The weather continues to dominate all our conversations. You can’t be in this business without weather watching every day. Interesting statistic for you – in 2010, there were 89.4 days of air frost (I don’t know what .4 of a day is!) – the highest reading for over 50 years.
On the one hand this means that demand for replacement plants is high, but on the other hand, there are plant losses in the nurseries (though we obviously work very hard to minimise frost damage to our stock) and the ground conditions aren’t great for planting.
So we wait and watch for mild, damp weather – we need enough rain to keep the soil damp without making it waterlogged – which isn’t great for planting either.
As well as harsh weather, we’ve got a harsh economic climate. The Horticultural Trades Association’s research shows that the retail garden market declined by 4.3% in 2010 and consumer spending on gardening has been pretty flat at £4.5bn since 2002 – that’s 10 years! So, we’re absolutely delighted with growth in our business. December was poor because of the snow, but the autumn generally was good (up by about 50%) and we’ve had a cracking January. We’re not a young business (5 years old) so it’s not just that we were tiny last year – we must be doing a lot right – thank you to all our customers for ordering and re-ordering – it’s so nice to see customers coming back again and again.
If you’re new to us, please be reassured that we’re as good as we say we are!