RHS Plant Finder directory highlights stock losses

Harsh winter forces some growers to delist themselves from this year's RHS Plant Finder directory to build up stocks.

Poor weather last winter has forced some nurseries to drop out of the latest edition of the RHS Plant Finder 2012-2013 because of a lack of stock.

However, the publication, which was published last week, features more than 540 suppliers with 3,380 plants new this year.

"Growers have said they have to drop out for a year or two because they need to build up stocks," a spokesman said on the 26th edition of the book. "This is particularly the case with tender plants, with some growers losing their entire stock because of snow damage."

Cornwall's Bodmin Plant & Herb Nursery owner Mark Lawlor said the cold, wet weather had put inclusion in the latest RHS guide low on its list of priorities. "I expect we will be five to 10 per cent down on stock with most of the losses with herbaceous plants that stood outside. We had -15 degsC to -17 degsC and did not have enough cover to keep them dry," he said.

At Gardening Express mail-order nursery in Chelmsford, Essex, managing director Chris Bonnett said bad weather and greater focus by his company on the internet over traditional marketing swung him away from the RHS Plant Finder.

"Cold weather hit previously hardy plants and even in tunnels we lost Cordyline and bay. Holland also suffered so importing is tougher. By focusing on the website, in March alone we processed more than 10,000 orders."

Tina Limmer, customer sales executive at Peter Beales Roses in Attleborough, Norfolk, said: "We lost a big chunk of China, tea and noisette rose stock from frosts as cold as -16 degsC."

The book lists around 70,000 cultivated plants and provided the most up-to-date information on where plants can be bought.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show plant of the year in 2011, Anemone 'Wild Swan' exhibited by Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants, was one of the plants entering the book for the first time.

Key Stat

The number of plants new to the RHS Plant Finder in the latest edition - 3,380.

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