Nestling in the lovely East Lothian countryside, Merryhatton Garden Centre is a family business that prides itself on offering quality products, great service and a warm welcome. Originally a market garden, plants remain at the heart of the business where the enthusiastic plant team are always delighted to help and advise customers how to get the best from their garden.
Only minutes from the A1 and a short drive from Edinburgh, the garden centre also offers excellent catering in its award-winning cafe where you can relax amongst the plants and enjoy fresh, home-cooked fare whilst looking out over the surrounding fields.
Helen MacDonald, the current owner bought Merryhatton when it was a run-down market garden in 1997. With an assortment of glasshouses and polytunnels, the previous owners had concentrated on producing bedding plants manually from seed and selling the plants at open-air markets. There was little or no onsite retailing.
It soon became clear that the nursery side of the business was not sustainable in its then format but that there was an opportunity to develop a retail business.
Over the next few years, the existing buildings were refurbished where possible but as the retail business grew, a radical re-think of the leaky, inefficient structures was required to create a more efficient, pleasant place that would meet modern customer expectations.
Caring for the environment has always been a fundamental part of the ethos at Merryhatton and the new, purpose-built garden centre building which was constructed in 2006 provided accessible, energy-efficient indoor retail and catering areas with external covered and open-air plant spaces.
By 2010 renewable energy solutions were becoming available and the business installed a ground source heat pump and solar panels to minimise their dependency on fossil fuels and help reduce the carbon footprint
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Vivian is responsible for all indoor sales including running the cafe and does a great job keeping everyone motivated and working together as a team. It's hard to believe it's now 10 years ago since she joined us to help out 2 days a week as a Christmas temp!
Nick is responsible for all horticulture aspects of the business. With a lifetime's experience ranging from growing to retailing, Nick brings a wealth of knowledge to the team, enhancing Merryhatton's reputation 'the place to come' for help and advice about plants.
Helen has a horticulture background, having 'helped' her parents on their nursery from a very young age. Her focus now is on marketing and developing the online part of the business so that customers can continue to shop even when they can't manage to visit.