THE owner of a family-run gardening store is planning to close its doors next month after 28 years in business.

Sioban Ellis, who runs Argyle Garden Supplies in Argyle Street, Gorse Hill, with the help of sister-in-law Emma Ellis, took over the business in July 2015 to save it from closure.

She told the Adver that the store was no longer able to compete with the supermarkets.

“I started 15 years ago with my mother-in-law, who owned it.

“When they wanted to shut it three years ago, I didn’t feel it was ready to go.

“It’s a shame as our customers are predominantly older and they love a chat.

“And we love it as well. The amount of times we’ve put the kettle on is crazy!”

Loyal customer Ray Cheese, 70, from Covingham, said: “It was always the first port of call for keen gardeners.

“Its nursery plants were always reliable and sensibly-priced and the loose seeds such as beans, peas and potatoes were second to none.

“It will be sorely missed.”

Mrs Ellis remembers the store in its heyday before it faced competition from larger retailers and superstores.

“It has had its busy days, they were amazing.

“And I’ve really really, really enjoyed it, which is why I thought it was worth taking it over. I didn’t want to do anything else, I still don’t really.

“But I’ve got no choice. We just can’t compete.

“Every supermarket you go into does flowers. Morrisons even do a wedding package now.

“If you go into Lidl this morning and they’ve got violas, fruit bushes and compost, selling it for less than I can buy it for.

“I’m quite angry at Mr Supermarket, if I’m honest.

Mrs Ellis said she had no regrets and paid tribute to her loyal customers, who have continued to come in over the years.

“I’ve loved every minute - we’ve loved every minute - and we really appreciate every face that we see.

"It’s meant a lot.”

“We’ve got a lot of loyal, long-standing customers that have been coming in forever and we love them, every single one of them.”