In the biggest markets Glee covers, chemicals and fertiliser sellers had to react to pressure on active ingredients from legislative processes and non-governmental organisations. This meant Scotts dropped metaldehyde, Bayer dropped the neonicotinoid thiacloprid and most companies in the sector looked hard at glyphosate, vowing to defend its use. Retailers said they had fewer options to recommend to customers.
In the seed markets, Mr Fothergill’s had a large stand and Westland had a part of its stand for Unwins Seeds. T&M, Suttons and Kings were not exhibiting. Taylors said its bulb sales were up six per cent this year.
Biggest launches were seed pods, from Scotts (Groables) which hopes to sell one million units in the first year, Westland launched Gro-Sure Sow Smart mini seed plugs.
In growing media, Westland exhibited its new acquisition, Sinclair, with its range cut to integrate into Westland's existing offer. Bord na Mona launched an integrated Growise range. Melcourt showed its RHS-endorsed Passionate Gardener range.
In birdcare Scotts relaunched Chapelwood, bought last year from Solus and said it hopes to get back to 10 per cent of the market. Gardman said it had taken a big share of the market from Chapelwood in the last year.
In gloves and boots, Town & Country relaunched, while Briers expanded its range.
In decorative items, Kelkay and Deco Pak were prominent. Kelkay had an RHS range of grits on show. Miniature World from Vivid Arts won a Glee award.
Hozelock won best garden care accessory for Cloud Controller.
Best plant was Raspberry 'Ruby Beauty' from Wyevale Nurseries and best garden care product was Melcourt's Sylvagrow Compost.
Fallen Fruits outdoor pouffe, Spear & Jackson's Occasions Gift Range and Loktop 2 Port Mealworm Feeder from Petface were among other winners.