Edwards On ... Plant prices should increase on demand

This is a familiar theme, so familiar I'm almost uncomfortable raking it over again: isn't it time we saw the price of plants increase? Two harsh winters have caused greater plant losses than we've seen in many a year - that's stock in parks and gardens as well as nurseries - and the net effect is an increase in demand while production has reduced.

Shortages have kicked in sooner and to a greater degree than usual this season. That would be enough to bring about a price rise in the market of most products.

The global economic crisis hit UK housebuilding and commercial construction some years ago. Pessimism deepened as we lived under the threat and then the reality of public sector spending cuts.

Figures are difficult to come by but UK production has certainly reduced over that time, yet most amenity suppliers have been surprised by an increased level of business this season. This amounts to a reduction in supply and an increase in demand.

And, as I write at least, the spring is shaping up impressively for the gardening public. The retail market is so vibrant that amenity producers have found themselves taking enquiries to supply garden centres.

On top of all this good news, we're being helped by the currency markets. A strong euro puts our European competitors at a disadvantage. Again, demand is strong, but the expense of foreign stock puts a brake on supply.

The thing that's lacking is confidence. Housebuilders have opened up sites, but are their customers buying houses? Commercial developers are back at work, but is there real demand or are they just catching up on projects they can't put off any longer?

There's no shortage of work to be done on public sector projects that were financed before the election, but where's the new work coming from?

Who knows? The point is, there's greater demand for plants than the UK can supply right now, which means expensive stock will have to be brought in from Europe. So can we please see prices move a little closer to where they should be?

Tim Edwards is chairman of boningale nurseries.

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

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

GroSouth 2017 update

GroSouth 2017 update

First-time and established exhibitors are preparing to showcase products and services at this year's show in West Sussex, Gavin McEwan reports.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Peter Seabrook looks forward to garden centre pepper-tasting weekends.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

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.

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