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Mark Hodson, Turcieflor:

French Mother's Day: 'Gardens in perfect order for strong sales'

While many European countries celebrated Mother's Day last week (May 13), preparations for French Mother's Day (May 27) are in full swing. At Turcieflor, a French alstroemeria breeder and grower of several pot and garden plants, they are working around the clock to meet the demand, and according to Turcieflor's Mark Hodson, it seems that it will be a better Mother's Day than last year.

Pauline Beaudoin and Mark Hodson at the IPM Essen.

"Last year, the month of May was very hot. Therefore, people went away instead of spending time in the garden. Next week, however, it will be perfect gardening weather as the rainfall prepared the consumers' gardens for planting. On top of that, many parts of France have had a good winter with frosts and snow, and many people therefore lost their garden plants and are now looking for new plants."

Turcieflor grows around 200 different pot and garden varieties and sells them to garden centers and mail order companies all over France. According to Hodson, the mail order sales are very strong this year.

This year, however, the Pentecost falls on the Monday in advance of Mother's Day. In France it is a bank holiday and therefore, nothing is being shipped out or transported. Fortunately, according to Hodson, it is not influencing the sales. "We just have to ship more plants the days after Pentecost."

Turcieflor's new compact alstroemeria varieties

According to Hodson, there is a real demand for plants in large pots that are in flower and ready to show. "Agapanthus and dahlias appear to be popular this year again, along with our new national collection alstroemerias of course."

The Spring season is nearing its end, but has it been more successful than last year? "It feels as though there has been a positive turn towards gardening and outdoor activities this year in France. The season started later this year than last year, but is sure that the second half has been very strong and that Mother's Day sales are higher. We will know very soon."

For more information
Mark Hodson, Breeder- Grower

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