As many in the horticultural sector unite to support the industry through the impact of Coronavirus, Candide the gardening app is offering its sophisticated technical resources to help independent nurseries, growers and gardens to promote their services, free of charge, to a wider audience.
Candide has an online community of over 300,000 plant and garden lovers who are all eager to support the gardening industry through the current difficulties, following the cancellation of many horticultural events (RHS Shows, nursery events and Rare Plant Fairs). These gardening events provide the lifeblood for many of the small independent nurseries to sell directly to gardening customers. Similarly, public gardens are facing a time of great uncertainty following this week’s government announcement, but Candide are working around the clock to help.
Commenting, Candide’s CEO, Andrew Philbrick said;
“These are obviously extremely challenging times for everyone in the horticultural industry, and we want to do everything we can to keep the season blooming. We are delighted to offer free support, video advice and creative solutions to help nurseries, private gardens and garden event organisers through this difficult time.”
Supporting Growers and Nurseries
A recent survey carried out by Candide showed that 80% of growers sell their plants at horticultural events across the country and only 40% of those surveyed currently sell online. 60% of respondents expressed concern about online deliveries of plants. Candide are supporting these small businesses in taking their sales online, given the UK government is allowing online retailers to continue with deliveries during the Coronavirus lockdown.
To kick-start the campaign of support, Candide has joined forces with the designer, broadcaster and passionate plantsman Chris Beardshaw
who has worked in the industry for over 30 years. Chris has created a video message
to plant and garden enthusiasts, which highlights how they can help support the UK’s growers and nurseries.
Candide are currently listing every UK nursery in their app, for free, connecting their 300,000 users directly with those nurseries who have websites. Candide have also opened a free Marketplace enabling nurseries to sell directly to gardeners through the app, with all profits going directly to the nursery. Instructions on how to list and sell safely online can be found here.
Plants sold via the Marketplace on the Candide app before 30 June, by a professional grower, will be covered by Candide for loss and damage in transit (see T&C's in the article below).
To help ensure that plants arrive in the best condition, Rosemary Hardy
of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants has created a video guide for nurseries on practical packaging for growers posting plants, using sustainable methods to avoid damage in transportation. The video can be viewed and shared from here
With the devastating news that public and private gardens will be closed for the foreseeable future, Candide are supporting gardens which rely on visitors, by offering virtual video garden tours which people can enjoy from the isolation of their home.
Candide have a very successful pilot scheme running at The Newt in Somerset, with a video-based feed, featuring what’s on in the visitor attraction throughout the seasons.
Candide will roll this feature out free of charge, to all gardens that would like to participate. It’s a great time for the garden owners to record their video and capture the essence of their gardens in spring, whether that's showcasing specialist collections, landscaped gardens, or thoughtfully-curated glasshouses! All they need is a smartphone and Candide’s team will send out free equipment, how-to guides, and video tutorials to help support and capture footage.
Candide will manage all the editing and post the content on the app on the garden’s business profile, as well as produce a weekly compilation video which the gardens can showcase on social media.
Keeping Gardening Talks & Events Live!
With all public events cancelled, Candide have set up an online meeting and event space to allow gardens to run workshops and talks from home. Whether it’s a crafting workshop or a talk on quick-growing veg, Candide can provide the virtual support required to help organisers create their online events.
There are no fees to use the event service and Candide will provide equipment for those who do not have the facilities. A smartphone with a decent camera, laptop, and good Wi-Fi are all virtual event organisers will need to set up a video workshop or webinar. If anyone is interested to find out more about this service, then please let Candide know by completing the form here.
A Garden Industry Round Table
From Friday 27 March, Candide will be hosting a weekly online meet-up to connect voices from gardens across the UK. With the impacts of Coronavirus affecting both individuals and businesses, many have expressed a desire to discuss market-wide issues with other gardens, and fuel collaborative support in the industry.
Candide will send details of times, and how to join the meet-up, to gardens who register their interest using the link here
Notes to editors
Candide is an app which aims to enhance gardening and plant care. They’re a social network, an encyclopaedia, a marketplace and a virtual garden tour guide all in one place.
What sets them apart is their application of technology to connect questions with answers quickly, and enable the complete range of plant interests and levels of skill to cohabit a single app. No matter what you wish to do in the garden today: discover, enjoy, plant or plan - Candide can help.
Candide, the company, has been based in central Bristol, since inception in 2017. They planted their seed when Andrew Philbrick, on sabbatical after successfully selling Africa’s largest financial data company, met co-founder Shani Krige who at the time was building a small plant community, and together couldn’t understand why mobile apps so poorly serve plants and gardening. Their friends were becoming more passionate about plants and keener than ever to dig in but were struggling to find credible and accurate resources on social media. Three years later, they are a team of 55 engineers, content writers and growth marketers germinating the first genuinely global gardening ecosystem.