Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centres will raise money in aid of Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, through the sale of 10,000 traditional wild flower poppies throughout May and June.
Planning to commemorate all those fallen in warfare since the outbreak of World War One, Hillier has decided to grow Papaver rhoeas, known as the 'Flanders' poppy, and will donate 25p from the sale of each plant to Blind Veterans UK.
Blind Veterans UK, formerly known as St Dunstan's, was founded in 1915 as a direct response to the large numbers of soldiers returning blinded from the battlefields of World War One. Today, the national charity still supports blind veterans by providing practical and emotional support to them and their families, regardless of when they served or how they lost their sight.
Hillier too has its own military connection; founded 150 years ago in 1864, the company's trees were used to camouflage military operations during the Second World War.
Hillier head of marketing Larry Rynsard said: "'Flanders' poppies are, of course, the symbol of remembrance dating back 100 years to World War One. They are wild flowers that germinate when the soil has been disturbed - the work of the plough in peacetime, and by guns in times of war. We know that many people will want to commemorate the centenary of World War One and feel that selling poppies to help raise funds in aid of Blind Veterans UK is an excellent way of doing this".
The poppy promotion will take place between May 19 and June 30. Poppies will be sold in Hillier and other leading garden centres in Bath, Somerset, Berkshire, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, East Riding of Yorkshire, East Sussex, West Sussex, Essex, Falkirk, Flintshire, Greater London, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Highland, Isle of Anglesey, Kent, Lancashire, Merseyside, Midlothian, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Roxburghshire, Staffordshire, Stirling, Surrey, West Lothian and Wiltshire.