Move from Sandown attracts 80% more people to Southern Growers event

The Southern Growers Exhibition attracted 80 per cent more people after its move from Sandown Racecourse to Roundstone Nurseries in West Sussex.

Numbers were up from 400 to 700 and exhibitors rose from 65 to 120. Organiser Kieran Daly, marketing manager at Munro South, said many exhibitors had already booked bigger stands for 2010.

Kings Seeds new commercial development manager Ian Riggs, formerly of Sakata, commented: "The proof of the pudding will be in 2010. If you relaunch a product there is always a bounce."

Delamore sales manager Terry Maslen said its new giant-flowered balcony Geranium mix Gerainbow was attracting interest. He revealed that customers were ordering later this year by an average of a week. "There is still a lot of caution despite the good year we've had."

Seiont Nurseries owner Neil Alcock said the improved show was helping extend reserve taking for 2010. He added: "People are definitely reserving later and later. They could be reassessing or looking around for deals. The supply chain is getting more professional."

Pentland Plants owner David Spray said his biomass boiler made it profitable to grow his 90,000 early-crop poinsettia this year.

He added that the recession had not hit his retail business. "I can only think people think the recession has finished and want to go and spend some money. Gifts and plants are excellent."

Spray said he sells one pallet of peat-free for every 150 of peat and that his growing Petersfield coir/soil/peat mix is as low peat as he can make it. He added that one council had recently reverted from peat-free to peat grown bedding because of cost and quality.

Delegate Peter Catt of Liss Forest Nursery said peat reduction had to be Europe-wide and on a level playing field: "Why should we do it and the Dutch get away scot-free?"

Spray said the euro had made European-grown plants less attractive in the UK. XL Horticulture owner Les Lane added that UK expertise in polythene was improving export quantities, with 100 tonnes going to South Africa and 20 to Germany, plus rolls to the Bahamas.

He said two years of sustained marketing in Norway had opened up Scandanavian markets.

Commercial Horticulture Association marketing manager Stuart Booker said growers taking advantage of the euro such as Johnsons of Whixley, Guernsey Clematis, John Woods, Seiont, Oakover, David Austin, Whetman and Golden Grove were booking fast for IPM Essen (26-29 January) and Salon de Vegetal (17-18 February) but subsidised space was still available.

More than 200 people took tours of Roundstone with production manager Edgar Popov and grower manager Lynne Seabrook, who said 70/30 peat reduction and alternative packaging trials were in place.

The show will return on 10 November 2010.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Business Planning - Brace now for Brexit impact

Business Planning - Brace now for Brexit impact

Neville Stein advises how businesses can act now to protect themselves against higher plant import costs after the Brexit deadline.

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Bespoke apprenticeships and internal training are helping firms to get ahead in skills-shortage horticulture, says Rachel Anderson.

Tractors: market roundup

Tractors: market roundup

Manufacturers are working to provide solutions to many challenges. Sally Drury looks at their newest models.

Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Whether you voted leave or remain all those years ago, a "no-deal" Brexit should worry you.

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I find myself in a difficult situation. A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be present to hear details of imminent changes to regulations concerning Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) and oak trees. I heard details, asked questions and probed the implications of these changes. That may not sound like a difficult position to be in, yet I am uneasy.

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Lobby groups jumping onto fashionable campaigns, often to promote their own interests, can do much more harm than good. Take, for example, the move against black polythene plant pots and containers.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +


The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles