It’s been a year of highs and lows for the Garden Trellis Company. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the resulting market events have meant that even the highs, which in a normal year would have been cause for a gin and tonic in the sun-dappled garden, were transformed into their own new species of low.
Following the national lockdown in March last year, with enforced time at home being endured by all Britons, the minds of the nation turned, quite naturally, to the garden: the last vestige of outdoor space we were permitted to enjoy. The creative juices began to flow, plans were hatched, measurements were taken and materials were sought. As a family business, we are so thankful for every order placed with us, and we are proud to play a part in bringing our customers’ garden visions to life! We were then and to a degree still are, however, dealing with the pandemic ourselves. Receiving an all-time high of orders while global supply chains and our employees lives had been turned on their heads proved one of the greatest challenges we have faced as a company to date. The high of increased demand had itself become a low in its forcing us to disappoint customers with delays we couldn’t avoid.
As we leave lockdown, the problems, unfortunately, persist. While the UK government has "committed to trebling tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament" and creating many more woodlands to boost the supply and demand for UK-grown timber, this does nothing to address the huge disparity in supply and demand which exists now. (An oak sapling can take 100 years to become a mature tree.) The UK, which currently has one of the lowest rates of forest cover in Europe (while being one of the biggest importers and users of timber in the world) imports around 80% of its timber.
The last year, pandemic aside, has seen a perfect storm-type scenario emerge in the timber market. Increased global demand for a multitude of reasons combined with a greater incidence of forest fires has led to a dangerous skewing of timber’s supply and demand ratio. Sweden, for example, which supplies almost half of the structural wood used in the UK, recorded its lowest stock levels for 20 years. This has led to a huge spike in the price of timber, which has in turn made filling orders for our customers ever more difficult.
We are trying to keep our prices as low as we can and are also pleased to be launching a new range of decorative screens which are made from WPC (wood plastic composite), for which we have great stock levels.
All this is to say, it’s been quite a year for us – as it has for everyone. We want to say thank you to all of our customers for their understanding and patience during this time, and we look forward to continuing to help you realise your garden projects!