Allensmore is building 4.5 acres of glass in 2016 to add to two acres built in 2015. The Herefordshire nursery was promoting Christmas wreath ranges at Four Oaks to spread the risk from its main herbaceous lines.
Profitplant UK account manager Andre Dorduinn said 2015 was a "very good year" thanks to good gardening weather. He said: "From Holland, the exchange rate worked in our favour. Imports are starting to be more competitive in lines that have not been selling before across the board. Houseplants are a good example. The industry has suffered from supermarket competition but it is picking up again and everyone who has invested in houseplants is seeing a positive effect."
Sales across the board have been good, Four Oaks visitors reported. B&M Bargains has quickly expanded to 81 garden centre areas, while Hayloft said sales are 35 per cent up this year. Provender Nurseries director Richard McKenna reported 16 per cent growth year on year.
Earley Ornamentals owner Simon Earley, who said he benefitted at Four Oaks by taking Young Plants' old central space, added: "Most people are going to say it went a lot better. Consumer confidence is higher and people have been in their gardens a lot. It's been a much better year." Having biomass helped this year, while other growers said falling oil prices helped to keep costs down.
De Jong's hydrangea Music collection, which won two prizes at Plantarium, was a runner-up at Four Oaks. Representative Jos De Jong said exchange rates meant a 20 per cent positive difference to importers this year - the difference between a £10 and a £15 plant. "We want to give the English the chance to choose between the biggest range of varieties and the best quality," he added. Customers include Dobbies, Homebase, Waitrose and independents.
The British Protected Ornamentals Association reported that Dutch bedding sales into the UK are 10 per cent up this year. Sinclair/Westland reported a poorer peat harvest in Scotland and Ireland, and has dropped green waste Superfyba from its mixes due to insufficient reliability.