With just four months to go before the national industry-wide event, participants are being urged to register their interest before Christmas, to allow planning time in the following weeks.
Hundreds of garden retailers across the country are expected to run a range of fund-raisers and customer activities on Garden Re-Leaf Day and across the weekend; including both nationally-coordinated ideas and local initiatives. Many garden industry suppliers will also be offering special Garden Re-Leaf Day product and plant promotions to help retailers raise further funds through sales.
As in its first two years, Garden Re-Leaf Day’s nominated charity in 2014 is Greenfingers; the nationwide charity dedicated to building gardens in children’s hospices around the UK. Since 2012 Garden Re-Leaf Day participants have raised more than £116,000 for the cause; enabling several life-enhancing hospice gardens to be created.
Discussing Garden Re-Leaf Day at the annual All-Party Parliamentary Horticulture Group (APPHG) reception at the House of Commons on 18th November, TV presenter and gardening journalist Richard Jackson called on the whole industry to take part. “If you missed out on Garden Re-Leaf Day before, now is the time to do your bit. It’s an invaluable chance for everyone to pull together and support a fantastic garden-related charity, as well as nurturing business at the start of the gardening year. Everyone wins, so let’s make this a record-breaking year!”
Plans for Garden Re-Leaf Day 2014 already look set to make the event the biggest so far, with many more initiatives in the pipeline:
- · The initiative is being backed by trade associations including The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), Garden Centre Association (GCA) and Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA); with possible involvement from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) also being explored.
- · Adding to the hundreds of garden centres expected to take part, exploratory discussions are being held to run events in branches of two major multiple retailers.
- · There will be a new twist on the popular Garden Re-Leaf Day Celebrity Gardening Quiz – available to all retailers, suppliers and other organisations. Now including both general knowledge and gardening rounds, this year’s pre-recorded questions will be voiced by popular celebrities from outside the gardening world. Impressionist Alistair McGowan has already recorded his question, with many more names lined up. The quiz offers a ready-made, special event that can attract dozens of paying teams, and the chance to run other promotions and fund-raisers alongside. To run the quiz, order an organiser’s pack (£100) by calling 0118 930 8918 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- · The QVC Shopping Channel is planning an unprecedented three fund-raising shows over the Garden Re-Leaf weekend to support the event. Last year, more than £17,000 was raised for Garden Re-Leaf’s charity through sales of products during two special QVC gardening programmes, hosted by gardening journalist and TV presenter Richard Jackson.
- · A till-point ‘Fill Your Boots’ donations campaign will provide a simple way for retailers to participate, by encouraging customers to fill a pair of decorative Wellington boots with £1 coins at the point of sale.
- · A number of product and plant promotions are being created in support of Garden Re-Leaf Day, to be announced in the coming weeks. Amongst these, several suppliers will be supplementing their on-pack Greenfingers ‘Rosy Cheeks Appeal’ promotions by making extra donations on orders placed in the run-up to Garden Re-Leaf Day. William Sinclair for example is set to support the day with a special 35L bag of J. Arthur Bower’s Rose Tree and Shrub compost, and through its new and innovative ‘Seed Blanket’ product. Many more Garden Re-Leaf Day product offers will follow, allowing garden centres to fully support the day.
- · TV gardener David Domoney, who has participated in Garden Re-Leaf Day since 2012, is launching his second Cultivation Street campaign during Garden Re-Leaf weekend. Cultivation Street is a National Campaign run by David Domoney and partnered with the HTA to bring communities and neighbours together, transforming front gardens and community gardens by improving the place they live in through people, plants and pride.
- · Sector suppliers including Scotts Miracle-Gro, Mr Fothergill’s, William Sinclair, Westland Horticulture, Kelkay, Solus, Richard Jackson’s Flower Power, Pleydell Smithyman, Bon Bon’s, Neudorff, Gardman and Briers have pledged financial donations towards Garden Re-Leaf Day’s marketing ‘fighting fund’.
Garden Re-Leaf Day’s founder and Hillview Garden Centre CEO Boyd Douglas-Davies said: “Taking part in Garden Re-Leaf Day is easy and hugely rewarding. Not only does the charity benefit, but so do your teams and your tills. It’s the epitomy of a fun, fund-raising day – that also has a real commercial purpose.”
Matthew Wilson, chairman of Greenfingers confirmed: “Our thanks go to all Garden Re-Leaf Day participants for the funds that have been raised in the past two years. In 2014 we will put any monies raised towards our Rosy Cheeks Appeal, which aims to raise £750,000 to build at least ten more hospice gardens over the next two years – creating magical outdoor spaces that even more children and families can benefit from and enjoy.”
- · To participate in Garden Re-Leaf Day 2014, and find out more about activity and product opportunities, email the organising team at email@example.com as soon as possible
- · To run the Garden Re-Leaf Day Celebrity Gardening Quiz, order an organiser’s pack (£100) by calling 0118 930 8918 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- · More information about the initiative can be found at www.gardenreleaf.co.uk or by following @GardenReLeaf on Twitter
Ten great ideas for your own Garden Re-Leaf Day events:
- Family fun
Donation generators that will please the whole family:
- Face painting
- Make your own cress head
- Flower pot colouring competition
- Guess how many seeds in a jar competition
- · Children’s Treasure Hunt using the Garden Re-Leaf Day logo
- 2. Coffee, cake and a quiz
Run Garden Re-Leaf Day’s celebrity quiz which can be played over a CD player. Together with answers it takes about an hour, and has been a runaway success for the past two years. Why not run a quiz in your restaurant, proving cake & coffee for each contestant, with a £5 entry fee
- 3. Loyalty event
Create a tailored event for your loyal customers with a small ticket price; for example a shopping evening, wine tasting, spring planting
- 4. Green-fingered events
Ask your local gardening celebrity or a nursery supplier to pop in and act as Plant Doctor for the day; run gardening master classes with a suggested donation; or encourage customers to bring in their own hanging baskets for planting up, and ask them to make a donation to Garden Re-Leaf Day
- 5. Special promotions
Offer a promotion on high margin products for the Garden Re-Leaf Day weekend – eg tools, roses, seeds, composts, herbaceous perennials, lawn feed
- 6. Clean up with a car wash
Set up a fund-raising car wash in your car park, perhaps sponsored by a supplier
- 7. Wishing tree
Create a ‘wishing tree’ display, and sell leaves for children to colour in and hang on the bare branches. Or customers could purchase a leaf in exchange for a donation towards particular items needed to create a Greenfingers hospice garden, e.g. £5 for a bag of compost, £3 an alpine plant
- 8. Auction of promises
Hold an auction offering babysitting, birthday cakes, hedge trimming, homemade curry night etc
- 9. Raffle
Hold a raffle in-store, eg for a 1 minute trolley dash. Or ask suppliers to donate products to create a ‘wheelbarrow full of goodies’. There could even be a staff raffle offering an extra day’s holiday as the prize
- 10. Staff specials
Attract extra customer attention to your Garden Re-Leaf Day activities by inviting staff to come to work in gardening-related costume