Global News and Information      USA in One      South Africa in One      New Zealand in One      UK in One      Canada in One      Ireland in One      Denmark in One      Germany in One      Finland in One      Sweden in One      Australia in One      Europe in One      Namibia in One      Africa in One

Garden Centres Ready For Customers

Garden Centre

Garden Centre

As the weather starts to turn for the better and with the week long coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on the TV helping to inspire, people are starting to venture out into their gardens at long last and garden centres are ready for them!

Members of the HTA Council, which met this week in London (22 May) conveyed a sense of cautious optimism about trading in the weeks ahead. Following a wash out April across the country, which many reported to be one of the worse ever April’s for trading ever, garden retailers are beginning to see plant sales starting to increase. There is a realisation though that some early sales will have been lost with customers already having spent that money on other items.

HTA President and chair of HTA Council Carol Paris, comments, “There is a real sense of pent up anticipation amongst customers who are eager to get out into their gardens but are holding back on purchases especially bedding and grow your own. Also, with the season being so late it is likely that customers will be looking to purchase more ready-made pots and containers as they seek instance colour in their gardens ahead of the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and the London 2012 Olympics celebrations.”

With regard to the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend the feeling was that there might be an increase in trade in the lead up to the weekend as people prepare but that it was likely to be fairly quiet on the day itself with people attending local events and activities (as was the case with last year’s Royal Wedding). Some garden centres are making the most of this by holding their own Jubilee events over the weekend.

Five new Council representatives were welcomed to their first meeting – Martin Cowell from Cowells Garden Centre, Neil Grant from Ferndale Garden Centre and Nursery, Alan Goold from Henry Street Garden Centre, Alan Standring from Greenline Plants and Derrick Dyer from Eggesford Gardens.

Council representatives were updated on policy work, including the success in lobbying the water companies to allow drip irrigation for gardeners and more recently the hosepipe ban exemption for landscapers and the turf industry. They also received updates on market information and a number of improvements to the National Garden Gift Voucher scheme which will make it easier for members to buy and sell more vouchers. There was also discussion about the composition and role of HTA Council moving into the future.

HTA Council Members 2012

North East England – Martin Cowell, Cowells Garden Centre
Northern Ireland – Doug Thomson, Irish Garden Plants
Scotland – Simon Fraser, Ben Reid Garden Centre
North West England & North Wales – Iain Wylie, Grosvenor Garden Centre
Yorkshire – Neil Grant, Ferndale Nursery & Garden Centre
East Anglia – vacant
East Midlands – Caroline Palmer, Palmers Garden Centre
West Midlands – Alan Standring, Greenline Plants
South Wales & the Marches – Marcus Cousins, Blue Diamond Retail Group
Thames & Chilterns – Alan Goold, Henry Street Garden Centre
West of England – Felicity Down, Cleeve Nursery – standing down
Devon & Cornwall – Derrick Dyer, Eggesford Gardens
London & Northern Home Counties – Rebecca Grant, Joseph Rochford Gardens
Essex – David Norman, Abercorn Plant & Garden Centre
South East England- Garry Winwood, Stone Cross Nurseries
Central Southern England – vacant

Speak Your Mind