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Gardening is, undeniably, one of the nation’s favourite leisure activities. Credited with reducing stress and providing a great source of exercise, it’s no wonder we are so keen to be at one with nature; smelling roses and weeding has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, increase brain activity and give you a positive boost. Not only that, but whilst you’re outdoors you’re also exposed to plenty of vitamin D to strengthen your immune system.

From the most bijou window boxes to the grandest of estates, gardening is for everyone. And never have allotments, with their promise of organic produce, been so sought after; the lengthy waiting lists a testament to their ever-increasing popularity.

Since 1913 the Chelsea Flower Show with its spectacular displays has long been renowned as the world’s most prestigious horticultural event. Percy Thrower, the very first celebrity gardener, and current personalities such as Alan Titchmarsh, Monty Don, and Diarmuid Gavin, have all flown the flag for gardening and we have taken them firmly to our hearts.

We have bred a nation of green-fingered aficionados and, now, more people than ever know their Azaleas from their Astrantias. Garden Centres have responded to the evolving market in which consumers demand a ‘leisure destination’ in which to source a wide array of plants and flowers, whilst enjoying a cappuccino and browsing homeware at the same time.

Partridge Interiors, experts in commercial partitioning and suspended ceilings, have recently completed a project at ‘Your Local Garden Centre’ in Mappleborough Green, near Studley in Warwickshire. Formerly named Badger Nurseries, the garden centre is, today, independently owned with a real passion for plants and superb customer service.

Partridge Interiors itself is still proudly managed by its founders; a family business based in Warwickshire with over 20 years’ master craftsmen experience. Jason Partridge, Director, is keen to stress there are myriad benefits of suspended ceilings which reach beyond aesthetics: “they not only look superb but they do a great job at absorbing sound which is particularly important in a dining environment with echoing voices. Not only that but they are an extremely good insulator, helping to increase energy efficiency and, consequently, reduce costs.”

Tim Mason of Sea Pop Ltd, was Project Manager for the development of Mappleborough Green Garden Centre and added: “Partridge Interiors won a tender for suspended ceiling installation and we soon discovered they were the perfect contractor to create far more complicated shaped ceiling rafts. The bespoke architectural features Partridge Interiors installed are crucial to the building’s internal design. Partridge Interiors were a pleasure to deal with from tender to completion, always giving a personal and professional service.”

The coffee shop has now been completely transformed and offers everything from breakfast and delicious lunches through to afternoon tea. Customers can relax in comfort, looking out through the large glazed walls with stunning views of the plant area. A popular area for coffee is the all-weather ‘indoor/outdoor’ seating area, situated under a magnificent canopy, enabling patrons to sit at the very heart of the plant area and stay dry, come rain or shine.

The Garden Centre also caters for the younger customer with a fantastic outdoor play area, picnic benches and an indoor activity centre. From comfortable sofas to a raised fine dining area, there really is something for everyone.