Waitrose is this week launching a gardening range as it aims to become a “serious” retailer in the category.

The grocer will launch a gardening and floristry range in shops called Waitrose Flower Garden and a website called Waitrosegarden.com with advice provided by TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh.

Waitrose marketing director Rupert Thomas said: “This will make us a serious player in what is already a hugely successful category for us.

“Together, Waitrosegarden.com and the Waitrose Flower Garden range will offer something for everyone – from those who are keen to grow their own flowers, fruit and veg but aren’t sure where to start, to those with greener fingers. The offer will change frequently throughout the seasons to give customers new ideas during the year.”

Waitrose Flower Garden will comprise 850 different flowers, plants, bulbs and seeds, as well as 80 gardening tools and garden care products.

Elements of the range will launch in all core shops by mid-April and 41 stores will dedicate at least 120 sq ft (11 sq m) of outdoor space to the range, including an outdoor gardening shed, selling plants and gardening accessories.

Customers will be able to make gardening purchases outdoors using a cashless mobile till.

In addition, Waitrosegarden.com, in association with the UK’s leading online garden supplier Crocus, will sell more than 5,000 horticulture products, including pots, gardening tools, plants and seeds.

Alan Titchmarsh, who came on board at Waitrose earlier this month to help raise the profile of British agriculture and horticulture, will give expert gardening tips on the site. This will include video clip demonstrations and a top 50 gardening product list each season.

The move comes as the retailer found gardening was the second most popular hobby for customers after cooking.