Open Mic Poetry Reading for DAAT – Torbay

Poetry Reading for Devon Air Ambulance

It’s a first for Otter! On 13th April we will be holding a Poetry Night with open mic at our Torbay branch.

  • From 7pm to 10pm
  • Fundraising raffle
  • Bring your own wine
  • We provide nibbles and soft drinks
  • Read your poetry or just come and listen

Enjoy this fun evening and support this very worthy cause, our Torbay branch’s Charity of the Year 2018.

For directions please click here.

Poetry Reading Poster

Garden Buildings Department Makeover – Ottery St Mary

An inspirational display of garden buildings for you to browse

Our main Garden Buildings department, which is based at our Ottery St Mary branch, has had a little TLC! We now have over 40 garden buildings and sheds on display for you to look at, to help you decide which model will suit your needs best. Many have been dresssed to give you an idea of the potential end result.


A garden building will enhance your garden and your home, offering storage space, perhaps a chance to move a home office out of the main house, a playroom for children or even simply somewhere to relax and enjoy a glass of wine after a hard day’s gardening. And what serious gardener would be without a greenhouse?


These days there are a multitude of options available, so what better way to make your choice than to have the chance to see exactly how your purchase will look once it has been put together.

The range of garden buildings on display include Regency, Malvern and Eden, with summerhouses, sheds and garden offices amongst the models you can see. We also have a wide range of Eden and Elite greenhouses from compact to large models.

How to make an appointment

When you visit, you can talk to our experienced Garden Buildings team who will be happy to talk through all the options available to you such as paint and windows, as well as any current offers and delivery details. Although you are welcome to drop in anytime, to guarantee there’s someone to talk with you, you can also make an appointment with a member of the team online. Click here for our garden buildings appointment form.


If you are thinking of adding a garden building or greenhouse there’s no better way to find out what’s on offer – we look forward to seeing you soon.



Fundraising Totals for 2017

How much fundraising did we do?

Each year, Otter Garden Centres pledges to carry out fundraising for charities. Over the years we have supported a wide range of charities to help them continue with their important work.

During 2017, each branch chose to raise funds for very local charities. Fundraising is coordinated by in-branch teams who work hard to raise as much money as they can during the year.

Here are the charities and the totals raised by each branch at the end of the year:

Ottery St Mary

Fundraising through the annual Memory Tree, donations from visitors to Santa’s Grotto, staff events including quizzes and a raffle.


  • Devon Air Ambulance: £4,470.00

Various fundraising events including ‘Guess the Number of Peanuts in the Jar’, an impressive head shave and generous customer donations to a very popular animated reindeer display at Christmas.


Jeremiah’s Journey supports children from Plymouth and the immediate surrounding area who have experienced or are anticipating the death of someone special.

Funds raised through a variety of staff events and customer donations.

WincantonOtter Wincanton fundraising team

Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance: £1026.43

Donations to the animated reindeer display at Christmas, staff fundraising events.


  • Various charities: £400

Charities include Oakhaven Hospice Trust, which provides specialist palliative care and support to those facing life-limiting illness and their loved ones in both a home and hospice setting; Simon Says, which supports Hampshire children and young people up to the age of 18 years who has a significant person in their life who has died or is dying; and Guide Dogs for the Blind:.

Funds raised through sweet sales and collecting tins.


The charities chosen for 2018 are: Ottery St Mary, Alzheimer’s Society; Torbay, Devon Air Ambulance Trust; Plymouth; Dementia Friendly Parishes around Yealm; Wincanton, Yeovil Freewheelers; Lymington will continue fundraising for their local charities.

Otter Garden Centres Gift Cards

Gift Cards

The perfect gift for that someone special, Otter Garden Centre gift cards can be purchased online or instore.

Cards can be purchased in multiples of £5, from £5 to £250.

They are valid for 24 months. Any unspent amounts will remain on the gift card for future use.

To buy online click here: Gift Cards

Double Gold in the Food & Drink Devon Awards

Jams reign supreme

We are delighted to announce that, once again, Otter Garden Centres home-made jams have picked up an award – or in this case, two awards!

The two gold awards were won at the Food & Drink Devon Awards held at Deer Park Country Hotel.

The double golden gong was collected for our Raspberry and Strawberry jams, both made by jam-maker extraordinaire, Liz Lee in our Ottery St Mary kitchens.

Awards certificates

These are traditional jams and this could be the secret to their success, as they are, quite simply, fruity with no quirks.

You can pick up a jar of these award-winning jams or other flavours (just as tasty in our opinion) just outside the restaurant in Ottery St Mary.

Jam Maker Liz Lee

Regional placing in Young Horticulturalist of the Year

Top three spot for Carla

If you need to know anything about plants, make sure you seek out Carla Ward-Best at our Ottery St Mary branch.

Earlier this year Carla came third in the South West regional finals of the Young Horticulturalist of the Year – after deciding to enter at the very last minute!

After contacting the organisers, she had a Skype interview where she had to answer 40 questions. Carla got the highest points in her heat, and went on to the Regional Finals, held at Knightshayes.

Carla said the contest was a bit like University Challenge. “Some rounds were first to the buzzer, and others had individual questions. Subjects included pests and diseases and plant identification.”

With stiff competition, Carla was thrilled to be placed third and receive £75. This was an impressive result for her first attempt, as 2,500 young horticulturalists entered the competition this year.

However, she is determined to enter again next year and be in with a chance of winning. The top prize is £2500 travel bursary enabling the winner to go on a plant expedition of their own making.

Carla, who is just 22, is currently taking a Masters in Horticulture at RHS Wiseley, which she visits once a month. She has been working at Otter Garden Centres in Ottery St Mary since March 2011.

About the Young Horticulturalist competition

The first recorded national final was held in 1990 at Writtle College in Essex. The Shropshire Horticultural Society funds much of the competition including the £2,500 travel bursary awarded to the winner each year. The funds come from a trust set up in honour of the first celebrity gardener, Percy Thrower.

Find out more here.

Taste of the West

Silver for Raspberry Jam

Taste of the West Awards have now been announced. We are delighted to say that we have been awarded a silver for our raspberry jam and highly commended for our strawberry jam.

The traditional jams are made by the talented Liz Lee in our Ottery St Mary restaurant kitchens.

Liz also makes our speciality produce including blackcurrant, tasty marmalades, Christmas puds and Christmas cakes.

If you’re passing, pick up a jar of Liz’s jam and see what you think of it!

Congratulations to all local producers that have won awards this year. Very well deserved.

Taste of the West Silver AwardsTaste of the West Highly Commended