Taking part in the Twilight Walk

Good luck to our Ottery St Mary team members who will be taking part in the Hospiscare Twilight with a Twist on Saturday 10th July. This is the 15th anniversary of the charity’s Twilight Walk!

A group of around 30 will be involved with fundraising for this wonderful local charity. Some are taking on the full 13 miles and others will be walking 6 miles. Starting at the garden centre the route, which has been planned by Lauren Pearcy and Sally Bright, will take in the town of Ottery plus local villages and Escot Estate. The walk will finish back at the garden centre.

Our team members say that over the years Hospiscare has given support and help to them, their family and friends and our wider local community and this is their way of giving back.

As a local charity in our area, Hospiscare has been supporting people with a life-limiting illness for almost 40 years. The service now covers Exeter, Mid and East Devon and include providing support at home, a specialist palliative care ward, day hospices and end-of-life care.

Like many charities, Hospiscare has been affected by the pandemic, unable to run many of its fundraising events so Twilight with a Twist could make all the difference. In Ottery we are supporting Hospiscare as our charity of the year during 2021, carrying on from 2020 when fundraising was also curtailed here.

The team hasn’t set a target but they will be delighted to receive donations, large or small. To make a donation please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/team-otter

We wish them the very best of luck – here’s hoping for lovely weather. And if you see a team of walkers dressed in the recognisable pink t-shirts with (no doubt) lots of glitter, give them a wave!

Pictured L-R are Sally Palfrey, Lauren Pearcy, Grace Talbot and Sally Bright.

Celebrating 70 years of marriage at Otter

We were delighted to welcome some old friends back to Otter for a special lunch in the coffee shop at Ottery St Mary.

Lionel and Barbara Smith came to see us last summer when Lionel was celebrating his 95th birthday. This time round, they both had a reason to celebrate as it was their 70th anniversary – they were married in 1951!

They received a wonderful card from the HRH Queen Elizabeth offering her congratulations on this amazing anniversary, which they brought along with them to show us. Their daughter and son-in-law, Jenny and Tony Seculer, also joined them for lunch.

Lionel and Barbara live in Tiverton. As dedicated gardeners they have been regular customers of Otter Garden Centres since moving to the town over 30 years’ ago. Since the pandemic they have not been able to visit us as much as usual – in fact, this was only their second trip out since last October.

After their lunch and celebratory cake, they browsed the shop for some gardening goodies to take home with them. The next day they were due to visit Knightshayes to celebrate Lionel’s 96th birthday!

Everyone at Otter sends best wishes to Lionel and Barbara. Congratulations on your impressive milestone.

Beautiful Gardens Summer 2021 Magazine

Coffee Shop Update

We are delighted that due to further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, on Monday May 17th May all our coffee shops will be open and offering indoor seating.

Please visit our COVID-19 Coffee Shop FAQ. for full information and to help you plan your visit.

We’d like to thank all customers for their patience whilst our coffee shops have been closed, and we very much look forward to seeing you soon!

New Spring 2021 Magazine

Seeds by Post – Call our Hotline Today!

Buy your Seeds through our phone hotline!

Whilst we are in lockdown we want to help ensure you can be ready with your seeds for the new gardening season. Following the success of our Seeds by Post service introduced during the March 2020 lockdown, we have reopened our Seed Hotline service again.

Whether you are new to sowing seeds or an experienced gardener you can call our dedicated team members via the hotline. During the call, they will help you choose from our wide range of seed packets. Payment will be made by phone and the seeds will be posted out to your home address by Royal Mail. It’s a great way to ensure you have all your seeds ready to sow for this season!

Postage and Packing costs £1.50 per envelope. Depending on the seeds chosen, we can usually fit 4-6 packets in one envelope – our team will be able to give you the exact postage cost when you call. We are sorry but we can only post to addresses in the UK.

We have excellent stock of all seeds including vegetables, salad, herbs, summer bedding, flower seeds (perfect for pollinators) and much more. We’re unable to list all the seeds we have in stock as we have hundreds and hundreds to choose from!  If you need help chosing veg and salad seeds, click on the link for more information Seed Sowing Guide

Brands include Thompson & Morgan, Johnsons, Mr Fothergill’s, Mr Fothergill’s David Domoney range and Mr Fothergill’s RHS range. We also have a choice of seeds suitable for children including Thompson & Morgan’s Mr Men & Little Miss range. This year may be the ideal time to introduce the younger generation to gardening and the joys of seed sowing!

This service is operated by our Ottery St Mary Garden Centre specialised seed team.

The seed hotline is open between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday

Please call 01404 815 815, choose option 1, and ask for the “SEED HOTLINE”

If you can’t get through, please try later in the day. NB the service is not available at the weekend.

Happy Sowing and Growing from all the Otter Team!

Not sure which seeds to choose?

If you’d like to start seed sowing whilst you are at home but not sure which seeds to buy, we can help you!

By clicking on the link at the bottom you’ll find a helpful chart which provides excellent information on seed sowing and harvesting times, along with a guide on which seeds can be sown directly outdoors into the soil, and which need to be started inside.

Happy Sowing & Growing from Otter!

Please click below :-

Seed Sowing Guide

Wincanton branch supports Yeovil Freewheelers

Thank you to generous Wincanton customers!

2020 was a very difficult year in terms of fundraising for our chosen charities, as we were unable to hold any special events as we usually do. However, customers were still able to donate to collecting tins in the garden centre.

So we’d like to give a heartfelt thank you to our Wincanton customers who helped the branch raise over £430 for the Yeovil Freewheelers charity.

As an emergency volunteer service, Yeovil Freewheelers supports Yeovil District Hospital, Dorset County Hospital and the community hospitals across the region by providing emergency courier services for blood, platelets, blood and tissue samples, medication, breast milk, documents, X rays, CT scans, and equipment.

The service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, saving the NHS around £200,000 a year while easing patients’ suffering and helping to save lives.

The charity receives no funding from either national or local government relying instead on donors, sponsors, businesses and individuals.

Our Wincanton branch has supported the charity for several years and has decided to continue supporting Yeovil Freewheelers during 2021. If you would like to make your own donation visit: https://www.yfwbloodbikes.org/

Santa Claus is planning to come to Ottery St Mary!

We have spoken with Santa and are delighted to announce that he is planning a festive drive-by in his sleigh through the roads and past the houses in Ottery St Mary on Tuesday 22nd December. He has checked with his “Elf & Safety” Team and can confirm that it is within the covid safety guidelines for him spread Christmas cheer and wave to all of the children in the town from his sleigh.


According to our sources at the North Pole, Santa is hoping to see friendly waves and smiling faces as he rides on his sleigh through the town tomorrow evening. He has asked for you all to please stay warm and safe in your homes. Keep your ears open for the sound of his festive tunes as he approaches your road and keep your eyes peeled through your windows to spot him passing your home. When you see Santa please give him a big wave from your front door or from your window.


Santa will be touring through the town from approximately 5.30pm until 6.30pm.

His route will hopefully cover Butts Road area, Ridgeway area, Chineway area, Slade Road area, Primary School area, between 5.30pm and 6pm.

Followed by Winters Lane area, Millcroft area, Mill Street, Thorne Farm Way area and Claremont Field area between 6pm and 6.30pm.


Santa has asked that if you would like to make a donation to show your appreciation for his drive-by through Ottery, please make a donation to any charity of your choice to support those in need this Christmas.


Each year the Rotary Club arrange with Santa for him to visit many towns before Christmas to raise money for charity and see all the local children. This year it has not been possible for them to arrange this event and the team at Otter are pleased to be able to organise this Santa sleigh drive-by in place of this.


*We want to ensure that everyone remains safe and well for Christmas Day and that all Covid-19 guidelines remain adhered to. Please do not approach Santa’s sleigh, venture on to the pavements, or gather in groups. Santa’s sleigh is quite large and it may not be possible for him to manoeuvre through every street. He will do his best to pass as many homes as possible, but to avoid disappointment it may be a good idea to wait until you hear the festive music or see the sleigh before you tell your children.

Cooking Up Christmas Cheer for the Local Community

In a show of Christmas spirit, our MD Jacqui Taylor is helping to make sure that no-one in the nearby community of Ottery St Mary will go short of a festive meal on Christmas Day.

With the annual free Christmas lunch in the town unable to take place due to the pandemic, Jacqui and her team of willing helpers at Otter Garden Centre will provide a roast turkey dinner complete with a Christmas cracker and mince pie to the elderly, infirm, isolated or anyone otherwise in need, at no cost. The meal will be freshly cooked and delivered at lunchtime on December 25.

Jacqui says, “It’s been such a hard year for everyone but especially so for older people and those who have had to shield – there has been so much isolation and loneliness. Many don’t have family to care for them, whilst for others their family members live a long distance away or in a higher tier, so they are not able to visit this Christmas.”

“We really do believe Christmas is a time for giving and for showing that we care. With this small gesture we hope that the most vulnerable and lonely in our community will know that we are thinking of them.”

The meals, which will be freshly prepared by our restaurant team, will include roast turkey and all the trimmings – roast potatoes, fresh vegetables, stuffing, pigs in blankets and gravy, plus the all-important homemade mince pie to finish.

Jacqui has enlisted several family members who together with the “Ottery Community Volunteer Group” and other volunteers from Ottery will be putting off their own celebrations until later on Christmas Day in order to make the deliveries and ensure the food arrives piping hot and on time.

Family, friends and neighbours are encouraged to nominate anyone they think should be included. Former mayor Glyn Dobson and the Ottery Help Scheme are putting the list together. Glyn says that he has received requests from family members living hundreds of miles for their elderly parents to receive a meal.

To nominate someone for a meal, contact Glyn 01404 813403 and at glyndobson@aol.com  or Emily at the Ottery Help Scheme 01404 813041 and at info@otteryhelpscheme.org.uk