Bank holiday flower sales driven by Chelsea media coverage

Bank holiday sales were on a par with 2009 in many garden centres with RHS Chelsea Flower Show media coverage driving demand.

Plants went well, with some retailers worried about possible bedding shortages, although vegetable plant sales may have peaked for 2010.

HTA retail management group chair and Dorset-based Haskins buying director Philip Evason said the last bank holiday weekend before the end of August was "satisfactory" but he added that a promotion around Chelsea Flower Show plants such as Clematis and roses resulted in a 20 per cent increase in sales.

Chester-based Grosvenor Garden Centre managing director Iain Wyle said: "We had our best ever bank holiday Monday. We had strong sales right across the board but highlights were furniture, barbecues and plants."

Cleeve Nursery owner Alan Down added: "Bank holiday Monday was above expectations with bedding, container and hanging basket plants featuring very strongly. There was a noticeable drop in demand for vegetable and fruit plants. There is some concern that good-quality bedding supplies are beginning to run short."

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