Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centres will raise money in aid of Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-service men and women, through the sale of 10,000 wild flower poppies in garden centres across the UK throughout May and June.
Hillier has decided to grow Papaver rhoeas, known as the 'Flanders' poppy, and will donate 25p from the sale of each plant to Blind Veterans UK.
Seeds are from Thompson & Morgan. Delamore is also supplying Hillier.
Blind Veterans UK, formerly known as St Dunstan’s, was founded in 1915 as a direct response to the large numbers of soldiers returning blinded from the battlefields of World War One. Today, the national charity still supports blind veterans by providing support.
Hillier was founded 150 years ago in 1864, and the company’s trees were used to camouflage military operations during the Second World War.
Hillier Nurseries marketing head Larry Rynsard said: "Flanders poppies are, of course, the symbol of remembrance dating back 100 years to World War One. They are wild flowers that germinate when the soil has been disturbed – the work of the plough in peacetime, and by guns in times of war. We know that many people will want to commemorate the centenary of World War One and feel that selling poppies to help raise funds in aid of Blind Veterans UK is an excellent way of doing this".
The poppy promotion will take place between 19 May and 30 June. Poppies will be sold in 75 centres including Hillier, Klondyke, Capital Gardens, Scotsdales, Van Hage, Otter, Value House, Stewarts, Haskins, Goulds, Paradise Park, RHS, Wych Cross, Thurrock, Meadowcroft, Ayletts, Otter, Burston Rose, Polhill, Fonthill, Canterbury, Van Hage, Gordon Rigg, Bardhill Roses, Kemps, Forest Lodge, Whitehall, Lakeside, Newbridge, Bourne Valley and Chessington garden centres.
Several poppy campaigns have begun this year, which is the centenary of the start of World War War.