It was all change this year for GLEE, the garden retail industry's annual show that is usually held at the NEC in Birmingham. Due to pandemic restrictions, a virtual show took its place with product launches, presentations and awards all happening online.
The 'GLEE Gathering' took place over two days and, although in a completely different format to previous years, it still allowed GardenSite to catch up with current and potential suppliers while evaluating new products.
Discovering the latest gardening trends is vital for our business, we have to satisfy the expectations of our customers and GLEE has always been a great way to see at first hand what products are coming onto the market. Although showcased virtually, this was again the case this year.
Especially exciting are the award winners and it was very pleasing to see Zest4Leisure, whose timber garden furniture, structures and other outdoor leisure products we have stocked since the company was established, repeating their success of previous years.
The Best New Product is the most prestigious award at GLEE and this year went to Zest's 3 Tier Stackable Raised Bed which also won the Garden Growing Containers category.
With an innovative hinged design, this raised bed is a flexible and easy to build 'grow your own' product. It can be laid out as three separate beds in different configurations or stacked for tiered planting and is perfect for displaying flowering plants as well as cultivating fruit and vegetables.
Zest's award winner in the Garden Leisure and Entertaining category was another product from their 'easy build' range, the Burghley Arbour. It offers more shelter than similar arbours, has a comfortable ergonomically designed seat and is constructed from fewer elements that simply and easily fit together.
The Cherry Blossom Arch was a joint winner in Garden Landscaping. Ideal if you want to introduce oriental style and well being into your garden, this tall arch is inspired by Japanese architecture and beautifully crafted with an attractive square trellis that supports climbing and trailing plants. Perfect to frame a path or feature, it will become a wonderful focal point.
With many other excellent quality products that will come to market in 2021, Zest4Leisure certainly enjoyed a successful virtual GLEE, Hopefully next year's show will resort to the normal format, although in the circumstances the Virtual GLEE proved to be a more than adequate substitute.