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It always seems to me that the weight of expectation loaded onto the Easter weekend is nearly always greater than it deserves - and this years early holiday combined with a dreadful weather forecast never had it looking like the sales jamboree everyone was hoping for. Unfortunately, easter sales are a bit like airline seats and hotel bed nights - once the sales are missed, they're gone. The money's been spent on cinema tickets or paint for the bedroom, and is unlikely to ever find its way back to the garden centre tills.

So its a bad start to the season, and probably not going to get any easier - pretty much all household expenses are going up far faster than government inflation figures would have you believe, and certainly fast enough that consumers are conscious of the need for restraint, fuel costs are now so extraordinarily high that people will be pausing to consider whether they really need to make that trip to the garden centre, and with property prices looking soft and thus removing the feel good factor that has kept UK PLC afloat for the last decade, there really isn't any good news. Its tough, and gong to get tougher!

I have found myself frequenting small independent nurseries more and more rather than full on Garden Centres. I find that I not only get a much more personable, knowledgeable experience but the quality of the product is better. As is the choice because they tend not to try and sell me scented candles or cups with pictures of cats on them.

In my opinion Garden Centres are straying too far from their core purpose in trying to emulate super markets.

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