EVERY cloud has a silver lining and despite the pandemic affecting lots of business, the gardening industry is flourishing.

New research from the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has shown there were nearly three million new gardeners as a result of lockdown, with nearly half (49 per cent) of the keen growers aged under 45.

“The next generation of gardeners grew up very quickly in lockdown, and from what we can see they’re still very interested in their gardens so that’s really encouraging,” said Clare McKenna, marketing manager of Primrose Hill Nurseries in High Legh.

“During lockdown, we think it was down to a combination of people having more disposable income to spend on their garden, combined with not being able to go anywhere.

A collection of some of the flowers on display at the nursery

A collection of some of the flowers on display at the nursery

“You find yourself sat in your garden for any period of time and you start to notice all sorts of things that need doing or all the opportunities that there are right under your nose,” Clare added.

The nursery - based on Warrington Road - has more than doubled in size since new ownership in late 2018 and they now grow over half of the plants that they sell.

These new customers, according to the HTA research, are identified as ‘Convenience Gardening’ and ‘Family Focus’ gardeners who are using their gardens as places to unwind and enjoy with their family and grow their own fruit and vegetables.

Clare continued: “It’s great to see so many new customers involved in gardening. From a retail business perspective, to have a broader base of customers coming through, it means that there is interest in different sorts of plants.

“You can see the demographic not just by customers coming in but also the plants that they are buying are different.

“We launched a house plant collection earlier this year and it was really well received, I think a lot of that is down to the broader demographic of our new customer base being attracted to different types of plants.

“Ultimately that means that we will offer a wider product range so that we have something to suit all of our different customer gardening tastes.”