Get more creative with bedding, growers at HTA Bedding Focus Conference urged

Growers need to engage more with customers and encourage retailers to get more creative with bedding displays in garden centres, according to Webbs chief executive Boyd Douglas-Davies.

He told the HTA Bedding Focus Conference at Ball Colegrave: "We are lazy people in garden centres - we need help from the growers. You can encourage us to be more creative and you can show us what we can be doing with bedding."

He urged growers to send in pictures of themselves to garden centres: "Get a picture made of your team in your nursery growing your plants and deliver that with the plants. We want to tell your story."

He said growers should be pushing the "best of British" ethos: "Our customers love local and you are one of our most local suppliers. There's a great danger that you could become like our British farmers and forget to tell us about the British product."

Touching on community engagement, Douglas-Davies said growers needed to get involved with organising committees for competitions such as the Heart of England in Bloom.

He said: "Every town in Britain has some sort of committee for planting and we should be working with them and finding out what they are going to be using next year so we can have them in our garden centres. If you are not talking to them, you are missing a massive market."

He said involvement in schools also offered an opportunity to promote bedding plants. "There's a real danger people will miss out on bedding because they are perceiving it to be hard work. You need to work with schools for the patio gardens - hopefully you can create a passion for your product."


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