Westland Horticulture will award the major prize to the garden centre that is judged to have run the most effective, all-round Garden Re-Leaf Day campaign on Friday 8th March and/or across the gardening weekend. To enter, garden centres need to complete a Westland Challenge entry form – available from Westland Horticulture – summarising their event ideas, execution, any publicity campaigns, and resulting footfall and sales indicators, and return it to Westland by 31st May.
The winning garden centre, who will be notified by 28th June, will receive a delivery of 50 litre bags of Gro-Sure All Purpose Compost for retail or other use, courtesy of Westland Horticulture. The new compost, which is enriched with Gro-Sure Plant Food, is ideal for growing flowers, fruits or vegetables.
Keith Nicholson, Marketing Director of Westland Horticulture, said: “At Westland we are delighted to see just how many people up-and-down the country played an active role in this year’s Garden Re-Leaf Day. We have launched the Westland Challenge to reinforce our support for the annual event, which is an invaluable opportunity to encourage people to get gardening throughout this year. It’s also a chance for garden centres to share their Garden Re-Leaf activities with us, with the overall winning retailer being awarded £6,000-worth of Gro-Sure All Purpose compost (at retail value). We would like to encourage as many retailers as possible to make sure they share their entries with us by post or email no later than May 31st.”
Hundreds of garden centres and suppliers took part in the second annual Garden Re-Leaf Day in March. The national initiative was established in 2012 to launch the spring gardening retail season whilst raising money for a designated charity. As well as centrally coordinated events such as the Garden Re-Leaf Day Celebrity Gardening Quiz and the HTA’s National gardening Gift Voucher-linked ‘Find the Winning Plot’ competition, retailers organised many hundreds of their own local activities around the UK, such as in-store events, school growing initiatives, community challenges, garden product promotions, fund-raisers and competitions.
This year the Westland Challenge entries will be judged by Keith Nicholson, Marketing Director at Westland Horticulture, Boyd Douglas-Davies, founder of Garden Re-Leaf and CEO of Hillview Garden Centres, Sue Allen, Garden Re-Leaf committee member and former Managing Director of Millbrook Garden Company, and Michelle Whitefoot, Garden Re-Leaf committee member and Managing Director of Whitefoot-Forward PR.
In 2012 the Garden Re-Leaf Day Westland Challenge was won by Aylett’s Nurseries in St Albans. Aylett’s hit the top spot by organising a variety of different activities that involved and engaged their customers – from a Mad Hatter’s Day to a Tree of Wishes – and raising money through sales of donated seeds and collection boxes. The garden centre also held Garden Re-Leaf’s 2012 celebrity-set Gardening Quiz, attracting over 100 people to their coffee house for cheese, wine and gardening general knowledge.
As last year, Garden Re-Leaf Day’s designated charity for 2013 is Greenfingers, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospices through the creation of magical gardens for children’s hospices around the UK. Specially designed Greenfingers gardens enable children and their families to enjoy special time together outside enjoying the therapeutic benefits of nature, and away from the bedside. In 2012 Garden Re-Leaf Day raised more than £55,000 for the charity; enabling two, specially designed, family gardens to be built at hospices in Stoke-on-Trent and West Dunbartonshire – each of which is helping up to 300 children and their families every year.
To request an entry form for the Garden Re-Leaf Day Westland Challenge, email Dympna Carron, firstname.lastname@example.org, listing the subject as ‘Garden Re-Leaf Westland Challenge’.
In addition, monies raised through Garden Re-Leaf Day 2013 should be paid in as soon as possible. Please make cheques payable to Greenfingers – Charity Garden Re-Leaf and post to the Greenfingers charity office (see www.greenfingerscharity.org.uk for details) or email email@example.com for information on alternative payment options.