What are we doing with unsold plants?

There has been much discussion in the news about what is happening to all the plants which are not being sold. Journalists and industry spokespeople have wondered whether garden centres can deliver plants, or donate them to needy groups – instead of throwing them away.

We have had some enquiries and wanted to confirm our position:

In our plant nursery we have stopped seed sowing, taking cuttings and ordering in young plants, to minimise waste. Those young plants we already had in our propagation greenhouse are now being transferred into larger pots and trays, and a small amount of plants are being thrown away to make space for these.

In our retail areas we are continuing to care for plants, and hope to sell many of them once we re-open. As time goes on, and to enable our skeleton workforce to function, we will have to throw some plants away. We will keep as many as we can.

During this current lockdown period we are not going to give away plants. We will also not be offering customers a delivery or click and collect service. We understand this may seem frustrating. As a family who is passionate about plants, we absolutely hate the idea of anything going to waste. But this crisis is bigger than all of us, and each business has to make their own decision on the best way to operate. 

Most importantly, we are committed to looking after our team and to playing our part in this public health crisis. By minimising our contact with others, we believe we are doing the right thing – for The Perrywood Family, for the NHS and for society as a whole.

We have to ensure that we manage cash flow so that once we re-open we can buy new stock and continue to employ our team of 200 people. We need to keep paying those bills which do not stop coming in even though we are closed. To keep costs down we are operating with an extremely small workforce who are focused on maintaining those plants which can be sold at a later date. Giving away plants and setting up a local delivery service is not cost effective or practical for us at this time.

As and when we get further guidance about the length of the lockdown period, and new information on social distancing, we will review our decisions and rethink this strategy. There is no handbook for this situation, and no-one can be certain of what will happen next.

We’d like to thank those of you who have sent messages of support, it really means a lot and we cannot wait to open our doors to you again.

Alan, Hannah, Simon and Tristan (picture taken in September 2019)
Owners of Perrywood Tiptree and Perrywood Sudbury