The Garden Centre Association will be visiting hundreds of garden centres across the UK to ensure they are meeting strict membership standards.
The annual inspection period has begun and runs through until June 13.
Each member garden centre will be assessed by an independent inspector across all departments and will receive an overall score. The top 10 centres will receive a Garden Centre of Excellence Award and all centres scoring 75% or above receive the Highly Commended certificate.
Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.
GCA chief executive, Iain Wylie, said: "We have urged all garden centres to be prepared for the inspections. They do not know when the inspector is dropping in but they do know the potential date range.
"They are not able to turn away the inspector, as the unannounced visit is a vital part of the GCA inspection process. Inspections cannot be delayed or deferred because of any ongoing development work - customers see this when they visit and so will the inspectors. The garden centres will not lose marks because of such works, provided they are carried out safely and disruption is minimised with the customer in mind.
"We'd like to wish everyone the best of luck. GCA garden centres have such high standards and we are looking forward to seeing the ideas people have come up with this year to further improve these."