Catering sustains garden centres over Mother's Day weekend

Poor weather has meant outdoor plant sales failed to take off on Mother's day weekend, but cafes and indoor plants/cut flowers have done better.

Squire’s said last week was a "disappointing week" with garden centres 10 per cent down, including all gardening, plant and outdoor categories.

Cafes, however, were well up, 12 per cent ahead of 2015.

Squire’s Dennis Espley said: "House plants were very good. Our new range of added value house plants and outdoor containers sold well."

Longacres’ Mike Ainley said: "Mother’s Day was good for us – flowers were up at all three stores. Gardening not so much, but obviously Mother’s Day was very early this year and not many people want to be out in 6° centigrade."

Scotsdale weekly figures showed cafe sales rose 14 per cent last week and as a percentage of sales for the week were up approximately 15 per cent.

Dobbies cafe sales reportedly hit 40 per cent of turnover in the last month.

A Dobbies representative said: "Our restaurants have performed well in the last half year, having a particularly successful Christmas period. 2016 also got off to a good start with our January offers being warmly welcomed by our customers."

A wintry blast saw snow in the north and frost nationwide but temperatures could hit 14 degrees next weekend, according to the Met Office.

Growers says they have sold in well, but sales have yet to take off in earnest through retailers' tills.

See more in Horticulture Week 18 March.

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