A SCOTS garden centre has bucked the credit crunch with the help of a range designed to help people searching for "The Good Life".

The Grow Your Own range from Dobbies Garden Centres has raked in £1million of sales for the company, up more than 80% on last year, as customers aim to save money and eat healthily. The range consists of salad and vegetables, herbs, soft fruits and fruit trees with "ready to go" products to be introduced, including pre-planted strawberry and herb jars and strawberry hanging baskets.

The range's success has helped the Midlothian-based company achieve annual sales of £97m - a 12% rise.

According to annual figures released today, Easter 2009 trade was up a huge 73% on last year, which the firm puts down to a later date and warm weather, and the company has sold more than 100,000 tomatoes in the last two months alone.

Chief executive James Barnes said: "Exceptional Grow Your Own sales have helped us achieve a strong start to 2009. We have responded to the surge in demand for Grow Your Own by complementing new product with demonstrations, workshops and presentations to customers and schools.

"We have plans to expand the range which provides customers with real value for money while building on the rise of environmental consciousness."

Mr Barnes added that the positive sales supported Dobbies' immediate expansion plans. The company has a planning application in for a new £8.5m centre in Aberdeen, set to open in Spring 2010, and a new store at Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

The 16 Scottish branches include Cumbernauld, Milngavie, Paisley and Carluke. Last June Scotland's richest man Sir Tom Hunter sold his 29% stake in the chain to Tesco for £35m after an abortive takeover battle that cost him £9m. The firm was set up in 1865 by James Dobbie. One of his first successes were the seeds from a prize-winning leek and the company was later awarded a Royal Warrant.

The 1970s comedy TV show The Good Life saw Tom and Barbara Good give up everything to live a sustainable, simple and self-sufficient lifestyle, including transforming their garden into an allotment.