Mother's Day helps garden centres and suppliers buck the trend in March

Garden centres had a "fantastic" Mother's Day weekend with some suppliers saying wholesale business is the best for four years as good weather and pent-up demand drives business.

Garden writer Peter Seabrook said: "Garden centres are bucking the trend and takings have soared two weeks earlier than normal."

Wyevale Garden Centre chief executive Nicholas Marshall said sales were up 46% for the second week of March and 69% last week.

Wyevale launched their garden club last Monday (16 March) and signed up 19,000 members on the first day. Marshall expects to have one million members by the end of the year.

B&Q bedding supplier supplier Coletta and Tyson report they have seen nothing like it for four years. Pansies, polyanthus, primroses, violas and other popular spring bedding plants could sell out before the summer bedding is ready to be rolled out, Seabrook reported in The Sun.

Seed potatoes and onion sets are also selling at record levels. Thompson & Morgan said 17 of its early potato varieties had sold out.

Cambridge-based Scotsdales garden centre director Caroline Owen said: "A fantastic weekend at Scotsdales. Sales across the departments are all well up on last year."

Essex-based Meadow Croft Garden Centre director Michael Smith said plant sales more than doubled compared with last March when his Pansy And Viola Festival started a week ago.

Suttons marketing manager Tom Sharples said: "We have seen fruit sales go up by something like 20 per cent in the past year, with the main increases in soft fruits like blackcurrants, redcurrants and strawberries. I think a boom in strawberry growing is inevitable."

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