Plants for People


The ‘Plants for People’ for people scheme is now closed for new applications. If you were lucky enough to receive plants and wish to make a donation, the nursery have provided the following information: 

Making a Donation

We do not expect everyone to contribute, there is certainly no obligation, although obviously every little bit helps at this stage.

If you visit our website you can take a look at more background info about the nursery and see the contribution page (under the tab ‘Plants for People’).


Plants for People

‘Plant for People’ are distributing plants to local communities free of charge. You can brighten your own garden or share plants with your neighbours. Maybe you’d like to gift a plant to someone who is self-isolating or thank someone who has been helping you. This scheme is about bringing a little cheer to the community, preventing plant stock going to waste, and any voluntary donations you make could help keep this local firm in business. 

New Leaf is a distributor of Plants for People. Go to the Contact Us page or use the email button feature at the bottom of the page to email your address – volunteers will drop a tray of 6 pots to your location.

The plant selections are yellow/blue/white or pink/purple mixes, so if you have a preference please state this in your email – we will try to give you your preferred choice but cannot guarantee this. Plants will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Volunteers will be wearing gloves and will leave the pots in a sensible location at the property with a paper note explaining the scheme tucked inside. Volunteers will avoid any physical contact with anyone and minimise contact with any surfaces, handles, etc whilst observing all social distancing guidelines. 

For more information about the scheme, here is a message from Kirton Nurseries:

Plants for People guide from Kirton Farm Nurseries (The Hairy Pot Plant Company)

In these difficult times we are all desperate for this situation to be resolved as soon as possible and our thoughts are with all the essential workers out there and especially the health care folk.

As a wholesale plant grower, growing perennials and a few herbs, we have found ourselves with a nursery full of plants and no customers at all, at a time of year when our overdraft is at its peak and sales should be flying.

At the same time, most people are stuck at home looking for some glimmer of joy.

The easiest option for us would be to lay off all staff and start throwing away the stock that is going to be past it’s best by the time any sales might materialise, but what a waste that would be, when there are local people desperate for something to do in the garden. Unfortunately, we don’t have the time, packing materials, staffing or resources to set up an internet sales site. We need a simple, safe, alternative solution.

Currently there is no government help for nurseries in our position, other than the payment of some wages for laid off staff on the assumption that they will return to work after things get back to ‘normal’. There are loans on offer to get us restarted, if we can prove we will be profitable and can pay it back.

At the moment we are trying to come up with ways to clear the stock on the ground without too much cost to us (packing, transport, labour etc) and offer the possibility of covering some of the ongoing weekly costs to see if we can limp through. We are hopeful that more government help will become available, that we will get through this period of uncertainty and regroup for producing plants again for the future.

Basic idea
This is an unprecedented situation which needed some ‘out of the box’ thinking as they say. This concept may evolve but for now we will supply enough ready mixed trays of plants (free of charge) to local community coordinators who organise for a small team of volunteers to individually and safely deliver 6 pots of plants to every household with a garden.

If rules change on what can be delivered, we may have to suspend the offer at short notice.

We will keep deliveries small. Sensible, small volunteer teams can operate easily, within social distancing rules, simply leaving 6 pots (no packaging or trays left) at each property together with a note from the nursery explaining the basic reasons for doing this and a website address that they can go to for more info and to make a contribution if they so wish.

 We would not want properties to be left out of a delivery because it was thought they may not be able to contribute, we want all to feel that they are being supported in these difficult times, even if it is with just a few plants. Don’t forget, one of our aims is that we would like to clear the unsalable stock from the nursery with minimum fuss.

What you will receive

The plants will not be tidied up or made to look perfect by us, we don’t have the time (although most look fab already because we tidied nearly all the stock through the winter). Every individual pot will be labelled with basic plant and pot info etc.

Virus transfer risk

This risk should be very low providing all volunteer distributors follow the current guidelines, social distancing and no one can take part whilst displaying any symptoms or self isolating.  There should be absolutely no collecting of the plants by the public from a distribution point, all plants must be left at individual properties.
On the nursery we are strictly following all social distancing rules, which is quite easy on our large site and despatch unit, especially when we have so few staff on site now. The labels and pots are touched by staff gloved hands so the risk of transfer is extremely low, they are all currently healthy, the contact time is very short, hands are washed regularly and disposable gloves worn. The plants themselves are basically not handled.
On their return, the plant trays will be left unused for at least 72 hrs to make sure any contamination has gone before reuse. Our delivery driver will have a sanitised cab (handles, gear knob, steering wheel etc) clean hands and be wearing disposable gloves. They will be observing strict distancing guidelines and will not allow any volunteers to enter or touch the vehicle or handle any equipment. This whole operation should be safer than many other deliveries an individual may receive over this time.