Sunday 9th June 2019 saw Walberton Nursery open it’s doors for the first time for LEAF Open Farm Sunday. As part of a cooperative, although Walberton hosted the event, all of the Farplants Group team helped in organising and running the day. A total of 35 volunteers from Binsted, Walberton, Fleurie and Toddington Nurseries, and Farplants Sales mucked in to bake cakes, work as tour guides, pot plants, serve refreshments, sell plants, welcome visitors and park cars. Organising the event, Walberton Manager Camilla said, “It couldn’t have gone better! Sunday was wedged in between a day of gale force winds, and another of torrential rain, but on the day the weather was perfect, and the feedback from members of the public was really positive. I’m really proud of what we achieved together and am very grateful for all the hard work and goodwill that went into the event from all the volunteers. Dare I say it…..I think we should do another..!?”
From the feedback forms provided on the day, it was clear that the visiting public got a lot out of the event, and would definitely come again. It was evident from that there are not enough events like this in our area that invite the public in to see what we do, how we engage with the environment, and how we get plants into their gardens, which people were really interested in on the day. One quote sums it all up, “Was so impressed by your open day yesterday just wanted to say thank you to all your friendly staff. We thoroughly enjoyed the informative tour, the delicious cakes and tea and the array of plants on sale. The whole nursery was very impressive. Can’t wait for the next one!!” Across the UK, initial estimates from LEAF are that 361 enterprises opened their gates to some 230,000 people. Walberton Nursery can vouch for 150 of those…
By selling refreshments, cakes and plants donated by all four nurseries, we raised £570 on the day for the event’s charities, Perennial and the Smith-Magenis Syndrome Foundation UK. With more plants selling to staff in the days that followed, the total is now up to a staggering £725. The ‘Pot Your Own’ stand was really popular, particularly with youngsters. Visitors could select a decorative pot or trough, plus a few plants or herbs, and pot the display up themselves, giving a small donation to charity.
Perennial attended on the day and had a stand informing people of the great work they do for people in need in our industry. They are the only charity in the UK dedicated to people working in Horticulture; more can be found out about their work here: Perennial
The Smith-Magenis Syndrome Foundation UK supports families who have children of all ages with SMS, and provides information for professionals working with these families. More about them here: Smith-Magenis
Thank you to Fargro for sponsoring the event with compost, seeds, labels and recyclable cups, but most importantly, a massive thanks to all the volunteers and organisers, without whom, the event simply would not have been possible – thank you Camilla, Emma, Barry, Jim, Dalila, Aaron, Kathy, Dawn, Neil, Jolene, Marina, Ionela, Paul, Steve x 2, Gracie, Clare, Clare’s mum, John, Daria, Melanie x 2, Carly, Emilia, Colin, Vanya, Martina, Joe, Agnieszka, Simon, Dave, Sarah, Neil, Lisa, Jenn, Lesley and Zoe – phew!