Ben Reid Garden Centre managing director Simon Fraser said: "My perception as a buyer is that nurseries are clever on their market and are producing for that effectively. As a small nurseryman we don't overproduce. My perception from dealing with big growers is if you don't take it when it's available it won't be there if you want to pick it up a week later.
"In Scotland we have a different climate so we might not want it until later. That means we have to look across the North Sea to Holland. Good nurseries are being very sharp and commercial, and are looking at their customer base. They have to because their margins are so tight."
Bransford Webbs managing director Geoff Caesar said: "The Dutch system is about free stock availability. Reserve orders freak them out - they don't like it because they don't like the risk. You have to hang on to it even if you don't take it."
He added: "It is an issue and we've talked about it here. Do you speculate on stock on the off-chance the retailers will want it? If they don't, you're stuck. In Holland they have fairs and auctions, though they see selling off at auction as a place of last resort. I don't necessarily think we should have them, though they would encourage people to grow more free stock.
"It's a balance between supply and demand. Last spring was frustrating because we had more demand than we had stock. We have 5,000sq m more production this year and we're building 5,000sq m more, but we've tried to reserve it all."
WD Smith & Son managing director Mike Smith said: "When the weather is good there is not enough and when the weather is bad there is more than enough. As a bedding nursery, we don't get panicked."
Glendoick Garden Centre director Ken Cox said: "The big wholesale nurseries used to grow and see who snaps it up, but now nurseries want it all booked and planned to cut wastage. "For instance, viburnums. There's a lot of Phytophthora ramorum in Holland and I was anxious to make sure viburnum I bought was free from it, but growers down south in England had bought them in Holland to grow on in their nurseries.
With Astible, all the growers just have 'Unique' because that tissue culture liner is available, so when people specify 'Fanal' there's none available. John Woods did Country Roses from Kordes but they've gone and I can't get them anymore."
"But with some plants there are a lot available - heathers, agapanthus, lavender, hydrangeas - so ranges in certain areas are staggering, but in others such as rhododendrons there are only small ranges and the varieties are not ones I'd recommend."
Monkton Elm plant manager Andrew Pitman said: "There are certain plants that the English market doesn't grow. To get plants from the Dutch is a lot easier than it has ever been because minimum deliveries were higher and lead times were longer. They want your business and they are very competitive on certain lines. European growers will fly you out and provide a hotel while UK growers wouldn't provide a train fare."