Garden centre bucks downturn

GARDENS around Huntingdonshire should be blooming this summer as the nation s favourite pastime seems to be bucking the national recessional trend. Nationally, garden centre trade is reported to be up 31 per cent year on year, while a Somersham nursery re

GARDENS around Huntingdonshire should be blooming this summer as the nation's favourite pastime seems to be bucking the national recessional trend.

Nationally, garden centre trade is reported to be up 31 per cent year on year, while a Somersham nursery reported selling 25,000 plants in just one weekend.

The unusually nice British weather of recent weeks is one of the key factors to the success, but the recession is also forcing more people to spend time at home and in the garden.

Dawn Smith, who owns and manages Cranbrook Plants in Colne Road with business partner Trevor Peacock, said the last spring bank holiday was the busiest weekend the nursery's 10-year history.

The firm sold approximately 25,000 plants to customers and another 10,000 wholesale. Usually, it would sell about 10,000 plants in all.

Mrs Smith said: "The last four years the spring bank holiday weekend has had terrible weather but this year it was nice. This meant a lot of people did not go away and instead choose to make the most of the sunshine and spend time in their garden."

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Cranbrook Plants, which produces 3.4 million plants per year, is hosting a special fuchsia fashion show this Saturday (June 13) from 9.30am until 4.30pm and Sunday from 10am until 4pm.