Nursery busy meeting high demand for plant sales as Spring has sprung early

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Pictured:  Alexandra Paton checking the stock of Rosita Hydrangeas.<br />
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Spring has sprung earlier than usual at the family run Pinetops Nurseries in Lymington, Hants.  The nurseries, established in 1959 by the Paton family, are currently selling around 20,000 plants per week compared to usually around 7,000 for this time of year. Twins, Stuart and Ian, nurture and tend to the plants, whilst Rory and his mum Jean sell them. <br />
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The greenhouse is almost completely automated with screens, ventilation, heating, irrigation, bringing in tables (large rolling trays filled with plants), which are all controlled centrally.  Staff are required to keep a careful eye on all of the plants, whilst also wrapping and packing them onto lorries to be delivered.  <br />
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Some of the nursery workforce come from abroad, returning annually during key busy periods.  Despite Covid quarantining procedures causing a couple of issues where staff found it hard to return from Europe and were delayed, they are now currently almost fully staffed. To assist in this peak season Alexandra Paton, 19, has come back during her Easter break from studying Computer Science at Durham University. <br />
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Her father, Rory Paton said, "The season has been brought forward, and demand is high due to a combination of factors, the weather has been lovely for a start. We have many new gardeners, who during the restrictions have re-engaged with their gardens and are keen to get going again.  With young plant and material supply problems in early January due to Brexit and Covid-19 freight problems there is a shortage of plants generally and demand for plants in Europe is equally as strong."<br />
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"Like many businesses, we found last spring ridiculously hard . This spring has brought insatiable demand for plants with shortage in supply a welcome change, whilst it will take time to rebuild it is lovely to be busy.  It's very welcome to see some green shoots!  As we’re really busy now we’re working overtime and it is all hands to the pu