Our Customers

“We will always be conscious that without our customers we do not have a business. All our customers will be afforded outstanding service and our very best customers given due recognition.” Extract from Dunscar’s Five Core Values Statement

Welcome to the section of our website that is all about you, our customer, rather than us. Here we would like to post articles about our many customers, your gardens and gardening tips, favourite recipes and hear what you think of us. Why not tell us a bit about yourself? It’s a great way to promote a business. If you are a recent customer, what prompted you to visit us and what did you think? Do you need some plant advice? We would love to hear from you.

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Mr Tavener is a very longstanding and loyal customer.  A keen gardener, he is a fan of orchids and grows at least 400 at home.  When not gardening, he is the founder and managing director of a Southport company, Isothermal Technology Limited.  He is rightly very proud that his company has just been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category.  This is a very prestigious award, given to very few companies, and will be presented by Her Majesty personally later in the summer.  Winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a UK company

For the more technically minded, Isotech exports scientific calibration instruments to calibration laboratories all over the world.  Isotech has co-developed a thermometer measuring system accurate to better than a one thousandth of a degree.  This is now used by the world’s top Standards Laboratories and by others to safeguard human life, save energy and reduce pollution.  We extend our most sincere congratulations to Mr Tavener and all the staff of Isotech.


The Barbecue King

One of the great pleasures of working at Dunscar, is the opportunity to meet a wide variety of customers, many of whom have interesting and unusual backgrounds. One such customer is Mr Jorgen Petersen from Denmark. After a successful career that included time as the Sales and Marketing Director for Unilever in Denmark, Sales Director for Xerox Denmark and as a lecturer at Ashridge Business School, Mr Petersen retired to Southport. For over 40 years has been a keen charcoal barbecue cook (he doesn’t rate gas as being an authentic barbecue fuel). After all, after Australia, Denmark has the highest number of barbecues per 1000 of population than any other country so the Danes know a thing or two about barbecues. A couple of years ago on a visit to Dunscar in search of an open grid barbecue, he was instead persuaded to purchase a kettle barbecue from our Danish supplier, Dancook. Mr Petersen admits it was a great decision to give it a go. He reckons barbecuing is now much simpler – dare we say a different kettle of fish?

As he says, “The whole process is so simple. Once everything is set up it more or less looks after itself. So now I can sit down with a glass of wine and just wait for the meal to finish, and the taste is to die for!” Mr Petersen is a keen advocate of marinades and a devotee of the BBC Food website for inspiration. This is one of his favourite and most successful recipes by Paul Merrett for butterflied leg of lamb.


For the marinade 250ml dry sherry, 200ml clear honey, 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, 8 cloves, 3 star anise, 2 cinnamon sticks in pieces, 10 to 15 black peppercorns, juice from 1 lemon and 1 orange

Marinade the lamb in he fridge for 24 hours, turning occasionally. Roast on the barbecue using the indirect method and a Weber Rib Rack for 25 minutes.

The Homeopath

Dr Karen Stevens is one of our greatest fans. Dr Karen holds a PhD in Homeopathic Medicine and runs her own business, Earthsense, supplying homeopathic remedies of her own making to cure serious diseases and general health and skin conditions. Karen has certainly opened our eyes to the medicinal properties of some of the plants we sell. As she herself says, “I love my visits to Dunscar and am constantly amazed by the wide variety and quality of plants I find there. However, whilst as a keen gardener I appreciate the bright colours, hues and shades of the plants (a tonic in itself), as a medical herbalist I recognise that many of plants on sale can radically affect the quality on one’s life and even save lives. In this world, nothing is there for nothing.

“Take Comfrey for example. The Gypsies call this Knitbone because it does exactly that! Comfrey infusion, poultices, and tincture, with companion Comfrey Oil, and Comfrey massage cream, when applied to a broken bone, will help heal the break or fracture. I can vouch for this as I used Comfrey to heal my broken bones (in both feet) following a motorcycle accident. Comfrey is also a powerful lung and respiratory herb when combined with Coltsfoot and taken in tincture form.


“Goji Berries are a newly recognised “superfood”. Goji Berries offer help for those who crave sweet, sugary foods, as they curb the cravings for sweet sugary foods and lower sugar levels in the blood. Hence they are beneficial to Diabetics and those on a weight loss diet.




“Even the supposedly most ordinary of herbs can be turned to wonderful use. Rosemary and Bay leaves are extremely simple to grow and are thus often found in a kitchen garden. Take one ounce of each herb, place in a Pyrex glass jug, add one litre of boiling water, cover and leave to cool and you have a beautifully fragrant, natural antiseptic, to use for cleaning food surfaces or even drinking as a detoxifying agent. Rinse your hair in this and watch it shine, thicken and grow!



“Madagasgar Periwinkle (Vinca rosea) (Catharanthus rosea) is a beautiful flowering herb. Furthermore, it contains several anti-cancer alkaloids which, when taken in minute doses help to inhibit Cancer. It is not just a pretty flower but a life saver and unfortunately very rare, even at Dunscar!”

Dr Karen Stevens can be contacted through her website www.earthsense.co.uk. We would always recommend seeking professional advice before using plants as medicines.

The Plant Hunter 

Mawdesley based former biology and science teacher Peter Cordall is chairman of Southport & South Lancashire Alpine Garden Society. His expertise in Alpine plants is second to none in the local area. Peter is often to be found on expeditions abroad hunting for new and rare species of plants. He has delivered a talk for our other customers over dinner on his adventures hunting for rare species in the mountains of Sichuan (sometimes spelled Szechuan), China.

The Author

Local crime fighter, turned crime writer, Roger Price was born in Bury and has lived in Lancashire since he was 13. Currently living in Walmer Bridge, Roger served for over 31 years with the Lancashire Constabulary, the Regional Crime Squad and the National Crime Squad.

He retired in the rank of detective inspector in charge of a covert unit in Lancashire, which received local and national acclaim for its successes in engaging those who openly sold Class A drugs, such as heroin and crack cocaine.

Prior to this he led the C.I.D. in Preston for a short while and before that was in charge of a dedicated informant unit.  Previous experiences include work on many murder investigations and other serious crimes, as well as time spent on drug squads.

He has served around the region, country, and overseas. His work on the National Crime Squad took him across Europe and to the Far East. He has been commended on four occasions.

He now writes fiction based in-part on his experiences, and in-part from his fevered imagination.  He has has had three books published, By Their Rules, A New Menace  and  Nemesis.  His books have received excellent reviews and Roger will be making periodic visits to the garden centre to talk to readers and conduct book signings.

Please find a sample of his work here


The 1000th Loyalty Card Holder

In November 2011 Mrs Christine Rostron of Southport became our 1000th Loyalty Card holder. To celebrate the milestone, Mrs Rostron was granted an extra 5% discount on her loyalty card and free unlimited tea or coffee for two at our Garden Café until the end of April 2012.

Mrs Rostron, a retired physiotherapist, mother of four and grandmother of two, is a regular customer at the garden centre. She said: “We have been customers at Dunscar for many years. My husband is a keen gardener and more lately we have been coming to the Cook Shop, which has come on in leaps and bounds. I was really surprised to be told I was the 1000th loyalty card customer and will be looking forward to getting an extra 5% discount on all my purchases as well as tea for two. ”