April has started with a sharp cold spell and not the warm sunny days we anticipate. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is less than three weeks away, so make sure you register on the website. Attending in person gives you the added advantage of visiting the Harrogate Spring Flower Show. We thank them for their hospitality. If you cannot attend in person you can still attend virtually.

The regional finals of the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition have now taken place producing eight worthy finalists. Congratulations to all who took part across our regions. Thank you to our regional organisers for their hard work. We are looking forward to the Grand Final on 7th May 2022.

On 24th March we were delighted to hear Tony Kirkham MBE, VHM deliver an interesting and informative lecture “Trees for the Future”, outlining the species under threat, and those for inclusion in the future. He certainly gave us food for thought. He also outlined the serious threats from pests and diseases globally. The webinar attracted a large audience, both internationally and at home.

I am pleased to say that our membership is growing, and we are confident that it will continue to increase. We are working hard to improve the offer to members.

Industry news

The news from the industry is predicting difficult times ahead. The lack of supply of raw materials, rising costs, shortage of labour and fuel costs are taking us into unchartered waters. Coupled with the uncertainty surrounding the costs of exports and the implementation of biosecurity border controls, it does not paint a good picture. In the past we have risen to the challenges presented to us, and it is hoped that we will again. Many organisations are working together to overcome the problems presenting at this time. On a brighter note the forecast for garden centres in the coming weeks looks promising.

Susan Nicholas FCIHort