Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flower Shop's Fury after Orchid Ban

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flower Shop's Fury after Orchid Ban

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

There were no orchids for Miss Blandish, or indeed for anyone else at the weekend's Gateshead Flower Show ( not if you were looking at the Dobbies flower display.

Bosses of the garden centre company are furious at being banned from selling their low price orchids at this year's show by Gateshead council to protect the sales of a small orchid seller from Sussex.

Dobbies takings at this year's show were just pounds 120 as a result ( pounds 2,000 lower than last year ( and the company's store in Birtley, Gateshead, last night threatened to pull out of next year's event following the snub.

Dobbies claim they were not told until four days beforehand that they could not put orchids on their display.

But flower show organisers say the garden centre company did not contact them about their pitch until the week of the show.

Store manager Paul Travis-Anderson said: "We are very disappointed and are having a serious think about taking part next year.

"We have been coming to the Gateshead Flower Show for six years and pay more than pounds 200,000 a year (in business rates) to Gateshead Council yet somebody from another area is given preferential treatment over us.

"We ordered 315 orchids from Holland especially for the show at a cost of more than pounds 2,200 and were going to use them in a Japanese garden display. It is a real shame.

"At the end of the day it is the customer that has missed out.

"We might be a national company but we make a real effort to support the area through activities and events. We don't go to the Chelsea Flower Show, we go to Gateshead. We put a lot into this area and this is what we get in return. It is very frustrating."

Dobbies orchids would have sold at a price of pounds 6.99 ( eight pounds cheaper than the average price of the orchids sold by their West Sussex competitor. …

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