Published: July 10, 2022 | Updated: July 10, 2022

Outdoor space is doubled and new restaurant opened in garden centre’s £2m transformation

The covered plant canopy at Three Legged Cross is the largest space of its kind across all 19 Hillier Garden Centres.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Hillier has completed a £2 million transformation of its Three Legged Cross garden centre three years after acquiring the site.

Visitors can now enjoy bright and spacious shopping areas with a host of new features following the work.

They include a covered plant canopy, the largest space of its kind across all 19 Hillier Garden Centres, full of plants including many from Hillier nurseries in Hampshire.

The outdoor space has almost doubled in size to 48,000 square feet to allow for a wide variety of plant choices.

Hillier plant experts will be on hand throughout the centre to offer their advice and help shoppers find the right plant for the right place.

In addition, a selection of new concessions and retail partners have been introduced including butcher ‘Craft Meat Dorset’, Mountain Warehouse, Cotton Traders, and Johnsons Garden Buildings, among others.

The plant area has been relocated and now faces the car park to offer improved accessibility.

The centre’s new Mulberry & Thyme restaurant has a newly introduced menu offering drinks, snacks and meals with a spacious outdoor seating area where dogs are also welcome.

Hillier says that, true to its ethos, the renovations have been undertaken with sustainability at the core.

The green innovations include a solar farm on the roof, which has been fully insulated and is set to carbon offset the full operational requirements of the site.

Further sustainable initiatives include the installation of new LED lighting and the latest air conditioning technology.

Hillier has received the ‘Planet Mark’ certification for the third consecutive year, honouring the company’s commitment to creating green spaces, and the renovation works are part of this.

Chris Francis, pictured left, Hillier Garden Centre and Wholesale Nurseries Director, said: “We’re so excited to be unveiling the transformation work at Three Legged Cross.

“We sought to make the centre a bright and spacious area that offers gardening expertise and inspiration for the local community, while also being a great destination to browse, shop and meet friends.

“It really is an exciting time ahead as we share our extended range of quality plants and Hillier expertise within the totally transformed centre.”

Founded by Edwin Hillier in Hampshire in 1864, Hillier is a horticultural business with more than 155 years of expertise and now owns 19 garden centres across the south of England.

The business grows around two million plants a year across its Hampshire nurseries and is the largest grower of semi-mature trees in Europe.

It remains family-run business to this day, with the fifth generation of the family actively involved.

Previously under the ownership of Wyevale and known as John Browns garden centre, the Three Legged Cross site in Ringwood Road was acquired by Hillier in 2019.