Mark Pearson, Primrose’s CEO, stated: “People will have no doubt seen in the news this week the huge threat to the UK growing industry, and we want to do our bit. We have managed to add eight new growers in recent weeks, all of which would have been hit hard by the closure of garden centres. We are desperate to keep plants flowing to customers and to #KeepBritainBlooming.”

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has had a huge impact on UK growers. A new industry survey conducted by the HTA has found that a third of UK growers will be out of business before the end of the year. They claim:

  • Around one in three businesses say that even with access to UK Government aid packages they are likely to be insolvent this year
  • More than one in ten UK growers (13%) claim that they will out of business by the end of June
  • Unless action is taken in the next two weeks a large range of homegrown British plants may not be available for up to two years, which will increase imports and leave the UK open to the risk of infectious diseases and pests

(Source: Horticultural Trade Association ornamental growers survey 2020)

In any normal Spring season, growers usually supply bulk orders of plants to Garden centres, but this year the orders have been cancelled, leaving them with a huge amount of perishable stock and causing concern about the future of their businesses.

Primrose has been an online only garden centre since 2003 and unlike a lot of other gardening retailers, we have the processes in place to work with our nurseries to take and supply orders online.

Since lockdown began we have seen almost triple the amount of demand for online plants and we have been working closely with our 15 specialised growers, 8 of which we’ve taken on board this year in light of the lockdown, to sell on the plants. They have adapted amazingly to new systems and processes required for online sales and are working hard to make sure no plant goes to waste.

Here’s Molly from New Leaf to show you more:

#KeepBritainBlooming

Alan Titchmarsh is at the forefront of a new campaign titled #KeepBritainBlooming. Backed by a number of gardening celebrities including Adam Frost, James Wong, Joe Swift, Pippa Greenwood, Chris Beardshaw, Bunny Guinness, Jim Buttress, Matthew Biggs, Bob Flowerdew, David Domoney, Lee Conelly and Matthew Wilson, the campaign aims to support the industry by asking millions of gardeners to join the movement.

If you want to get involved in helping UK growers survive the pandemic, all you need to do is:

  • Write to your local MP in support of opening local garden centres immediately in a managed and responsible way
  • Share a message or image/video of how gardening keeps you healthy using the hashtag #KeepBritainBlooming