As many in the horticultural sector unite to support the industry through the impact of Coronavirus, we are offering our help to independent nurseries, growers and gardens to promote their services, free of charge, to a broader audience.
How small businesses are being affected
As with any large groups of people, events where nurseries sell their prize-winning products, such as RHS Chelsea and Rare Plant Fairs, have been cancelled or postponed.
As The Cottage Herbery commented on Twitter, "we are a unique band of dedicated people often growing rare and hard to find plants. If we go, the plants go with us."
We are showing our support for those affected by listing all nurseries for free on our app to be surfaced to our 300,000 users.
This will include information on where the nursery is, what they sell and will also link to their website for sales.
For those nurseries who don’t have online shops, they are able to list stock on Candide Marketplace. Importantly, all profits go directly to the seller.
To kick-start the campaign of support, we have joined forces with designer, broadcaster and passionate plantsman Chris Beardshaw, who has worked in the industry for over 30 years.
Check out his video below, highlighting to garden enthusiasts how they can support the industry.
To help the growers and retailers turning to online selling, we have also put together some guides on how to list on the Candide marketplace and how to package and transport plants safely.
Rosemary Hardy, from Hardy's Nursery, has put together this useful guide on how to box up plants safely.
We are also insuring all plants transacted through Candide Marketplace, up to the value of £20, for those nurseries concerned about courier damage
Read our postage pledge here:
Many growers, gardening writers and influencers also make their income through speaking at public events. With many of these called off, they will need to rethink their strategy for reaching out to their followers.
Karen Gimson, gardening writer and designer said: "I've got a problem. Ten talks for garden clubs cancelled. All my fees go to Rainbows Hospice. If I could do a remote talk and slide show, they would still donate, they say. Just how to do it?"
In answer, we are currently looking into running a series of webinars as a solution to this. Keep your eyes peeled in the Candide app for virtual conferences!
The impact on public gardens
Many gardens open to the public have also had their usual way of working disrupted at a time when many open their doors and footfall begins to increase.
The Chelsea Physic Garden is one of many that have had to shut their doors - but we are working closely with them to help.
From Friday 27 March, we are hosting weekly online meet-ups to connect voices from garden owners across the UK. With the technology we have here at Candide, we also want to look at ways to digitise garden visitation and create new revenue streams, so we're acting fast to help.
Soon we will host 360 views of gardens alongside virtual tours from garden owners and gardeners.
There are now over 100 garden audio tours in the app which you can listen to from the leisure of your own home.
And don't forget Fresh from the Pod, our podcast by the incredible Tamsin Westhorpe of Stockton Bury Gardens where she interviews gardeners and horticulturists from across the country.
The effect on gardeners and plant lovers
It's safe to say that everyone is having to adapt. There has been a plethora of articles published providing tips to people regarding how to look after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.
Robi Moore, the founder of LOOF terrariums in Bristol, sums up the feeling we all get when we're caring for plants:
"I love that the process of watering and tending to my plants is extremely therapeutic, and I turn into a little kid anytime I have a new leaf or a flower appear."
For many, gardening is a peaceful distraction from the stresses of everyday life. Studies have shown that it can improve physical, psychological and social health, alongside improving cognitive function in children, which is even more relevant in light of the recent school closures.
Gardeners will be concerned about how they will continue to keep their garden flourishing and how they will safely access supplies when we should all be staying indoors. We strongly encourage people to keep buying.
Head over to Marketplace to support your local traders and nursery-folk who are safely and securely getting plants delivered straight to your door.