The latest final estimate statistics for UK horticulture, released by Defra on 27 June, showed a small fall in the total value of ornamentals of £1.3 billion, or 1.8 per cent compared to the previous year.
The biggest fall it the sector came from hardy ornamental stock, which decreased in value by 2.5 per cent to £910 million. Defra blamed, ‘The extreme cold at the start of the year and the summer drought slowed demand and delayed planting for some projects.’ However it wasn’t all bad news, with record sales were recorded in June and strong demand from September through to the festive season. ‘The impact of the extreme cold on the majority of stock was limited as plants were still dormant, but the summer drought reduced the size and availability of some tree species,’ said the report’s authors.
The biggest fall in value in percentage terms came from the flower sector, which showed a 6.7 per cent decrease in value at an estimated £121 million for the year. However, there was good news for pot growers as the pot plant sector increased by its value by 2.5 per cent to £307 million.
The value of ornamentals rose 7.7 per cent on the previous year, with The Netherlands accounting for 75 per cent of the £1.3 billion trade. Roses, indoor plants and chrysanthemums where the three biggest imported products, while UK ornamental exports fell 3.1 per cent to £80 million.
Photo caption: Value of UK ornamentals in 2018
Photo source: Defra