Grown in Wales

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Celebrity endorsements again

Charles Warner

It's spring bank holiday. The most important weekend in the garden centre year. April weather has been dismal and sales poor. In the garden centres bedding plants have been backing up because few people are venturing out. As I write this its all grey shreds of cloud and hammering rain outside.

I went to my local centre today because the sun peeped out briefly at the weekend and although it was not warm, it was not unpleasant.I wanted to check how sales had gone. The local garden centre was closed but next door B and Q had trollies in their unloading bay stacked with summer bedding so I popped inside. You couldn't miss the huge poster of Alan Titchmarsh staring down at you (a bit like big brother) as you left the store for the outside area. There were rows and rows of bedding plants. Some were ok. Many were in a dreadful state, mostly because they had not been watered. I couldn't help but notice that even with the 20% off that they didn't seem particularly cheap to me. There were herbs that had been sown straight into the pot (rather than potted on from a small plug) and this never works. They also looked as though they had been driving around europe  in the back of a lorry for a week.

It makes me very sad when I see such poor quality and it makes me sadder still to see someone like Titchmarsh endorsing such rubbish. Saddest of all though is that people were still buying it. There are proper, independent garden centres out there that care for their product and have staff that can offer you advice and help and these places need your custom more than ever in a year that has seen the most important trading month ruined by poor weather. I just don't understand why anyone would chose to give their custom to a diy shed if they have an alternative. At least not where living plants are concerned.

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