The group felt that ‘seasonal plants’ provides a better reflection of the product range with wider consumer appeal, particularly for younger gardeners. This is important in the light of the work that the group is doing in collaboration with the RHS this autumn and beyond which helps to promote seasonal colour to consumers.
The Group is wholly supportive of the new initiative to work with the RHS to provide displays of seasonal plants in the 4 RHS Gardens and Plant Centres in autumn 2012 as well as summer and autumn 2013. Tying in with the HTA Plan it, Plant it this Autumn PR campaign, the initiative is part of an ongoing and long term relationship to achieve co-ordinated messages across the gardening industry and to consumers.
Regarding the state of trade growers reported that following a promising start the season had finished very tough for finished plant growers. The cool and wet weather had significantly reduced the uptake of top up orders from retailers as well as made it difficult to bring plants into flower – and as a result there had been a lot of wastage. It was felt that the medium sized growers had been hardest hit as many still had stock on the floor that they were unable to sell to retailers.
The group felt that consumers had not missed ‘Impatiens walleriana’ with so many alternatives available and had experienced increased demand for Begonia semperflorens in particular. Although it was acknowledged that this was not the best season to judge the overall impact.
Sales of ‘grow your own’ products have also suffered this season and despite concern that those consumers that had invested this year may experience poor results it was felt that this was still an area to continue to focus on. There is a need to make GYO stick and keep up the momentum of enthusiasm for gardening.
Looking ahead to autumn and spring 2012 the group conveyed a cautiously positive view. With some new innovative products coming through from the young plant suppliers that appeared to be in demand and finished plant growers securing reserve orders from retailers on a par with last year.
Chair of the HTA Seasonal Plants Group, Charmay Ball, comments, “Undoubtedly it has been a tough year for growers not only with the weather but with the underlying economic issues providing additional concern. Consumers will still be looking for seasonal colour in their gardens though and through initiatives such as the one we are developing with the RHS, which potentially will highlight seasonal plants to some 1.4 million gardeners, there are still plenty of opportunities ahead.”
Ball adds, “Regarding the change of name to ‘Seasonal Plants’ we would encourage the whole supply chain to adopt the new terminology that better describes our products and the benefits of them.”
Members of the HTA Seasonal Plants Group include:
Allensmore Nurseries, Arden Lea Nurseries, Ball Colegrave, Breeders Seeds, Coletta and Tyson, Early Ornamentals, Farplants Sales Ltd, Florensis Flower Seeds, Golden Acres Nurseries, Keith Butters Ltd, Kernock Park Plants, Langard UK Ltd, Lovania Nurseries, McGrane Nurseries, Nursery Fresh Plants, Ornamental Plants Ltd, Pentland Plants, Peter Eastwood Plants, Pinewood Nurseries, Quality Ornamentals, R Delamore Ltd, Roundstone Nurseries, Syngenta Floripro Services, VP Nursery, Vale Royal Horticulture/Benary, Young Plants Ltd.
Gill Ormrod, Angela Bean or Cassie King
HTA Media Office
Tel: 0118 930 3132
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is the trade association for the UK garden industry. It is dedicated to helping develop the industry and its member businesses, including most garden centres and other garden retailers, growers, landscapers, manufacturers and service providers.
The HTA was founded in 1899. Its key roles include: provision of advice-based services such as business improvement schemes, briefings and help lines; training, conferences and events for members; market information and research; promotions such as the National Garden Gift Voucher scheme; and working closely with government and the media to influence policy and projects.