Watering cans – not flowers – are at the top of many gardeners’ shopping lists as the county braces itself for start of the hosepipe ban next week.
Garden centres in the area are reporting a surge in sales of the cans after Anglian Water announced last month that a hosepipe ban would begin next Thursday following the driest 18 months for a century.
However, many of the businesses are also saying the amount of flowers, especially bedding plants, they are seeing going out the door has dropped significantly.
Mark Jones, supervisor at Bosworths Garden Centre in Burton Latimer, said the sale of watering cans had doubled compared with the same time last year.
He said: “People are getting ready for the hosepipe ban, they are thinking of ways to continue feeding their plants without using the pipes.
“I think that way people will feel the impact of the hosepipe ban less.”
The hosepipe ban means households will be prevented from using hoses for gardening, washing cars and filling paddling pools.
It does not stretch to cover business use, but local authorities say they are keeping an eye on the situation.
In Kettering, council officers say the town’s fountain in Market Place will continue, but they are checking daily with Anglian Water.
In Wellingborough, Cllr Peter Morrall said measures were already in place to avoid the wastage of water.
He said: “We are obviously very aware of and alert to the current water situation.
“At the moment the ban only covers domestic use but we’ll keep an eye on the situation and make adjustments if it becomes necessary, for example we could clean our refuse vehicles slightly less often.”
He added that it was unlikely the splash park at the Embankment would be affected, unless the situtation turned a lot more serious.
In Corby, council officers are reducing the operating hours of the fountain in Oakley Vale – but for the purpose of trying to save £5,000 a year on electricity and not to save water.
The fountain will be running for two hours a day Monday to Friday and seven hours on a Saturday and Sunday.
It is currently on all the time.
At Wicksteed Park the hosepipe ban will also not impact operations.
A spokesman said the lake was filled from the Ise.
He said: “Businesses and other commercial operations are not affected.”