Our History


With over 60-years of experience at the cutting edge of garden and leisure retailing, Van Hage remains at the forefront of the horticulture industry. Theadora Warmerdam, one of the founders of Van Hage, was evacuated from the Netherlands to England in 1940, the eldest of six children. When her father died in 1948, Theadora took over the running of the business, aged just 20.

Cornelius Van Hage was a young entrepreneur exporting bulbs from Holland to the UK - they met and married in 1953, and in the same year opened a nursery on a run down pig farm at Spitalbrook in Broxbourne, a mile and a half away from the present site at Gt. Amwell.

By 1968, Mr and Mrs Van Hage saw the opportunity to create a garden centre with a difference, and they bought the famous rose nursery of Chaplin Brothers at Gt. Amwell. This was formally opened by Percy Thrower, the top national gardening celebrity of the 1970's, and one of the many celebrities who frequented the site over the coming years.

The business has continued to grow into one of the largest garden and leisure retailers in the UK. In 1996 Van Hage purchased a second garden centre, Chenies, in Amersham; and in 2010, opened a brand-new garden centre at the heart of PE1 Retail Park, Peterborough.

We have a team of friendly and knowledgeable staff who look forward to introducing you to the exciting range of plants and lifestyle products available at each of our three garden centres which offer a number of exciting attractions to make Van Hage a great place for a day out at any time of the year.


Van Hage has received an accolade of industry awards, including:
Best Houseplant Centre in the UK, Best Plant Area, Best Garden Centre, Best Christmas Display, Best UK Flower Bulb Display and a ‘Best Garden in Show' at Chelsea, receiving the Fiskars Sword of Excellence. For the latest garden that they showed in 2002, Van Hage won a Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show for their ‘Bridal Garden'.

Visit Van Hage today for an inspirational garden and leisure shopping experience.