2020: 30 horticulture positives worth celebrating - and 10 downsides

In 2020, the horticulture industry dealt with many challenges - here is a summary of some of the ways it has been valued and it has adapted, as well as some of the more adverse impacts.

Retail bounceback. Garden centres recovered from March 23 lockdown after reopening in May to get within 10% of 2019 figures, report GCA and HTA.

3 million new gardeners started on their plots during lockdown.

Importance of parks during pandemic

Online boost: Gardening online sales moved five years on in a year with up to 200% rises for many operations.

Better lobbying has helped the garden industry win a few battles this year.

Women in horticulture campaigning.

Black Lives Matter campaign reaches horticulture.

YPHA: Young People in Horticulture had a voice this year.

Subscription plant and flower box services.

Return to core gardening as garden centre category sales profiles go back 40 years.

Government tree planting promises and funding.

Christmas tree sales improve.

Poinsettia sales grow.

New build garden centres and developments - optimism for 2021.

Increase in average transaction values in garden centres.

Virtual trade shows and meetings become the norm.

Work@home leads to more gardening.

Home delivery/click and collect at garden centres.

New category of specialist home plant delivery business sets up.

Podcasts communicate ideas.

Virtual flower shows take off.

Sustainable design promoted.

Staycations help garden sales and visits.

Christmas light shows proliferate.

GYO booms.

AHDB - five year strategy.

Garden centres - essential retail in second lockdown.

Sustainability roadmap from HTA.

Furloughing.

Peat reduction plans.

Allotment boom.

Downsides

The sad loss of many horticulture figures in 2020, with COVID-19 the cause in some cases.

Redundancies - The crisis has led to redundancies at National Trust, RHS and at retailers and cafes. Latest Office for National Statistics figures show 3.026m retail jobs, down 22,000 year-on-year. 

Closures- several horticulture businesses have been forced to close in 2020.

Brexit - Many unresolved issues for the horticulture industry ahead of 1 January 2021.

Lockdowns - hit garden centres in March and have had impacts ever since.

Lack of face-to-face meetings.

Plant shortages.

No coronavirus scrappage compensation for nurseries.

Social media divisions.

Lack of tree pest surveillance.


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