A POPULAR garden centre in East Dorset is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Haskins Garden Centre in Ferndown was officially opened by three generations of the Haskins family in March 1994.

Chairman Warren Haskins, who took over the family nursery in 1969, opened a small garden centre shop at Trickett's Cross in Ferndown before moving to the site at Longham in 1994 to accommodate for the company’s growing popularity.

Warren Haskins said: “When we opened the doors to our Ferndown centre, more than ten times the amount of people we expected to, turned up. Over the years, Haskins has ridden the humps of recession and I put our continued success down to the fact we have never and will not rest on our laurels.”

Haskins was founded by Warren’s great grandfather Harry James Haskins in 1882. Since then, the garden centre group has grown from a small market garden in Coy Pond in Branksome, to operating four centres across Dorset, Hampshire and West Sussex with plans to open a fifth centre.

The business took £17,000 in 1969 and employed just seven people and now makes a multi-million turnover employing more than 600 people.