Commercial director Tim Jeffries said: "We've pushed sweet peas this year, as has Suttons. When you do promote, that will drive sales. They are Britain's favourite annual and a lot of breeding is going on. We have generated a lot of interest."
Mr Fothergill's added that retailers are "missing a trick" if they do not stock both its Sarah Raven seed ranges. Total top-up orders for the 47-variety Cut Flowers range are a third higher than those for Bees & Butterflies, with current best-sellers being Ammi majus, Nigella African Bride and Cosmos Purity. More than 600 retail outlets have booked more than 1,000m of Raven's packets.
Meanwhile, new machinery at Mr Fothergill's Cambridgeshire base is set to increase the firm's production. The SN Maschinenbau Duplex machines can fill two sachets side-by-side with perforation and do 45/50mm-180/250mm sachets.