Make hay while sun shines says plant buyer

Many garden centres will be down in April but the bank holiday provided a last minute boost to the month despite misleading weather forecasts, says Essex-based Alton Garden Centre director Andy Bunker.

He said: "What is so damaging is the forecast. It was dire but Saturday and Sunday was beautiful here."

Bunker added that April was poor all round the country because of the weather but he had a record day on bank holiday Monday, with furniture, barbecues, plants and machinery doing best.

He said veg plant sales had  begun, a good guide to the season beginning. He said the centre was up by the end of March and after a lull in April was rising again.

Bunker said there was a lot of good British plant product available and urged retailers to forget Epos systems and schedules and get plants onto the plantarea while the weather was good. He said hebes, eryngiums and polygonum had sold well.

The forecast is for the weather to be generally good this week, with the Met Office saying next week is "expected to be generally dry and warm or locally very warm with sunny spells into next week though a few isolated thunderstorms are possible each afternoon, mainly across England and Wales". 

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