‘Lifeline’ for plant and flower growers as garden centres set to reopen

The reopening of garden centres across England has been praised as a “lifeline” for British ornamental horticultural growers.

The rules laid out by the Government this week allow garden centres to reopen from Wednesday (May 13) onwards.

NFU president Minette Batters said: “Opening garden centres provide a lifeline for British plant and flower growers that have been devastated by the near-complete loss of their market this year.

The overnight closure in March of garden centres, florists and other retail outlets resulted in growers losing significant proportions of their perishable stock products, pushing many of these vital businesses to near collapse.

Batters explained that the NFU raised this issue with MPs across Parliament, stressing the need for garden centres to be allowed to reopen as soon as it was safe to do so.

“We are pleased the government has concluded now is the right time,” she said.

“I know this will be great news for gardeners and provides some relief for growers, but reopening garden centres is not the total solution to the issues facing the industry.

It remains the case that they will still need proper financial support to ensure they can survive, having already lost the vast majority of the peak season already.

“Thousands of family businesses, built up over generations, have been supplying the country’s growing appetite for gardening over the years and we want to ensure they survive to continue meeting this demand with fantastic British-grown plants.

“I would encourage the public to look out for British plants and flowers if they are visiting garden centres, specialist plant nurseries and supermarkets, or if they’re shopping online.”