Posted: 14/11/2014 at 18:06
Nic..........I hate to appear thick but I'm not sure what you are really asking. Are you saying you love growing plants and would like to make it a business ? So then you are really looking at becoming a Nursery and maybe selling a few useful odds and ends as well perhaps ? If so, then one way of starting is to sell plants at your local market or car boot. I did this for a few years and gained some good clients but I would need to have expanded to have earned a year round living. It gives you a good idea of whether or not it is feasible if nothing else.
Garden Centres are a whole different kettle of fish. These days, most of them concentrate on things other than plants........for me, it is a bore and a nuisance to fight my way thru endless crap to find a rather disappointing plant display. There are so many now which try to sell too much and therefore put off the true plant buyer. Of course, they do sell useful stuff too.......compost, equipment, etc but they don't always compare well cost wise with stuff available on line. The big chains can absorb any subsequent losses......for individuals, it's not so easy.
I do have a garden Centre which is about 12 miles away but I prefer a local Nursery which is about twice the distance if I want plants. I can buy Compost, pots, etc from B&Q, Wickes, etc........all approx. 7 miles away. I'd willingly travel up to 75 miles or so to a good Nursery which offered the plants I wanted.
So, no, I wouldn't visit my local garden centre any more than I needed to.....even if it was on my doorstep. I would visit a proper Nursery tho.
Hope this helps you.