different people come through the gate; I love making connections, having a bit of craic with my customers – so many of mine are now my mates!
What have you learnt this year?
People’s shopping habits can change in a short space of time; this year we have attracted a wider range of people, many of whom used to shop at larger garden centres.
People have craved more intimate experiences and have realised that small independents can be the heart and soul of their communities.
Bud Garden Centre, Omer Dr, Manchester, M19 2JN
Open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm in November and Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm in December.