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An Interview With | Aaron Doe, Garsons Esher

Each month we go behind the scenes with one of our 300 expert stockists nationwide to bring you ideas, inspiration, and an insider’s guide to life at the garden centre. This month we hear from Aaron Doe, from the award winning, family run, Garsons Esher, based in Surrey.

1. Which part of the garden centre do you work in?

I have the privilege of running the seasonal department at Garsons Esher. Between myself and the managing director, Mr Ian Richardson, we decide on the ranges of furniture for the upcoming seasons. During the winter months, the department transitions to Christmas, which keeps myself and the wonderful team I work with busy. It is the only department at Garsons that is essentially split in two, so it keeps it enjoyable and interesting throughout the year. My team work so hard to create innovative and enticing shop floor displays both during the furniture and Christmas periods, as a result, I am pleased to confirm we currently hold the accolades of the GCA’s best outdoor living retailer in the UK and, for the second successive season, the best Christmas destination centre in the UK.

2. What is the best part of your job?

Garsons is a wonderful place to work. The fact we are still an independent, family run company really shines through, and we are incredibly lucky to be given the freedom to express ourselves and make the shop floor our own. No day is the same at Garsons, there are always different customers with different requirements that I enjoy dealing with on a day to day basis. I feel that sales is my leading strength. I personally come in to my own on a busy summer weekend when there is a real buzz on the shop floor, as mentioned, I enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise with customers as I attempt to accommodate their requirements.

3. Classic or Contemporary? What is your preferred garden style?

I personally prefer a contemporary garden style, with greys and darker colours. Having been at Garsons for over 12 years, I have seen the trends transition from traditional rattan to the more contemporary aluminium ranges that Bramblecrest and various other suppliers we deal with offer. If I could, I would have one of these sets in my garden!  

4. Solo or Social? What would be your ideal garden set up? In a cocoon reading a book in a quiet spot in the garden, or everyone gathered together for a big family BBQ?

Without question, I am a people and family person and enjoy interacting and socialising with friends and family, I would love to be able to accommodate lots of people in my garden for drinks and a BBQ but I do also enjoy a bit of down time when I am able to. Having 2 small children results in this being a very rare opportunity! Going back to my point about dealing with customers, this is what makes the job so interesting. One minute, you could be speaking to a customer who is looking for the biggest set available, the next, you could be dealing with a customer who has a smaller garden space, without the means to entertain on a larger scale, looking to purchase a smaller bistro set.

5. What do you think is the best time of day to spend outdoors?

For me, the best time of day to spend outdoors would be on a summer's evening, with my friends and family, watching the sun set with a nice cold drink in hand!

6. What is the most important thing you think someone should consider when designing their garden?

First and foremost, I believe space plays a big part when a customer is choosing a set of furniture to set up their garden style. At Garsons, we offer a wide range of furniture ranging from 2 seat bistro sets to large rectangular casual dining sets. Budget is also an important factor to consider. Going back to an earlier point, I feel we have enough of a choice to cater for most consumers needs and requirements.

7. What choices can we make that will benefit our gardens, and the environment?

Firstly, when it comes to choosing a set of furniture, I believe the customer is looking for value for money and most importantly a quality product. Bramblecrest’s range makes up about a third of our shop floor, so I personally already know if a customer chooses any one of these ranges, they will be happy. The improved 5-year warranty Bramblecrest offers on their furniture confirms their wish of a quality set that will last for many years. I have noticed more and more over the years, that customers are also very conscious about their carbon footprint and the impact this has on the environment, ourselves at Garsons included. Bramblecrest’s eco-friendly cushions, as an example, offers not only a high-quality product, but one that utilises recycled plastic bottles helping to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. It is also known that spending time outdoors with friends and family is great for a person’s mental wellbeing, whether it is alfresco dining or chilling from a busy week.

ABOUT GARDENS ESHER

Garsons Esher, Surrey is an award-winning Garden Centre, Farm Shop, Restaurant and one of the largest PYO Farms in the UK.

Opening Times:

Monday: 09:00 - 18:00

Tuesday: 09:00 - 18:00

Wednesday: 09:00 - 18:00

Thursday: 09:00 - 18:00

Friday: 09:00 - 18:00

Saturday: 09:00 - 18:00

Sunday: 11:00 - 17:00

Doors open at 10.30am for browsing on Sundays