April saw garden retail sales increase by almost 16 per cent, according to latest figures from the Garden Centre Association (GCA), with garden furniture and barbecues and plants doing best.
GCA chairman Will Armitage said sales in his two West Yorkshire centres are 15 per cent up so far this year but May bank holiday was flat against 2014, although bedding sales have now started well. He added that in 2013 sales "died a death" after the first May bank holiday.
The association's chief executive Iain Wylie said "high expectations" meant that sales over the recent bank holiday were not as good as March or April.
Alton Garden Centre director Andy Bunker pointed out that because sales started early in March, returns were being diluted and the bank holiday was 10 per cent down on 2013.
But he added that outdoor sales were 28 per cent up in April and plus 60 per cent for the year to the end of April - and 36 per cent up across the whole garden centre.
Waitrose gardening sales were up 22.4 per cent in the quarter and its gardening pods have now been rolled out to 180 branches.