How we can help support closed nurseries, gardens and gardeners

Never has the word 'unprecedented' been used so much as it is at the moment.  We are living in the strangest and darkest times for decades.  Public places including gardens are closed, no gatherings of more than two people are allowed and non-essential businesses are closed.  We have to do this, we know that we must keep safe from Covid-19 but we also know that millions of people from every part of life have lost their livelihood overnight.  I thought I would gather a few things together that will give support to struggling gardeners and horticultural based businesses and also help us who are social distancing and self-isolating feel a bit less distant and isolated.
The charity been supporting horticultural workers for 180 years.  As I write this their freephone helpline is working as usual and they are provide free and confidential support to anyone who has worked in or is working in the horticultural industry in the UK.  They also provide help to their spouses, partners and dependent children.  More information can be found here.  

The National Trust has had to close all of its gated places and is encouraging people to observe the current restrictions to social distance and not travel.  They are also trying to help us stay connected with nature with online activities such as Blossom Watch.  

Candide is a free app and website with an online community of over 300,000.  They are supporting the gardening industry by providing resources for nurseries and growers to sell online.  Many nurseries make up a large amount of their annual turnover from garden shows and plant fairs, all of which are cancelled for the foreseeable future.  Candide are listing every UK nursery on their app and providing them with a marketplace they can use for free to sell their plants and goods to us.  
Chris Beardshaw has joined Candide to help explain what we can do to help and why it matters that we support how we can.  Very importantly he explains that all the profits from any sales through the Candide marketplace go directly to the seller, Candide are not making money from this.

Regular readers will remember that recently I reviewed Tamsin Westhorpe's new book: Diary of a Modern Country Gardener.  Tamsin with Orphan Publishling have released a free download of Get into the Garden with your Kids.  This download is aimed to help give you thirty days of fun in the garden throughout April whilst we social distance and the schools are closed.

and I am also trying to do what I can.  The National Garden Scheme have been enabling people to open their gardens to raise money for charities for over 90 years.  They are facing an 80% reduction in donations due to the current necessary restrictions.  My garden has never opened for NGS as, well frankly, I have never thought it good enough.  In these desperate times though I have decided that I will publish small videos of my garden on my Facebook page Blackberry Garden to raise money for the NGS.  I have set up a JustGiving page so that the money goes directly to them.  So if you have a moment to spare and want to wander over and have a look please do.  If you can make a donation that would be fantastic no matter how small.

If you know of other ways that people are supporting horticulture through these difficult times please add a comment below.  We are all in this together, we will get through this.

Take care and stay safe.


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