Coronavirus crisis: Bid to save flowers is blossoming

Coronavirus crisis: Bid to save flowers is blossoming

Less than 24 hours after the Daily Express linked up the Garden Centre Association with drivers around the UK, Dave, 57, brought a delivery of beautiful flowers to my front door. We told last week how the gardening trade faces having to throw away about £200million of plants due to the lockdown. Spring is the busiest time for the industry with 70 per cent of bedding plants sold during these three months.

But 2,000 centres and nurseries have had to shut down to reduce the risk of spreading the virus – and many fear they are facing ruin. A major problem is that many centres are not geared up to deliver plants.

They have relied instead on customers to come and choose them, and then take them home.

But the Daily Express is helping the GCA and the Horticultural Trades Association team up with taxi drivers who have also seen their work dry up.

Dave, from Warlingham in Surrey, joined the fightback by bringing two trays of pansies from a garden centre to my door in nearby Caterham.

He said yesterday: “As soon as I heard about the GCA wanting help to distribute plants I registered with them.

“It would be a crying shame for all these beautiful plants to go to waste and end up on compost heaps – particularly when so many gardeners want them. I am also bored with being at home and I want to help!

“I have been a taxi driver for 14 years and this is the worst I’ve known. The financial crash of 2008 was a breeze compared to this.”

Iain Wylie, chief executive of the GCA, said: “It is good to see the first taxi driver delivering plants.”

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