Rainy season


“Rainy marriage, happy marriage”… Strictly speaking, but “rainy season, happy season” doesn’t work! In the plant market, the saying would rather be “rainy season, doubtful cash flow”! It gets stuck quite a bit in the bottom of the greenhouses!!!

Rainy season

And that’s nothing to say… If we trust the Météo France website, this spring of 2024 is one of the 4 most rotten since records began in 1958.

In addition to the rain, we lost 20% of sunshine compared to normal.

For precipitation, this is the record for the last 15 years with 45% more than the seasonal averages.

We are therefore at maximum performance. And when we know that the garden consumer is very dependent on the weather, inevitably, things get stuck…

A professional gardener, the old man, a priori, he doesn’t care, he will plant his potatoes a little later. But as the vast majority of gardeners are newbies, they garden for pleasure… Pleasure is difficult to reconcile with rain, cold and wind… Especially in spring.

And for the most persevering gardeners who still planted small flowers here or there, the slugs took care of destroying everything! Bad luck !

Point of sale side…

This is slug soup… Or grimace soup, rather! The few garden centers that we questioned as part of our next Garden Consumer Guide are unanimous: “the season never started… And here it is over”.Time has a price. We know this in the garden, and since the advent of garden centers in the 1980s, we have sought to diversify the activity so as not to be too dependent on the weather. With lots of Christmas, decoration, barbecue, local products, fruit and vegetables… We tried to get our heads out of the garden, even if it meant losing the initial target a little! But still, with such weather, and with the added bonus of threats of war coming from Russia, wallets less full than usual, the pill is bitter. Even in large brands, we pay attention to walking… Some garden centers did not wait until the end of spring to close their doors for good. And on the cash side, negotiations are underway to extend the deadlines a little. In short, things are a bit squeaky on the currency side! There are exceptions, of course, but…


Alongside this mixed observation, Jardins Jardin celebrated its 20th anniversary with great fanfare! In Chantilly, the plant day in May welcomed 20,000 visitors. It’s still far from the 160,000 at the Chelsea Flower Show in London… But still. Looking at these national and international events, it seems that all is well in the plant world. And yet… By listening at the doors of garden centers or at producers, concern is felt.The contradiction is measurable. On the one hand, the general public loves gardens, nature and plants. On the other hand, professionals need minimum quantities to sustain farms, and it seems that the balance is not respected.Yes, the garden is successful, we like to share it, talk about it, live among plants… but it is not one of the priorities. Vacations, telephone calls, food… There are many other expenses planned before arriving at the garden.The garden is nature, nature is free, so why pay?Of course, this is an excessive shortcut, but for certain, there is no question of banking for a tomato plant when all you need to do is collect the seeds. No question of buying a tree when you can take cuttings…


If this observation is made mainly on social networks with the help of more or less judicious comments, we could say that among the pros, there is more restraint?Not necessarily… The comments of some distributors when negotiating prices with producers are a bit of this type.At this rate, and everyone seeking to balance their budgets, it is a safe bet that many producers will open a store or a website to sell directly, without going through the “obligations” of distribution.There is a price to pay to have direct access to amateur gardeners and offer them their production. Either, we go through sales specialists while leaving them part of the margin. Either, we open a store or a site by investing massively in this new activity.The most economical seemed to be the first solution. But with a rainy and tense season like the one we have just experienced, the trend could be reversed!To be continued…

Roland Motte… Gardener!

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