Cautious optimism the best bet

Talking to growers and retailers at Chelsea this week, all are looking forward to the second wind the garden industry will get from the show, which following an outstanding Easter and early May bank holiday period could add up to yet more sales records broken this year.

But it is also clear from recent conversations with growers supplying the landscaping sector, that there is better news there too. As Johnsons of Whixley's Andrew Richardson tells us this week, the firm which had pushed further into retail to protect itself from a sluggish amenity market is in fact 15 to 30 per cent ahead of its amenity sales budget  - a result that is reflected elsewhere in the sector. Another leading amenity plant supplier says it is set for its best ever year for non retail sales. Who would have thought that possible 12 months ago?

But it is also good to see that nursery stock growers are not automatically rushing in to up production in response to this long overdue confidence boost. Instead, as Richardson notes, they are preferring to put up with being a bit short now, rather than face the risk of unsold stock in the future. Bedding growers reported the same caution to HW last week after a great start to the season.

And there are plenty of challenges to come. In the shorter term worries about drought conditions which are already hitting some edible crops. Meanwhile, we hear following an industry briefing with Defra's Richard Benyon this week that any easing of peat phase out targets for professional growers is definitely off the agenda. And the construction market - such a key driver - remains a long way from recovery. Cautious optimism remains the safest bet for now.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.

Tree and shrubs - nursery market

Tree and shrubs - nursery market

Growers are more optimistic now that garden designers and landscape architects are seeking more mature trees and shrubs, writes Sally Drury.


Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.

Edwards: Will a weak pound and tariffs on imported stock be good for UK nursery production?

Edwards: Will a weak pound and tariffs on imported stock be good for UK nursery production?

At the time of writing - a few days after the general election - sterling has weakened and we still have no idea of what Brexit means.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles