UK lockdown gardening boom continues despite return to work

 A lockdown gardening boom which saw record demand for plants during the pandemic is continuing despite many people being back at work.  

Between March 2020 and today, Tesco saw demand for bedding plants and shrubs in particular rocket by nearly 50 per cent with more than 75 million individual plants sold. 

The Horticultural Trades Association calculates that three million new gardeners emerged during lockdown with 2.3m continuing their new hobby into this year.

And the boom has also helped the supermarket’s main bedding plant supplier, Bridge Farm Group, based in Spalding, Lincolnshire, to invest further in its business.

Tesco, in partnership with Bridge Farm Group, last month announced its plans to be peat-free on all its British-grown bedding plant range from April 2023. 

In the last two years the top five most popular bedding plants have been:

  • Geranium
  • Petunia
  • Fuchsia
  • Impatiens
  • Dahlia

And with Bank Holiday Monday a few days away and National Gardening Week taking place from May 2-8, both Tesco and Bridge Farm Group have been getting ready for strong demand.

Tesco Horticulture Category Buying Manager Alex Edwards said:

“Lockdown gave many people the opportunity to not only spend more time in their gardens but also hone their gardening skills. 

“The feeling of wellbeing gained from nurturing and being amongst plants is one of the main reasons why lockdown consumers have kept their gardening bug even after returning to work.”    

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) consumer tracker survey* in August 2021 revealed that just under two thirds of British adults said they used their gardens for growing plants.

Bridge Farm Group Managing Director Louise Motala said: 

“When lockdown started, the interest in gardening was immediate and our planting programme went into overdrive in order to meet the massive, unexpected demand.

“The extra demand has given us the confidence to invest in our facilities, ensuring that our plants are grown in the most sustainable and efficient way possible.

“Our move to peat-free cultivation is a great example of the shared values and partnership we have with Tesco.”


Note to editors:

The HTA asked a representative sample of 2000 British adults the purposes for which they tend to use their gardens every year since 2019. Using the garden to grow plants, trees or flowers and growing food were the primary source behind the three million new gardeners statistic.

Taking the British population size of 52.6 million adults and the proportion of these people with access to a garden or outdoor space (83 per cent), this 6.71 per cent change was equivalent to an extra 2.9 million people gardening.

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