The DIY/gardening sector was the best performing sector of all in retail durables.
Garden Centre Association figures show sales were up 20 per cent by the end of March and 41 per cent for the month.
Retailers and suppliers meanwhile expect further uplift for the May bank holiday.
The Met Office is forecasting that most areas will be fine and dry with sunny spells this weekend (3-4 May), although there is a risk of a few light showers in the east on Saturday. "Some northwestern parts may turn cloudier with patchy rain on Sunday," it said.
It will be cold overnight, with fairly widespread ground frost, but daytime temperatures around average so not feeling too bad in sunshine.