Garden centre sales hit record highs in March

Sales at garden centres hit record levels in March jumping 30%, according to Garden Centre Association (GCA) figures.

Early suggestions show sales of outdoor plants were up 52%, hard landscaping 55% and catering up 13% on 2008.

GCA chief executive officer Gillie Westwood said after looking at figures for the previous best March, in 2003, "It looks like it will be a record March for plants."

Golden Acres Nurseries operations director Simon Edwards said sales at his three garden centres at Bournemouth in Dorset, Landford in Hampshire, Cadnam in Hampshire and Wimborne, Dorset, were up between 35% and 90% (at John Brown's garden centre).

Edwards said Burgon & Ball home allotments and hanging baskets were selling out.

Gardens Group founder Mike Burks said sales were 30 to 40% up on last year at his three centres, Castle gardens, Brimsmore and Poundbury in Dorset and Somerset.

Hillier Garden Centres managing director Andy McIndoe said sales were up by up to 85% in March on hardy nursery stock.

He added: "It's fantastic compared to last year," but warned: "Let's not get too excited. We need to look at April now."

Scotsdales managing director Caroline Owen said: "Sales are excellent and this is our best March on record."

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