Gardening sector in bloom but flower-growers want more people to buy British

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Independent florists are on the rise but only 10 per cent of cut flowers in UK are homegrown (Source: Getty)

Green-fingered Brits drove a 66 per cent increase in independent garden centres and florists across the country last year.

Plant-based businesses are sprouting up in both rural and urban areas, with a 35 per cent increase in London according to insurance brokers Simply Business.

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Seaside towns saw the biggest uptake, with a 375 per cent increase in flora and fauna businesses in Southampton.

Fiona McSwein, chief customer officer at Simply Business, said: “The benefits of gardening are spreading from the grassroots upwards, now with small businesses, including florists, small garden centres and nurseries, embracing the trend.”

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But one of the biggest players in the gardening sector seems not to have benefited from the rising popularity of the pursuit.

The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that Wyvedale Garden Centres had to be propped up by its owner Terra Firma, after it came close to breaching its banking covenants.

There were also calls from farmers this weekend ahead of the Chelsea Flower Show to ensure consumers buy more British flowers as it emerged that just one in ten flowers bought in the UK are grown at home.

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The National Farmers’ Union is spearheading a campaign for cut bouquets to be labelled with their country of origin.

“Provenance labelling is a legal requirement for food and we think it is time this applied to fresh flowers too,” said Amy Graham, the NFU’s horticulture adviser.