Customers shy from autumn bedding buys

Woodlark Nursery managing director Colin Edwards has described September bedding sales as awful, with garden centre buyers downbeat.

He rated spring "great" and the summer "okay" but said the economic climate had put customers off buying this autumn.

"The TV is telling us not to spend money and that is putting people in a bad mood. A bit of economic or general good news would help."

He said he sold 10,000 two-litre pansies in August but only 2,000 in September, when he would have expected to sell 10,000 more. He added that cyclamen sales were "shocking" and, after cutting production by 50 per cent in 2010, he has not sold out.

Edwards said he remained optimistic about bedding sales in 2012. "We're going to customers to ask what they want. I can't believe anyone is growing on spec any more."

Buckingham Garden Centre assistant general manager Mike Easom said viola sales were slow and "we need a frost to kill off geraniums and begonias, which are still holding on".


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