Gardening centres across the UK have seen their sales drop to the lowest figures in the last five years, following a spate of bad weather.
The Garden Centre Association has said that average underlying sales are down by 15%-20% .
Ian Wylie, the chief executive of the Garden Association, told the BBC: “It’s literally in the lap of the gods, we need a sustained period of good weather. The worst thing would be one good day, one bad day. It’s been too cold and too wet and we need better weather to pick things up.”
Figures from the Horticultural Trades Association indicate that the UK garden market is worth £5bn a year, with figures indicating that two thirds of British adults visit a garden centre at least once each year.
Plants sales are at their lowest since 2013, when the weather was having a similar impact until conditions improved and sales had recovered by the British summertime.
Wylie said he is hoping for history to repeat itself in 2018. “There will be some lost sales, but hopefully they will catch up with later selling plants,” he said.
“Nurseries produce crops that bud and flower at the time they should, but if the weather outside isn’t conducive, it’s very difficult to manage the production cycle. If the weather does not improve, garden centres could suffer two poor seasons in a row. The risk is that the weather is not good enough for summer bedding, but it’s past the time for spring bedding.”