'New for old'

Grower offers replacement plants to local authorities

A wallflower grower is offering local authorities replacement plants for old ones at a nominal cost. Wallflower specialist RC Smith of Atherstone, Warwickshire, is making the offer because so many of the plants have suffered during this dry autumn. The company’s owner, Richard Smith, said: “We have had the most continuous dry weather throughout October that anyone can ever remember.” He is offering replacements at £12 per thousand, which is a “nominal” price that will go towards covering the labour and packaging costs. He added that some authorities have not watered beds enough and that the weather is now “catching out the men from the boys” and highlighting the authorities that have used “cheap labour” to plant wallflowers in the past. Smith supplies around 40 local authorities and has been in business for 30 years. He has plants remaining at his 18ha nursery because his well-watered plants have grown so well this season. Smith recommended that the local authorities water the flower beds before planting and keep up with the watering afterwards. He told councils: “With wallflowers being open-ground grown, you may have had difficulties in being able to get sufficient water to them and, subsequently, losses may have occurred. We’ve had an excellent crop and have masses of additional plants available if required.” Parks manager for Seaham Town Council, Co. Durham, Mike Preston said his wallflowers are doing well since being planted a fortnight ago, but he’d take up Smith’s offer if any died. He added: “You don’t often get suppliers who care about you. Richard Smith is good like that.”

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