Wonderwall among GroSouth highlights

At GroSouth, best stand went to Blue Ribbon, most innovative product to Macpac's letterbox plant packaging and feature award to Rick McKeever's USP Creation's Wonderwall.

Rick McKeever
Rick McKeever

Blue Ribbon Plants owner Walter Back said: "It has been a reasonable year compared to what it has been. We’ve picked up some new customers and we’re growing a wider range. We have good orders placed for 2017. Prices will have to go up a bit in view of exchange rates and extra labour costs. You can’t resist two wage rises this year. He said camellias had been particularly popular.

Back said because everyone was fighting for the same business presentation of quality plants was the most important factor for success. He added: "Retailers are always reluctant to pay more but prices have to go up somehow. They can’t be stagnant from our point of view, otherwise we wonlt exist." He said prices went up in "pennies rather than percantages".

McKeever said the Wonderwall’s first award had helped bring "massive interest" to the vertical planting system at the show. He said the product the product builds bit by bit and he is selling it into schools, hotels, stations and cafes and will then look at retail sales.

Macpac’s postal packs mean plug bedding plants can go through letterboxes rather than be signed for, said the company’s Neil Greenhalgh.

Less packaging means they are cheaper to send. Unwins and You Garden are using the 12-pack packs, while six-packs are also available. Greenhalgh said retail diversification by growers selling direct to gardeners meant the postal products were more in demand.

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