As part of the celebrations, the Perennial Champion Awards were presented to those who went above and beyond in their fundraising for Perennial during 2015.
The Perennial Champions Awards were presented by Chris Collins, former Blue Peter gardener and the face of the "Love your plot" gardening campaign, to:
- The team that created Perennial Legacy Garden at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park - Glendale UK as lead sponsor, GK Wilson Landscaping who built the garden and Paul Hervey Brookes who designed it.
- Nigel Bowcock who ran two marathons – London and Brighton - in the space of two weeks, raising over £3,000.
- Sodexo Horticultural Services who donated 175 trees for the Perennial Woodland Garden at Dunorlan Park in Kent. All trees are now 'sold' to supporters and the woodland will be officially opened in 2016. Also recognition goes to their depot colleagues for organising fundraising events.
- Hever Castle's garden team who were an invaluable part of the team building the 'Growing Obsession' show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, as well as putting on their gnome costumes again to raise money for HortAid. A Perennial Champion certificate was also awarded to Paul Cooper, who has raised thousands of pounds for Perennial by running the plant crèche at RHS Hampton Court for many years.
- The Grubby Gardeners who again undertook excellent fundraising efforts including skydiving in May, the Dirty Dozen mud run in April, the British 10K London race and the epic London to Brighton cycle race on a 7-seater bike. Claire Vokins and Jamie Butterworth get individual awards as they were not only part of the London to Brighton 7-seater bike team, but in the same weekend also completed the Nuts Challenge muddy assault course.
Perennial chairman Dougal Philip said: "It is our pleasure to recognise the achievements of those who have gone the extra mile in their efforts to support Perennial and name them as our Perennial Champions for 2015.
All funds raised will help support UK horticulturists, retired and of working age, and their families, who come to Perennial for help.
Meanwhile, the team that tackled the Three Peaks Extreme Challenge in aid of Perennial back in 2013 have unveiled their plans for a new and equally gruelling challenge for 2016. They plan to race from Snowdon to Lands End by bike in September, with two teams going head to head, one by road and one off-road.
The Party for Perennial on 15 January marked the official launch of HortAid 2016, Perennial's annual fundraising campaign. One event planned is the Nuts Challenge on 18 September, where teams from across the industry will compete in one of the muddiest 5km assault courses around.
Other events planned are:
- Skydive for Perennial (dates throughout the year)The British 10K London (10 July 2016)HortAid (5 – 18 September 2016)London to Brighton Bike Ride (11 September 2016)
- Royal Parks Half Marathon (9 October 2016). Virgin Money London Marathon (24 April)
Managing Director of Ansell Garden Centre, Paresh Raithatha and gardener/blogger, Andrew O'Brien are running the London Marathon to raise money for Perennial.
Sodexo Horticultural Services is planning to support Perennial with a series of fundraisers over 2016, which will include a charity bike ride in the summer, a golf day in the autumn, a football match in the summer and three plant sale days in the summer and autumn.
Perennial has also launched a new Diamond supporter level within its Perennial Partner scheme, allowing businesses to show their support by signing up for an annual donation of £5,000. There are Perennial Partner levels to suit all - between £100 and £5,000 per annum.
The Institute of Groundsmanship and GK Wilson Landscaping have become Platinum Partners, while W Crowder & Sons has signed up as a Gold Partner and Bulldog Tools is now a Silver Partner.