Scotsdales added that May bank holiday Monday was particularly strong with £124,000 taken at Cambridge, partly thanks to a 10 per cent voucher early bird promotion between 9-10.30am.
The promotion is designed to spread custom across the day and relieve pressure at busiest times. It is particularly attractive to keen gardeners seeking a bargain, says Scotsdales.
The three garden centre group said recent rain was welcome and sales and kicked off post bank holiday.
April was the sunniest on record, says the Met Office, with 212 hours. But unsettled weather is forecast for much of May.
The Met forecast for 11-20 May is as follows:
"Outbreaks of rain in the far northwest at first on Monday will weaken and move southeast to become slow moving over Northern England and Southern Scotland. To the northwest, cooler, brighter but showery conditions will follow, while to the southeast warmer, drier and sunnier conditions are expected.
"It is then likely to become fairly unsettled through the rest of the week, particularly in the northwest, with occasional spells of rain or showers, and strong winds at times. Drier, brighter conditions are more likely towards the southeast, where it will also be rather warm for a time, although some showers cannot be ruled out here too. This northwest-southeast divide then looks likely to continue through the weekend and into the following week."
The Met forecast for 21 May-4 June is as follows:
"Overall, fairly mixed conditions are expected through the period, with many areas experiencing spells of fine and bright weather, interspersed with more changeable conditions. The most unsettled conditions are likely to be across northern and northwestern areas, whilst the best of the settled weather is more likely towards the south and southeast.
"However, there is a signal that some drier conditions could develop across northern parts towards the end of May or early June as well. Temperatures are likely to be around average for most areas, although spells of more settled weather will be accompanied by higher daytime temperatures, particularly in the south or southeast, where it could be rather warm for a time. Some chilly nights are also possible, perhaps with isolated overnight frost in rural northern parts."