Is that a glint of light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel?
Six weeks. Depending on your view of the world we have been “stuck inside”, “watching our gardens”, “planning what to do with our gardens”, or in my case, “making sourdough bread” for six weeks. When you say it out loud, “six weeks” sounds like a long time, but in reality, I personally feel it’s gone quite fast. I’m one of the lucky ones I guess?
For others however it must have felt like a lifetime. Watching your nursery stocks wither and die when otherwise they would have been appreciated in the past six weeks of summer we have been enjoying. But, as I look out the window and see this constant stream of rain fall from the sky, not only am I thankful I don’t have to go out and water the plants, I see there is a glint of light at the end of this Covid-19 tunnel: B&Q is re-opening and the garden centres are not far behind.
Some reports have declared that supermarkets can’t restock plants quick enough. They are the flour* of the garden world. We have been pleasantly surprised that it is the garden centres people are wanting to open the most. Not Starbucks, not John Lewis, but the garden centres. If you have a contract to supply with a supermarket then I imagine you are in this camp. If you don’t, are you an improviser? A click and collect master? Or are you desperate for the doors to open?
*I always bake, but in my defence, it’s usually mountains of cake for cricket teas at this time of year, not bread.
They who improvise, win
What has really struck me is how many garden centres have said, yes this is rubbish, but how can we improvise and still ensure people can not only watch and plan their summer garden, but actually buy the plants that they want. The nursery closest to me has set up a “click and collect” scheme and looking at the local Facebook group, they can’t churn plants out quick enough.
While lockdown is far from over, we know we have many weeks and possibly months more of this new way of life. But it is so encouraging that people are so focused on improving their gardens, so they can stand back and really appreciate the hours of time and love that go into making something beautiful and they can’t do that on their own. They need you, the professionals, to supply them with healthy plants at a time that is also National Gardening Week.
And what of the Syngenta Ornamentals team?
Luckily for you they haven’t just been baking sourdough like me. They have spent their lockdown talking to distribution, training sales teams on the new products we’ve got in the pipeline. Watch this space for exciting new products that will be available to you in the coming weeks, if not sooner.
We, along with the rest of the nation it seems, can see the glint of light and prosperity will return.
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