Garden centres double turnover as spring blooms

Pent-up demand is finally firing garden centres, with sales doubling last Mother's Day weekend compared to the weekend before.

Crocuses bloom at Kew. Image: Kew
Crocuses bloom at Kew. Image: Kew

Piers Mummery, owns of Shoots garden centres, said: "Weekend sales were double last weekend compared to the weekend before. It was a slow build up during the week, maybe because the ground was still cold. But now things are looking good."

He added: "Sales have been good across the board. People have been gagging to get into the garden with the season three or four weeks behind. People have lost shrubs so plant sales are strong. And for Mother's Day we had fantastic house-plant sales, which is to be expected. Footfall is right up."

Neil Fishlock, head of horticulture at Midlothian-based Dobbies Garden Centres, said: "We've had excellent sales over the weekend and footfall was up across the board.  With spring finally in the air, there's been pent-up demand for all things flowering at the moment - so outside baskets and pre-planted containers are selling extremely well as customers look to make small colourful additions to their front doorsteps or gardens."

Midlands-based Garden Store MD Marcus Eyles said: "This year-so far it's been cold but we're above last year. But that has been more to do with indoor sales than outdoor. Compost and plants have been affected but people are doing a lot more preparation."

Tesco senior horticulture buying manager Louisa Knowles said: "The bitter winter and worst snowfall for three decades has put back the arrival of the first spring flowers by at least a month and left gardens looking sad and dull which by now should be full of colour. It's a major contrast to recent years when British winters have been very mild and have led to snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and bluebells appearing by now.

"As a result many Brits have decided to literally bring their gardens into their homes and in the last month we have seen record February demand for some of our range."

In the last month Tesco saw a 110% rise in sales of orchids compared with last year while demand for hyacinths is up by 60%.

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