Garden Re-Leaf to kick off garden centre season

This year, Greenfingers charity fundraiser Garden Re-Leaf looks well timed to give the garden centre industry a kick start.

The event on 17 March comes as better weather than spring 2016 and follows a cooler winter than in 2015/16.

Founder Boyd Douglas-Davies says £460,000 has been raised since 2012, including £140,000 in 2016 and that could be matched or beaten in 2017.

He says 120-130 garden centres are involved this year, including all 11 of his Hillview centres.

Douglas-Davies adds that the annual charity fundraiser Garden Re-Leaf day, on 17 March has "landed right" to kick off the season, as footfall and temperatures rise, as it was always meant to when he founded it in 2012.

Douglas-Davies says: "The weather is certainly favourable at the moment. It’s exactly what we need."

As well as garden centres, suppliers and many others have pledged their support for Garden Re-Leaf Day.
Adrian Hall is holding a Vintage Tea Party; Aylett’s Garden Centre is planning a‘Mad Hatter Day’ with guest speaker Pippa Greenwood who will be demonstrating Haxnicks’ products, thanks to
sponsorship from Tildenet. This is part of a programme of events, sponsored by Tildenet brand Haxnicks, with Greenwood speaking to a packed audience at Haskins’ Ferndown and West End Centres last week.
British Garden Centres, Hornsea store will be cycling 600 miles in-store;
Chessington Garden Centre will be donating a percentage from the sale of drinks, pots and
gardening sets.
At Cleeve Nursery, Bristol - Alan Down’s private and stock plant collection of Hellebores will be on view. Coletta and Tyson Garden Centre near Hull will be hosting a Dr Seuss themed fundraiser; Fairweather Garden Centre in Beaulieu has a raffle, helped by suppliers Woodlodge and Rockingham who have donated products, with a green cake sale raising further funds; Haskins Garden Centres has launched their spring raffle, drawing winners on the day, with additional fundraising coming from cake sales. The raffles have been on display since the beginning of the week, across all stores, and is already generating a large amount of interest from customers according to the team.
At Langlands Garden Centres in Whinmoor, Loxely and Shiptonthorpe – staff will be showing their support for Greenfingers by going green, selling green buns and holding a special plant pot tombola; at Longacres, Bagshot - Will and the team are planning three full days of fundraising to inspire their customers to get involved and part with their cash; Millbrook Garden Centre, Crowborough, has it’s big Spring Launch, 17th-19th March in aid of Greenfingers, and will involve several events; including a coffee & cake morning, an amazing animal world experience where children can handle hedgehogs and chameleons, planting demonstrations, raffles, and many more family activities.
Monkton Elm is holding a raffle; Old Railway Line, Brecon is holding a raffle and fundraising activities throughout the day, followed by its popular curry and quiz night, hosted by owner Mark Cleary; Perrywood Garden Centre, Tiptree, will once again be hosting a quiz night as well as collecting loose change and hosting other fundraising activities throughout the day; Paradise Park, Newhaven, will be selling specially decorated cakes and later in the day, holding a gardening themed quiz; Pondkeeper will be supplying various pond equipment items towards a special raffle being held at their shop in Billingham; Rolawn staff have pledged supplier support with a fairground themed event on Garden Re-Leaf Day to raise money for Greenfingers.
Visitors to Squire’s Garden Centre in Hersham's newly refurbished Café Bar will be able to enjoy a gardener’s afternoon tea hosted by Colin Squire as they are entertained with live music from guitarist John Canham, famous for playing with Seal and Tracy Ullman.
Ross Garden Centre and Thetford Garden Centre are the latest to pledge Garden Re-Leaf day support, with fundraising activities to be announced soon; Whitehall Garden Centre is holding a raffle.
The HTA will be supporting Garden Re-Leaf Day at the APL Awards which takes place on 17 March.
Plant-athons: Hillview Garden Centres 11 garden stores running a Mega Plant-athon, with the aim of each planting 101 pots, that’s 1,111 in total, and then trying to see who can sell them in the shortest amount of time.
Orchard Park, who held its first successful Garden Re-Leaf Day in 2016, is pushing itself further this year with the 24 hour Plant-athon challenge. 50% of Plant-athon sales will go to Greenfingers, and support for planting materials has been pledged by Scotts Miracle Gro, Woodlodge and Tom Chambers; Klondyke – Byrkley Park in Burton upon Trent are hosting their second 24 hour Plant-athon with Bob Hewitt and team taking on the challenge and getting customers involved, encouraging them to help design customised arrangements.
Klondyke - Houghton Hall in Carlisle will also be taking on the 24 hour Plant-athon challenge this Garden Re-Leaf Day and will aim to create hundreds of beautifully planted pots, some custom made Greenfingers Garden Re-Leaf Day Roundup to order for customers; Klondyke - Mayfield Hall in Kelso will join their sister stores, looking to plant continuously for 24 hours, encouraging customers to pick their brains for planting tips throughout and encouraging bespoke pot orders from customers.
Alton Garden Centre in Wickford – Director, and Greenfingers Charity Ambassador, Andy Bunker is once again supporting the 24 Hour Plant-athon challenge when he’ll not only be planting pots, he’ll be inspiring a new generation to get planting as he welcomes children from Woodham Ley Primary School for a grand
tour and garden workshop; as well as being major sponsors of the Garden Re-Leaf Day Walk, Scotsdales Garden Centre & Nursery will also be holding their very own Garden Re-Leaf 24 hour plant-athon (in April). Floramedia have again donated specially designed plant labels for the Plant-athons.
The Garden Re-Leaf Day Walk: Almost 100 walkers from across the gardening industry and beyond have signed up for this year’s walk. As well as individuals, teams from Briers, Cadix, Gardman, GIMA, Deco-Pak, Kelkay, Westland, Crest Garden, SBM Life Science, Mr Fothergill's, Vitax, Simon Quinton Smith, GTN, Hornby Whitefoot, Frosts Garden Centre, Elho, Great British Cards, Glee, Kew Green Hotels, Scotsdales and their PR Agency, Scomac, Abacus Cards, Decco and Hillview have all registered.
The main sponsor this year is Scotsdales who, as well as providing refreshments for the walkers, a marquee and support staff, have been instrumental in securing support from their suppliers and local contacts. Other sponsors include Hozelock, Kelkay and GTN. SBM Life Science are fielding walking teams, sponsoring medals, water stations and donating items for goody bags. They will also be holding a fundraiser at their office in Cambridge. Outback have donated the barbecue and LOFA have kindly agreed to sponsor the refreshments at the finish point. Town & Country’s Mark Butler will be helping on the day and Cadix and Quinton Edwards will be providing support vehicles. Briers has sponsored two nights’ accommodation in Cambridge, helping to save travel and time costs. Scotsdales recently kicked off its year of charitable initiatives with a ‘Ladies Night’ event that raised over £1,245 for Breast Cancer Now and Greenfingers Charity.
With thanks to Richard Jackson, QVC and it’s gardening suppliers will be supporting Garden Re-Leaf Day again this year with two dedicated shows on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March.

Event founder Boyd Douglas-Davies said: "Last year I spent 24 hours planting up containers of all shapes and sizes. This year I’m not standing still and instead I’m walking 20miles along with three colleagues from Garden Store – Tom Cook, Paul Benson & Paul Williams. We’re taking part in the Great Garden Re-Leaf Day Walk this coming Friday, 17 March."

See www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GardenStore-Gallopers

Consultant Jane Lawler is walking for the charity with her dog. See https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JaneLawler

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