The hotly contended competition to win an on-site appearance by ITV gardener David Domoney during Garden Re-Leaf weekend, has been won by Millbrook Garden Centre’s Gravesend branch.
In support of Garden Re-Leaf Day (Friday 14th March), David offered a day of free, 30-minute expert talks on Sunday 16th March to the garden centre that had the best ideas for optimising his visit.
Millbrook’s concept aimed to link David’s presence with its award winning on-site wildlife area and a project to inspire local children in gardening – all whilst raising money for Garden Re-Leaf Day. David will deliver talks about creating a sensory, stimulating garden which encourages wildlife, as well as doing ‘walking talks’ around Millbrook Gravesend’s revamped wildlife area and bird hide. The Millbrook team also plans a competition asking local schoolchildren to suggest ideas, plants and features that they would like to see in a garden for sick children.
Matthew Upton, Manager at Millbrook Garden Centre’s Gravesend branch, confirmed: “We were thrilled to win the visit from David! The competition has been the springboard to lots of ideas for attracting customers and boosting our Garden Re-Leaf Day fund-raising, as well as engaging with local young people. We will also be able to showcase our newly revamped wildlife area here, which includes a wildflower meadow, bird hide and even an insect hotel. We’re looking forward to the day.”
TV gardener David Domoney said: “I’m delighted to be joining forces with Millbrook Garden Centre to raise money for Garden Re-Leaf Day. I was particularly impressed by the idea to involve local schoolchildren in the charity fundraising. I can’t wait to see their ideas for garden plants and features. The focus on attracting wildlife is also important, because gardening is about so much more than just plants.”
David’s visit to Millbrook will be a ticketed event, with proceeds going towards Garden Re-Leaf Day’s nominated charity for 2014, the Greenfingers ‘Rosy Cheeks’ appeal. Greenfingers is the nationwide charity dedicated to building gardens in children’s hospices around the UK, with its Rosy Cheeks Appeal aiming to raise £750,000 over two years to fund the creation of at least ten more, unique children’s hospice gardens.
Expert ITV gardener David co-presents ITV’s prime time gardening show, Love Your Garden, and is one of the most decorated garden designers in the UK having won 27 Royal Horticultural Society medals. He is an active supporter of Garden Re-Leaf Day, and is launching his second Cultivation Street campaign – a national, joint community gardens initiative with the HTA – during Garden Re-Leaf weekend.
Garden Re-Leaf Day’s founder and Hillview Garden Centre CEO Boyd Douglas-Davies added:“We are delighted that David is donating his time free of charge in aid of Garden Re-Leaf, and we wish him and the Millbrook team an enjoyable and successful day.”
He continued: “There is still time for other garden retailers to participate in Garden Re-Leaf Day, by registering on www.gardenreleaf.co.uk and either taking advantage of our nationwide Celebrity Gardening Quiz, ‘Loose Change’ and supplier promotions available, or running special, local events of your own. It’s not only a fun, fund-raising day, but also an opportunity to generate extra, early-season footfall, so don’t miss out!”
Garden Re-Leaf Day, the garden industry’s annual, season-starting charity fund-raising day, takes place on Friday 14th March and across the weekend, raising money for charity whilst launching the garden retailing season. Hundreds of retailers nationwide are expected to run fund-raisers and customer activities as part of the event.
Many suppliers are also offering special Garden Re-Leaf Day product and plant promotions to help retailers raise further funds through sales. 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.