Staycation gardeners make Dobbies garden centre a palm tree paradise

Sales of palm trees are soaring as 'staycation' Brits bring the beach to their back gardens to make up for missing out on exotic holidays.

Retail experts say that cash-strapped customers are trying to recreate the Mediterranean in Milton Keynes and the Caribbean in Coventry.

And sizzling temperatures for much of the summer have provided perfect conditions for growing palms and other tropical trees and plants.

Garden centre chain Dobbies has reported a 68% year-on-year rise in sales of palms.

Its plant buyer Andy Smith said that many customers were snapping up Cordyline, Tracycarpus and Phoenix palms to make up for going without a foreign holiday.

And sales of other plants that are popular in the Mediterranean and Caribbean like bougainvillea and geraniums are well up this summer too.

Mr Smith said: "We have put the sharp rise in sales of palms and other tropical plants and trees down to the number of people who do not have the money for an exotic holiday this summer.

"They still want to have a piece of the Mediterranean or Caribbean in their back garden or on their patio.

"They are really craving what they would see if they looked up from their hotel balcony in the south of France or St Lucia.

"This is all about a bit of escapism or Brits who have not managed to escape on holiday.

"They may not have had a holiday but they can still have a beautiful garden and bring the beach to them.

"The recent heatwaves have encouraged people to buy palms and plants like bourgainvillea and geraniums.

"And they know that recent winters have been mild enough for palms to survive."

Millions more Brits have been going without a foreign holiday than at any time since mass tourism took off in the 1970s.

The financial downturn and poor exchange rates have seen many families opt for staycations at home.

Last year, the number of trips abroad fell by 15% – or 10.4million overseas visits – according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

There are 11,700 electric car-charging points across the UK but only eight at garden centres, so more can be done to take the opportunity in garden retail.

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

A wide range of first-time exhibitors and established names will showcase a wealth of new varieties at September's Four Oaks Trade Show, says Matthew Appleby.

Product and service showcase

Product and service showcase

Fresh solutions to production problems can be found among the array of products and services being introduced at the Four Oaks Trade Show, Sally Drury reports.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles