Hose ban will harm island's plant sales, retailer warns

Garden centres face an uphill battle on the Isle of Wight because of the hosepipe ban.

A garden centre owner in the Isle of Wight has warned the island’s hosepipe ban will cause nursery casualties because it has struck in the middle of the crucial planting season. Medina Garden Centre owner Paul Griffiths said the ban is leaving garden centres with a battle on their hands. Southern Water enforced a hosepipe ban on the island three weeks ago. Griffiths said it is putting excessive pressure on during the March to May planting season. He said: “The Isle of Wight is unusual because 90 per cent of properties have had water meters for 20 years. Because it is isolated, it was seen as an ideal trial area.” When water meters were introduced, he said, hosepipe sales immediately fell by 75 per cent, watering can sales went through the roof and plant sales dropped. Griffiths said: “The paranoia slowly went away and people began buying hosepipes again and planting more. But this will bring fear back. “Plant sales account for 30 per cent of our turnover. But now I’m worried they will just stay away after an already quiet winter.” He added: “I think there will be casualties this year because it follows bad years in 2004 and 2005.”

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