July garden centre sales have taken retailers to five per cent above 2012, but they are still behind 2011 and 2010, the latest Garden Centre Association (GCA) figures reveal.
GCA president Peter Burks said: "Sales have been very good, particularly in watering, with figures 300 to 500 per cent up compared to last year. Furniture and barbecue sales are well up and we're still seeing good gardening sales in compost, pots and plants."
He added: "When the sun shone people went out in their gardens and realised they needed to plant."
He said many members were five per cent ahead year to date, after being 32 per cent down in March.
Scotsdale managing director Caroline Owen said: "July was good - 15 per cent up. The only section that was down was catering, having been up all year, but it suffered in the hotter weather. Garden furniture, gifts, garden care, hard landscaping and outdoor plants were all positive."
Last year was 11 per cent down on 2011 for the first half of the year, according to HTA figures.
Meanwhile, the GCA expects to appoint a permanent CEO in mid-September.