Below you can see answers by clicking on some of the commonly asked questions about Home Grown plants
There is an array of producers from home and abroad and, with the advent of garden centres, it is difficult for a gardener who might want to choose plants produced in the UK. There are many reasons why they might want to differentiate where a plant is produced, yet even when nurseries employ a logo, it is not always clear what values are attached to it. Does a Union Jack emblem mean that the plant has been delivered by a British nursery or actually grown on that nursery? What is the definition of locally grown? And when does importing a plant then become defined as being grown on that nursery.
The British Protected Ornamentals Association, with the help of the National Farmers Union, South East England Development Agency and the Horticultural Development Council have worked together and, through market research, developed a logo which has defined values and criteria to give reassurance to the consumer.
In March 2012 came a major launch of the brand across the country. Now gardeners, landscapers, local councils and businesses will be able to know, that their supplier not only selected the best quality plants, but that they are also Home Grown. (see “What is Home Grown“)
Not necessarily. Much of the starting material, such as seeds and cutting material for bedding plants and shrubs, is sourced from overseas. Horticulture is a global industry and our nurserymen, like landscapers and retailers, will choose the very best material for producing their top quality plants. There are still firms in Britain producing seed and many nurseries still maintain and harvest their own mother plants for cuttings. Similarly, young plugs and rooted cuttings are produced here, as well as overseas.
However, from those young stages of tender seedlings, plugs and cuttings, British nurserymen use their skill and experience to produce robust, quality plants that are ideal to get a head start in your garden. For acclimatisation, reducing transport costs and environmental impact, the final stage of growing is carried out in the UK
No, not as yet. While more and more nurseries are signing up to the Home Grown scheme, there is a delay in the time to produce the labels. The colour labels used with the plant pots are often ordered and produced long before the next growing season. In addition, some retailers prefer not to have any other labeling bar their own branding. Perhaps ask your local garden centre or supermarket for their views on supporting British horticulture and allowing you to make a choice by using the Home Grown logo. Alternatively, ‘get in touch’ with us and we will ask on your behalf.
Nurseries can only label plants with Home Grown if the plants fill the criteria laid out when they sign up. In addition, there is a small fee which is administered to enable spot checks of nurseries. This is a scheme run by the British Protected Ornamentals Association (BPOA) on behalf of their grower members. The BPOA is a sub-group of the National Farmers Union.
If you are uncertain as to the authenticity of the origin of a labelled plant, then please ask the retailer or, failing that, contact us.
Approximately half of all plants are imported into Britain every year.
No. Your retailer, garden centre, supermarket or landscaper will always select the best quality and value plants for their customers. When you see the Home Grown logo, you can be assured, in this case, that the plants have the added benefits that are associated with plants grown in Britain.
Very often Home Grown plants are produced locally to you. Growers are allowed to use descriptors below the logo which can help identify the grower or region that they were produced. However, for some more niche crops there are fewer suppliers and may mean that they may have been produced slightly further away
Much in the same way that we hear about “food miles”, “plant miles” is a term given to indicate the distance traveled from the nursery to the retail outlet, or to a wholesale supplier, if it is for supply to the landscape industries
This is a very controversial question and on disliked by trading standards, as it is often used as a generic term, rather than being specifically defined. We encourage growers and retailers to help their customers with a clear definition. “Home Grown by So and So nursery”, “Home Grown in Kent”, “Home Grown in the Yorkshire Dales” etc , rather than “Home Grown Locally”. UNLESS the term local is defined to fall within set parameters (i.e. “The use of local, means produced within 30 miles of this garden centre”), it should not be used
No. Plants for sale at your garden centre have been chosen for not only their quality but for their exceptional value. The price is reflected in that rather than because they are homegrown. Being produced closer to a retail outlet, often means that Home Grown plants are even better value, as the transport costs are lower.
When retailers and landscapers source from British nurseries, they can garner information as to the suitability of plants to local growing conditions. Additional information can also be shared about the use of plants for gardens and parks helping customers avoid the disaster of buying a plant that is not suitable for them. The close working relationship helps you, the gardener, select plants with confidence and through that support our industry will continue to thrive.
There are many other benefits, but only if there are issues that you feel are important to you, such as supporting the rural economy, the environment and reducing imported plants, pests and diseases.
Yes. Supporting the British horticulture industry by choosing Home Grown allows those businesses to provide employment in rural areas, invest in the local economy and improve the environmental impact of plant production.
Our long and proud tradition of horticultural production in Britain still provides jobs for over 100,000 people. A healthy industry will be able to train and employ the next generation who career of choice is horticulture.
If you can not see plants labelled up with the Home Grown logo, then please ask your retailer whether they intend to support the scheme. Some retailers prefer to have their own branded labeling on products they sell. It is possible they may well be listed on the pages here even though they appear to have no, or limited, Home Grown labelled stock.
As the logo becomes more widely used, this should be less of a problem. If your local retailer does not stock Home Grown plants, but you would like to see this, then please get in touch with us and we can approach them on your behalf.
As with garden centres, retailers and supermarkets, Home Grown plants are available on line. Please check the site of the online retailer as to their support for the scheme. We will try to give details on this site as to those that do, in the ‘Where to find Home Grown plants’ Top of FAQ
What do I do if I think a plant labelled Home Grown, is actually not homegrown
Please speak to the retailer, as they will be more than happy to explain where the plant has been sourced from. If they are not able to help you, please contact us with full details of the plant and the retailer where you spotted the plant for sale.
At this stage please refer to the BPOA website, or contact us. We will be supplying an online guide to wholesale growers supplying the landscape industries as well as retailers, garden centres and supermarkets.
Yes. Provided they are producing plants within the United Kingdom, they are eligible to apply to belong to the scheme.
Depending on the logo and descriptor below it, this indicates whether the business uses or sells Home Grown plants or is a Home Grown producer. Businesses use the logo to show that they choose Home Grown plants when they are the best option as far as quality, value and price are concerned
Growers supply a wide variety of retailers, garden centres and supermarkets. They may not have told us of an outlet they supply, or the plants may well have been stocked from one of the wholesale markets. Let us know the name of the retailer and we will add it to the map
While the concept of the two schemes is similar, Little Red Tractor is a Quality Assurance Scheme which is specifically aimed at the food industry where certain legal welfare and quality standards have to be met. While assisting growers with their audits for the multiple retailers, it also identifies British farmers as a brand. Horticulture ornamental industry, for instance, has a a quality assurance scheme, administered by the British Ornamental Plant Producers (BOPP). Home Grown is a less onerous scheme, where the focus is more on helping gardeners identify plants grown in the UK, although growers still have to meet various criteria (see ‘What is Home Grown’