Amenity nursery growers predict flat year ahead

Growth in the amenity nursery sector is likely to be flat in the coming year, attendees of the HTA Amenity Suppliers meeting held at Hillier Nurseries in Hampshire last week were told.

Amenity suppliers agreed that the domestic landscaper market had been tough with many smaller businesses struggling but said there was increasing trade coming direct from garden designers which tended to be for smaller batches of plants across a wide number of varieties.

HTA Amenity Suppliers Group chair and chairman of Boningdale Nurseries Tim Edwards said:

"Whilst it has been a tough year for the sector it has been better than many anticipated. In some areas of the country we are beginning to see a number of housing and commercial developments starting to trickle through.

"However, with government cuts just around the corner it is unlikely that larger scale amenity schemes will take place."

Tim Edwards added: "Sales for 2010 have typically been much the same as 2009, despite the unusual weather patterns affecting normal sales periods. However, 2009 sales were at least 20% down on 2008 and it seems unlikely that anything better than ‘flat’ trade will be achieved in 2011."

Some UK amenity growers have seen sales increase into the garden retail sector thanks to the favourable exchange rate. Trade between UK nurseries has also been more buoyant than it has been previously.

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