Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

New 11.6m Aberdeen garden centre sees jobs bloom

Flower toilets in Dobbies in Aberdeen
An artist has designed the unusual new flower toilets

A new £11.6m garden centre has been officially opened in Aberdeen, creating dozens of jobs.

The Dobbies Garden World, at the city's Lang Stracht, replaces the existing store near Hazelhead Park and is described as "bigger, better, greener".

The new store is said to have created an extra 70 jobs in the area.

It also features unusual men's urinals in the shape of flowers, designed by San Francisco-based artist Clark Sorensen, and called Nature's Call.

Male customers can choose between an orchid, an arum lily or a pitcher plant.

Rose dress at Dobbies
Staff tended a dress made of roses at the opening

Dobbies has been built on the former site of the city's famous Cockers Roses business.

The opening ceremony featured a model wearing a dress created from roses to mark the connection.

It was designed by up-and-coming fashion designer Amanda Montague, 20, from Aberdeen's Gray's School of Art.

James Barnes, chief executive of Dobbies, said: "The Aberdeen store is a concept for a new generation of garden centres in the UK and the benchmark from which we will launch all future stores.

"Opening our Aberdeen garden centre is a step towards our future vision to create stores which are carbon neutral."

Dobbies indoor plant advisor Jimmy McRae, 55, who has worked on the site for 40 years, said: "I'm so proud to be able to help open the new store.

"I know our customers in Aberdeen will love our new garden centre."

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