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A new campaign to support struggling British nurseries will be launched at this year’s RHS Chelsea
A new campaign to support struggling British nurseries will be launched at this year’s RHS Chelsea
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Gilly Pollock, founder of the British Plant Nursery Guide, will be launching a campaign ‘Flying the Flag for British Nurseries’ at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, asking visitors to sign a pledge to support British nurseries.

This is a very patriotic year and the perfect time to ask gardeners across Britain to show their support for our nursery growers. It’s been a tough year for nurseries with the impact of several years of extreme weathers. Many nurseries are struggling to keep going and several are laying off staff or haven’t taken on the usual Spring casual staff due to cash flow problems.

Whilst we had a good early spring in March, this was ahead of the main growing season, and April, which is traditionally the month when the nurseries are busy, has been quiet due to the rain and cold weather – for some it’s been a wash out!

Gilly says “We have so many independent nurseries that rely solely on the sale of plants they grow. With recent awful weather and the high cost of fuel, many nurseries are really struggling. “

Paul Cooling, Chairman of the award winning gardening business Coolings in Kent says “April is usually one of our busiest months and we have seen a sharp fall in visitors due to the wet and cold weather. This follows the announcement of the hose pipe ban in this area, so gardeners are feeling put off buying plants at the moment. “

Many plants have loved the recent rain and have put on lots of healthy growth, so the nurseries are brimming with plants waiting to find new permanent homes. Now is a good time to buy plants and have them ready to plant when the welcome warm weather arrives.

Paul says “One big advantage that British nurseries have over those that buy in their plants from abroad, is that when the sun does start to shine the pent up demand will be huge, – British nurseries have their stock here and now and it’s looking really good while those that buy in will struggle to keep up with demand.

Gilly says “At RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year we will be actively promoting the benefits of nurseries and will be asking visitors to make a pledge to say they will support British growers. From a recent survey we conducted we found that high proportion of people buy plants from DIY stores and Supermarkets. Whilst people will choose these options largely for convenience, the plants are usually part of a much bigger retail range whilst for many nurseries the sale of plants is there only source of income.

If sales are low at the height of the growing season it could spell disaster for many independent nurseries. If we can encourage just a small percentage of the public to buy their plants at nurseries instead of other alternatives they will discover the benefits they have to offer, such as expert advice from the growers and a more personal service. By supporting our Flying The Flag for British Nurseries’ will be one way of giving the a much needed boost to the independent nursery business.

Nursery growers are passionate about plants and they really want to share that with customers and help them get great results in their garden. During the RHS Chelsea Flower Show week, we have several nursery owners from across Britain joining us on the stand for our ‘Meet The Grower’ sessions. Visitors to the show can ask questions and speak to the growers about their nursery, plus get some hints and tips directly from the experts.

So in this year of national celebrations, we are encouraging everyone to be ‘Flying the Flag for British Nurseries”.