Weather-hit retailers hope for lift as plants replaced

Bad weather has hit garden centres but the impact of the cold snap may be balanced out later when gardeners replace plants killed by frost.

Golden Acres Nurseries operations director Simon Edwards said: "The cold snap will help us long term. As a retailer you want a built-in redundancy in your product."

South East-based Shoots Garden Centres managing director Piers Mummery said he is pleased to be just 12 per cent down after snow hit trade last week. "I wrote off last week as a 90 per cent drop in sales, but they were not as bad as I thought," he added. "But I wish we'd had more salt and sledges."

Writtle College senior lecturer Mick Lavelle said gardeners need to "secure plants associated with aspirational patio living and barbecue lifestyles that have soared in popularity during many years of milder conditions".

He added: "During this period of prolonged freezing, gardens are at risk of seeing their plants suffer irreversible damage." He suggested bringing bay laurel and Brugmansia inside and wrapping other plants with fleece, bubble wrap, cloches, pots, straw or hessian.


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