COVID-19 – How You Are Supporting Our UK Growers.

Our #greenrelief campaign is really making a difference so we thought we would give you some info about how exactly you are helping.

Coronavirus is having a huge impact on the gardening industry. With the closure of garden centres and nurseries, UK growers are taking the biggest hit with their livelihoods on the line. With spring demand plant sales should be at their highest, but the closure of these institutions has left growers with nowhere to sell their produce. This could lead to the destruction of millions of plants. 

Many people are asking why these plants would be thrown out and why they can’t be given away for free to the NHS or to those who would happily take some plants that might end up in a skip. The answer is simple; there is no infrastructure. Growers don’t have the packing, shipping or payment facilities and, when they do, they need relatively large orders for it to make sense for them financially. Additionally, they have to abide by social distancing measures… roll all this into one and you have a large and incredibly worrying problem. In many instances, it is more cost-efficient to throw these plants away then it is to try and sell them, or even give them away for free ?.

However, all is not lost. As lockdown continues and the weather improves people will be spending more time in their gardens getting some #greenrelief and, therefore, the demand for plants will increase. In order to help meet this demand and support our growers through these challenging times, we have set up a grower directory on our site where you can buy carefully selected bundles of plants that are in excess, and perfect for planting this time of year. It will be accessible through the website and will connect growers with people who wish to purchase these plants. In harmony with our COVID- 19 #greenrelief campaign we are also donating 10% of each purchase to the NHS to show our support for all the fantastic work they are doing. Additionally, our growers will stand an even better chance of financial survival for every plant we manage to sell.

Meet Whetman Pinks

We thought we would let you guys know directly how much you are helping, so we had a chat with Jo, Operations Director at Whetman Plants International, where they supply the growers with plugs that then get sold in Garden centres. Jo has bred and grown some AMAZING Dianthus (see the beautiful arrangement at the top of this page).

Jo said that the day the garden centres were officially shut Whetman Pinks immediately lost over 60% of their orders from Growers who were unable to grow and sell them on to garden centres. This meant that over half a million plants were left on the benches with nowhere to go which, after 8 years of Breeding and Research, is a terrible situation. Without taking these new opportunities she says (like using SmartPlant to sell) they would have had to compost them. “You are helping us help our customers,” says Jo “Everyone in the chain has to help each other”. By selling more products through SmartPlant, this is helping to reduce their waste and support their staff and, of course, the wonderful NHS. Whetman is a British business based in Devon so your purchase has shown support not only to saving the plants but also to the staff and everyone involved in the British business, and it means a lot. As Jo said; it’s all about pulling together and supporting each other to get through these tough times.

“Thank you for buying our Whetman Pinks bundle. We are British breeders and growers based in Devon. Every bundle you buy is helping the NHS, helping us reduce our wastage and supporting our business. We really appreciate your help at this difficult time”

Jo Strickland, Operations Director at Whetman Plants International

Our Green Relief system has been assembled in an incredibly short period of time with purchasing, fulfilment and packing all included in our plant bundle prices. We hope to be continually adding to our grower lists and are incredibly proud to be supporting the growers we are already working with. ALL of the plants that are going out through our system are Smart… which means that if you don’t know how to look after them you can just scan them into the app and let us tell you what you need to be doing ?

We hope this will provide an efficient and effective way of helping our growers and reducing the amount of potential plant waste, as well as supporting our brilliant NHS. We will, of course, be keeping everyone in the loop on our progress and how much we have donated.

So get into the garden and feel the benefits of growing at home while showing our fantastic growers and the NHS some support by getting on our website and buying some plants!

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