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pro landscaper magazine

Dan Cooper amongst flowers

The Great Comp Summer Show, scheduled to take place this weekend, will feature over 25 specialist award-winning exhibitors, including Dan Cooper.

Many will recognise Cooper from his acclaimed gardening blog, The Frustrated Gardener, which he launched in 2012. It quickly took root and he was celebrated in the press for creating a ‘subtropical paradise dominated by dramatic colours and shapes.’

“I decided that I needed some kind of project to really reignite my interest in plants and gardening and to share that with other people.

“[The blog] really took off and I enjoyed it, the opportunity to research the content and share it with other people.”

After a decade of sharing his love for gardening, Cooper felt it was a natural progression to launch Dan Cooper Garden, marrying years of firsthand experiences with high-quality gardening products in one place, creating an informative and accessible place for gardeners to shop.

“What I sell is about encouraging people to buy once and buy well and for me to do the hard work for people, to curate the best gardening products in terms of quality, functionality and sustainability and then to offer them to customers with the advice that they need to get the best out of them.

Gardener, Dan Cooper amongst flowers

Dan Cooper. Photo by Marianne Majerus

“I’m trying to give people confidence in what they’re buying and what to do with it.”

Alongside cultivating the informed foundations of Dan Cooper Garden, Cooper remains resolved to put the right tools in the hands of consumers before they even make the purchase, by attending festivals and plant fairs throughout the year.

“I tend to be the only one; there are a lot of nurseries there, but no one else selling good quality tools, and that puts me in quite a unique position.

“People want to see the products and try them in their hands before they buy them, and you can’t do that online.

“You can either come and see me at one of these events or shop online; giving people that choice Is important.”

Cooper’s marriage of advice and products will be at this year’s Great Summer Comp Show at the Great Comp Garden in Kent, with a season appropriate range of tools and an assortment of gifts and décor items, perfect for Christmas (too soon?).

“I’m going to be taking a range of tools, including my copper tools, they’re an interesting alternative to the normal steel ones.

“I’ll have my own range of hand tools that are made in the Netherlands. And I’m going to have a good range of gifts for gardeners, because believe it or not people are already in the last couple of weeks starting to mention Christmas.”

Shopping for Christmas in August is arguably premature, but as Cooper points out “gardeners inherently think ahead all the time.”

Sustainable and Christmas worthy products aside, Cooper will also be on hand and happy to help with any gardening queries visitors have.

“I really love chatting to people, I’m always happy to answer questions about gardening, to give advice on the right tools and how to maintain them.”

With plans to attend some of the larger shows in coming years, Cooper remains enamoured by the idyllic setting of shows like The Great Comp.

“They’re definitely on the cards for the future, but in the meantime, I love going to these venues like Great Comp, the American Museum in Bath and Arundel Castle. I’ve been to some beautiful places and you really can’t complain about where these plant fairs take place because the surroundings are beautiful, I’m very lucky to be able to do what I love.”

A love for gardening and supporting others to get stuck in is at the heart of the Dan Cooper Garden brand, from his blog, the company and now a new podcast ‘Two Good Gardeners’ co-hosted with fellow gardener, Julia Parker. The first season was sponsored by greenhouse manufacturer, Alitex.

Dan Cooper with Julia Parker

“We are speaking from the heart, speaking from experience, and keeping it fairly real as well. We both have our fair share of failures as well as successes.

“We’re going to do some outside broadcasts over the summer, which we’re just working on now. And then we’ll get going with series two in the autumn.”

The passion for gardening and putting the right tools in the right people’s hands is evident with Cooper, curating a reliable source for information and products from personal expertise.

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