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Plantfest continues to grow

Published: 13 March 2017 - Jenny Wonnacott

Retailers visited two nurseries in Hereford last week to attend PlantFest and to see new product developments for the coming year.

Rachel Wallace, goods in supervisor and horticulturalist from Nicholsons, Lorraine Spooner, who deals with plant centre sales at Nicholsons with Ben Gregory, product development co-ordinator at Wyevale Nurseries, at the Introducing Stage at the event.
Rachel Wallace, goods in supervisor and horticulturalist from Nicholsons, Lorraine Spooner, who deals with plant centre sales at Nicholsons with Ben Gregory, product development co-ordinator at Wyevale Nurseries, at the Introducing Stage at the event.

Wyevale Nurseries and Allensmore Nurseries held the joint open day on Wednesday, March 8 for any plant retailer, both existing customers and those who may not have been supplied by either nursery. Wyevale Nurseries sales and marketing director Adam Dunnett said: “We held the open day event again in collaboration with our neighbours Allensmore Nurseries and customers were encouraged to come and visit both sites in one day.

The event was a great success with more visitors this year than our open day last year. The feel for the day was a relaxed festival vibe with our despatch glasshouse filled to the brim with stunning, eye catching displays of topical spring stock for immediate order. There were also special discounts on the day, which many of the attendees took advantage of.

Our nursery tours on a tractor and trailer with Steve Reed, our Production Director Container Division, were very popular with our customers and gave them the chance to have a look behind the scenes.

As product innovation is a top priority for us, Ben Gregory, our Product Development Coordinator, was heading up our ‘Introducing Stage’ showcasing new and exciting product in the running for future introductions.”

PlantFest allowed attendees the opportunity to see these lines first and cast their vote on how commercially viable they think they could be.

Mr Dunnett added: “The most popular new plant on the day was a brand new Phormium, the name of which will be revealed at a later date. This new Phormium really breaks the mold. It’s an extremely compact grower with incredibly fine bronze foliage that will work very well in patio containers. It’s also low maintenance and perfect for the modern gardener.”

At Wyevale Nurseries there was also be an interactive survey on current market trends and it gave the company an insight into what attendees think the future of plant retailing will hold.

Allensmore Nurseries showcased its new marketing concepts on perennials, impulse colour, Mother’s Day added value and specimen plants, as well as touring customers around sites for opportunities for immediate delivery. 

Allensmore Nurseries managing director Mark Taylor said: “We’re constantly trying to improve the offer we deliver to garden centres and this gave us the opportunity to receive invaluable feedback from customers to help us move this forward in a direction that worked for them.”

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