Spring comes too late as flowers are thrown

DUMPED The Blue Ribbon nursery near Chichester is having to compost nearly all this year's summer bedding plants
DUMPED The Blue Ribbon nursery near Chichester is having to compost nearly all this year's summer bedding plants
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COLOURFUL flowers are just one of the many joys of spring.

But pansies and primroses have ended up on the compost heap rather than in people’s gardens because of the prolonged winter weather.

It’s been a miserable few weeks for nurseries and garden centres as demand for spring flowers has hit an all-time low.

At one nursery in Chichester, owner Walter Back watched helplessly as lorry loads of beautiful primroses were composted.

Mr Back, 70, has thrown out nearly £100,000-worth of spring plants.

He said: ‘It’s been a terrible year and the worst I can remember since starting out in 1962. It is incredibly frustrating to have to throw away perfectly good, beautiful flowers.’

Mike Willers, manager at Mud Island Nurseries, Southwick, said: ‘The whole industry is struggling. It’s massively dependent on the weather – it’s as simple as that.’

March was the coldest on record for more than 50 years, with the average temperature just 2.2C.

Graham Fitsell, manager of Havant Garden Centre, said: ‘As soon as the sun comes out the gardens are going to change. We are all looking forward to some warmer weather.’