Weather seems to be a challenge to all growers inside and out this summer. We had a very hot start early on, which is now manifesting into problems with lack of bud initiation in the stocks under glass thus giving us vegetative growth with delayed flowering.
Gladioli, outside, were planted in very dry conditions, which slowed flowering and sunflowers had a very good germination rate and started two weeks earlier than last year but have been slow to mature due to the cool nights.
Every year is different and makes challenges trying to balance crops against orders.
All this said, I find it disheartening when I go into some stores and see the lack of British product on the fixture. This is in all sectors, flowers, plants, fruit and veg.
Do we really need an overwhelming abundance of roses from Kenya and Columbia in the middle of the British summer? Lilies from Holland that so easily could be grown here, Lisianthus from Tanzania?
There are numerous crops brought in from all over the world that could be grown here and we could do with seeing far less on our shelves.
I refuse to believe it is always what the end customer requests I think is more the choice they are given.
Are tariffs going to be the answer after Brexit to curb this culture and put confidence back into British growing ? The industry locally employs an enormous amount of people and that in turn keeps our local economy buoyant and healthy.
When shopping, look carefully for the origin - try and buy local product where you can and support British where ever possible.