Rays of hope for garden centres

It may be too early in the season to get excited, but the recent sunshine has certainly put a spring in the step of garden centres and their suppliers. Garden centres I’ve spoken to/been bumbling around in the past few days have been rushed off their feet.

In The Sun on Saturday, gardening editor Peter Seabrook celebrated “Bloom time in garden centres” and said garden flowers were beating the recession. Seabrook said he had heard from Wyevale chief executive Nicholas Marshall that sales were up 46 per cent in the second week of March and up 69 per cent this week. Not bad going at all.

Meanwhile, according to Horticulture Week Scotts Miracle-Gro and Westland are reporting unprecedented levels of demand for growing media as Grow Your Own sales rocket 100 per cent in garden centres.

There have been worries about stock levels across the industry in the past few months as garden centres worry about cash flow and suppliers wonder how they will cope with a rush of demand. It’s always tricky to know what to expect, especially as periods of huge demand are often dependent on sunshine.

Probably best to stay glued to the Met Office forecast. It’s cautiously optimistic about the spring season being average in terms of rainfall and temperature at the moment, but more detailed information will be available later this week.

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