Polish nurseries exporting to the UK market have said they hope to increase business here.
The ornamental horticulture industry is the fastest-growing sector of agriculture in Poland. A number of nurseries already export to the UK directly or through Holland.
While the amount of business is limited by the expense of transporting stock over a long distance, nurseries exhibiting at this year's Green is Life exhibition in Warsaw said there was scope for doing more with the UK.
Clematis Container Nursery owner and Polish Nurserymen's Association president Szczepan Marczynski said: "Exports include perennials, roses and clematis and other climbers.
"The UK is not a huge export market because of higher transport costs and the climate means material from Holland is often hardy enough. However, there are some possibilities, and there are some new varieties that grow better in Poland."
Actinidia arguta is one product with potential for the UK market, he suggested. "People don't realise that the Polish nursery-stock industry is quite advanced," he added. "We are investing in infrastructure and improving train and road transport. At the moment transport is very slow, but this investment will make it much easier."
Perennials nursery Vitroflora exports 3-5cm plug plants to the UK and exhibited at Four Oaks last year. Vice-president Darek Snieg said: "Perennials are very popular in the UK and an agreement with Terra Nova means we can sell to that market. There is definitely potential to do more."
Nurseryman Tadeusz Kusibab pointed out that between five and ten per cent of the blueberry stock he produces comes to the UK market, while a companion nursery run by his daughter Aleksandra Kusibab-Wyka exports 20 per cent.
The number of plant companies exhibiting at Green is Life 2011, making up 50 per cent of exhibitors - 150