Tens of thousands of pounds worth of daffodils and other flowers will be binned if the Welsh Government don’t open up garden centres by St David’s Day, nurseries have warned.
Retailer nursery Morris of Usk said they had already had to dump autumn violas and pansies due to the ‘firebreak’ lockdown in November and now £20,000-worth of daffodils, polyanthus and primroses were facing the skip.
They had already lost more than £1m in turnover and had been forced to make staff redundant, they said.
Over 6,000 people have signed a petition calling for the re-opening of garden centres in Wales as soon as it is possible.
Pugh’s Garden Centre owner Nicola Pugh, who created the petition, told Horticulture Week that they were “being pushed to the brink at what should be our busiest time of year”.
Rich Bramley of Farmyard Nurseries in Llandysul added: “Click and collect and mail order are helping businesses like ours as it’s a buoyant market, but they are incredibly labour intensive and don’t allow us to offer quite the same service to our customers.
“Our nursery grows plants that supply our garden centre. Without the ability to sell that stock in big enough quantities – quantities that just aren’t possible via mail order or click and collect – we will be looking at very challenging times from March if we’re not open again.”
The Welsh Government is expected to publish a roadmap to reopening schools and the economy this week.
However, they have said that they are focussing on reopening schools and that they may not look at reopening other parts of the economy until Easter.
Garden Centres were, however, some of the first businesses to reopen during the first lockdown in May of last year.