How badly has the poor weather hit your business?

HW asked growers, retailers and botanic gardens how the cold snap has affected them.

Nigel Taylor, curator, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew "We are restricting vehicle movements when it snows because they tend to make the surface more dangerous. We can't put salt on many of our surfaces because of the damage to plants.

'Most of our paths are tarmacadam. Part of our masterplan may be to consider replacing paths with rougher surfaces more suitable for this weather that give better grip.

"Wakehurst Place has been under thick snow and has been closed. If you had asked me four weeks ago about early flowering, I would have said it will be one of the earliest springs ever, but now it will not."

 

Doug Reade, sales director, Wyevale Nurseries "We have had subzero temperatures every night since about 20 December, so we weren't delivering much in the days before Christmas. We were going to take a three-day week, but because of the snow we have only worked one-and-a-half days.

"It's pretty serious. There are no deliveries and we certainly won't be lifting any trees this week or next. The orders are still there but we are not able to deliver them.

"We have Calor gas heating in all our tunnels and I don't know the impact yet, but I know we are using huge amounts of it."

 

Philip Sanders, Blue Ribbon Plants "The weather is playing havoc with us. We can't get deliveries out because of it. We've had to hold back this week and we need warmer weather to get going again.

"Orders are starting to come in and we're talking to large garden centre groups, although it is harder to sell peat-free-grown plants because they cost more money.

"We got planning permission three months ago to expand our farm shop. That is the direction we want to go."

 

Philip Evason, retail operations director, Haskins Garden Centres "We are trading quietly at three of our centres but Crawley didn't open at all on 6 January because we had nine to 10 inches of snow. We would have had no customers and only a skeleton staff.

"At Ferndown people are bubbling in but it is getting to where people won't travel. Restaurants always do very well in the cold and bird care has traded well. We've been selling vast amounts.

"A lot of garden centres have had January sales, which have been doing OK. But poor plants — no-one is thinking about getting into the garden."


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