History

Cardwell Garden Centre is a thriving family operated garden centre on the banks of the scenic Firth Of Clyde at Gourock.

Cardwell Garden Centre was started in 1962 by Eric Gallagher with help from his family in Cardwell Bay, Gourock with only a couple of sheds and polytunnels on a narrow strip of land. From day one Cardwell has been a family affair with mother, father and children involved in starting the business, in between their day jobs!

Having established that there was suitable demand for the products, all efforts were focused on improving and growing the business, with the family remaining involved throughout.  After some time it became clear that the business was blooming and growing to the point that it could no longer prosper in the limited space that it had and so the decision was made to look for a new site.

Several areas were considered, but only one offered the space for the potential growth that Eric had the foresight to plan for and the land at Lunderston Bay was purchased. Providing a magnificent backdrop of the hills and forest as well as stunning views down the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Bute and the Arran mountains, the land was quickly developed to allow the site to become the main outlet. This development wasn’t without it’s problems as the site had no sewage or mains water, and the area itself was bordered by muddy fields, steep hills and forestry.

Eric’s decision in the late 1960’s to uproot his business and start again from scratch has been a remarkable success story because Cardwell Garden Centre has become one of the most important and popular tourist attractions in this part of the West of Scotland, with well over 500,000 visitors each year.

The site at Lunderston Bay has developed over the last 35 years to become one of the largest and best garden centres in the UK, not just Scotland. We have grown from the initial 3 acres to a total to 9 acres of retail space and 10 acres of nursery facilities, where Cardwell created it’s own growing space for trees, shrubs and bedding plants.

The benefits of having our own nursery are fantastic, being able to control the quality of the plants and ensure that they are fully hardy for the Scottish climate. This control has ensured that Cardwell is able to offer the best quality plants at prices that are highly competitive. Those plants that we do not grow ourselves are sourced from the best nurseries in Scotland, the UK or occasionaly Europe.

Although we specialise in plants and gardening products, we also stock an enormous selection of products for the home and a whole lot more!

Currently Cardwell Garden Centre has over 20 departments, ranging from our superb gift area to our arts, craft and hobby centre. With such a huge variety of products our clients are sure to find something to take their fancy.

And it is all contained within our extensive 100,000 sq ft of covered area, just in case the weather is not conducive to gardening!

Cardwell Garden Centre is in every sense a growing business.

Sadly, Eric passed away in 2013 after a short illness, but Cardwell remains a family affair with Eric’s daughter and 2 sons involved in the day to day running of the business.

There are still strong family ties at Cardwell Garden Centre with several of our colleagues having over 30 years service and experience. You can certainly sense the feeling of pride they have in their work and what they have helped to create.

The future for Cardwell Garden Centre is very promising. Plans are in place to redevelop several areas when the time is right.

May we take this opportunity to thank you for your custom over the years and we hope to be able to count on your continued custom in the future.

Environmental Consideration

At Cardwell Garden Centre, we recognise we have a responsibility to do our best to ensure that we are environmentally responsible with our operations and the products we sell.

To this end, we have spent several years implementing suitable procedures to play our part in protecting our environment;

      • As much as possible of our waste produce is recycled.
      • Most of our cardboard materials are sent for recycling or are re-used.
      • All plastic and polythene materials that can be recycled are sent for processing.
      • All refuse collected on behalf of our customers is separated and sent for recycling.
      • Over 95% of used paper is recycled, with only a small amount of confidential material being destroyed.
      • All used cooking oil from our Patio Restaurant is recycled.

As much food waste as possible from our Patio Restaurant is donated to a local animal shelter for use in feeding livestock. The Underheugh Ark charity operates close to the garden centre and is a rescue and re-homing centre for abused or homeless domestic and farm animals. We are delighted to be able to assist them with this great cause. You can donate food, toys etc. to Underheugh Ark in the garden centre and at many other local stores.

Any plant material that we consider not fit for sale is sent to our own nursery for treatment to return the plant to full health. If the plant cannot be returned to full health, is safely destroyed in a manner that will not harm the environment.

We grow thousands of bedding plants, perennial shrubs and trees every year within our own controlled nurseries, reducing the impact on the environment from shipping etc.

Cardwell Garden Centre will always stock a selection of environmentally friendly gardening products for our clients. We aim to offer a green alternative to as many products as possible and offer honest advice to those wishing to garden without chemicals.

Cardwell Garden Centre will use great diligence when sourcing products to bear in mind the sustainability and ethical production of goods.

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Community and Charity Donations

Cardwell Garden Centre has been part of the Inverlcyde community since 1962 and we are proud to help with charitable fundraising and donations.

Cardwell regularly support several local and national charities and these include;

  • Ardgowan Hospice
  • MacMillan Nurses
  • Calum’s Cabin
  • Salvation Army
  • Inverclyde Down’s Syndrome  Support Group
  • St Vincent’s Hospice
  • Underheugh Ark

Every year we donate a substantial amount of money, goods and services to charities, fundraising and good causes. Details of recent donations and fundraisers can be found on our news page of the website.

Donation tins are always present at our checkouts and throughout the store. We encourage our patrons to make a donation whenever they can afford to.

We are open to requests for donations from registered charites and fundraisers working as individuals or teams to raise funds for registered charities.

If you wish to be considered for a donation please write to us stating what you intend to do and what charity you are raising funds for. If you are raising money for a registered charity then a cover letter on headed notepaper from the charity must be included.

If you are raising funds for a school, church or local organistion then a cover letter must be included from a senior member of that organisation on headed notepaper.

Priority for donations will be given to activities within Inverlcyde, but other areas will be considered.

In most cases the donation will take the form of £10 gift voucher and, occasionaly, goods. We are unable to make cash donations.

Unfortunately, we are unable to meet every request and sometimes we cannot help. By following the above guidelines you can help us to make sure our donations go to the most needy cause

Location

Cardwell Garden Centre is located on the scenic banks of the Firth Of Clyde, on the outskirts of Gourock.

For Satellite Navigation our Post Code is PA19 1BB and we are located on the A778.

We are accessible by road either on the A778 coast road from Greenock/Gourock, or by joining the A778 from the A78 at Bankfoot Roundabout, near Inverkip. Cardwell is approximately 1 mile from Bankfoot roundabout.

By train – Gourock train station is located approximately 3 miles east of Cardwell. Regular buses are available (2 per hour during daytime) leaving Gourock for Largs. This service is operated by McGills buses.

Inverkip and Wemyss Bay train stations are both located 2 and 3 miles south, respectively. Buses are available from Inverkip twice per hour, but please be sure to take the bus for Gourock – not all services pass through Gourock. Taxis from Inverkip should be booked.

Wemyss Bay train station is conveniently located next to both a taxi rank and bus stop. Again, regular bus services are available, but please remember to check it passes through Gourock.

Cardwell Garden Centre has a wonderful bucolic location, with stunning scenery in every direction. Directly opposite Cardwell Garden Centre is the superb Lunderston Bay park. This is home to a fantastic beach with dog free picnic areas and a child’s play area. The coastal path to Inverkip from Lunderston Bay is a favourite with walkers, dog walkers and cyclists. Lunderston Bay beach and park is maintained by our friends at Clyde Murshiel.