Councils cut back bulb orders

Suppliers report falling orders for bulbs from local authorities as spending cuts bite ever deeper.

Some bulb suppliers have reported a fall in orders from local authorities as spending cuts are implemented.

Councils have put in smaller orders than last year and some are opting for lower price varieties to cut costs, they said.

"Orders are quite low," said Top Score Flower Bulbs general manager Myra le Sage. "I don't think the business is there. I'm assuming they are putting the money into hard landscaping instead."

Eurogarden Wholesale Flower Bulbs director Don Teeuw added: "They have cut back considerably. It's surprising when expenditure on roads, for example, is still up.

"The piddling amount they spend on flowers has been hacked like hell. They have also been ordering a lot later, which actually helped us a bit because stocks were down after the dry weather."

He said some larger customers spending £20-30,000 had cut back to half of what they were spending before. "One ordered one-third of what he ordered last year then complained about the price. But it's based on palette cost and if you order less the transport will be higher."

The quality that councils are buying is also very poor, Teeuw added. "They are going on price only and it's a false economy. It's an advert for an area - if there is a good display in a park, people want to go there."

Taylors Bulbs director Adam Taylor said overall landscaping was likely to be up on last year, although he could not say how much of that was being undertaken by local authorities.

"There are a lot of bulbs being planted, but I can't differentiate between local authority work and other landscaping," he said.

"The snow last year meant a lot of bulbs didn't get planted and there is quite a lot of catch-up going on. People have learnt their lesson from last year and they want them earlier."

He added that displays in parks were important for garden centre sales. "If people are seeing bulbs in local parks, it's great for our product. It creates interest and people can plant them the following autumn."

Focus on quality

"I expect overall our sales will be much the same as last year. Some contracts we've won and some we've lost. There has been a lot of competitive quoting. We sell bulbs on quality, and that's what we push all the time. Some local authorities go for that and some just go on price." - Bob Willard, general manager, De Jager.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Tractors: market roundup

Tractors: market roundup

Manufacturers are working to provide solutions to many challenges. Sally Drury looks at their newest models.

Aster

Aster

Brightening up gardens in autumn, these daisies are seen as a gem in the gardener's arsenal, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Are tree suppliers seeing the benefit of the health message of trees?

Are tree suppliers seeing the benefit of the health message of trees?

The message that health, the environment and business all benefit from trees is finally getting through, but are nurseries seeing an upturn? Sally Drury reports.


Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Whether you voted leave or remain all those years ago, a "no-deal" Brexit should worry you.

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I find myself in a difficult situation. A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be present to hear details of imminent changes to regulations concerning Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) and oak trees. I heard details, asked questions and probed the implications of these changes. That may not sound like a difficult position to be in, yet I am uneasy.

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Lobby groups jumping onto fashionable campaigns, often to promote their own interests, can do much more harm than good. Take, for example, the move against black polythene plant pots and containers.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles