A team of fundraisers from across the UK horticulture industry has dared to bare all for a naked calendar to raise money for the horticulturists’ charity, Perennial. The calendar makes a fantastic Christmas gift idea and all proceeds will go towards helping those working in horticulture and their families during times of crisis.
Anita Bates, Director of Marketing and Development at Perennial, said,
“Thanks so much to the all boys who had the courage to bare everything for the calendar. We’ve been amazed at the lengths our supporters will go to in order to help fellow horticulturists in need!
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this fun, tongue in cheek, calendar that will no doubt make a cracking Christmas stocking filler, but the message behind it is a serious one. Perennial helped over 1,200 horticulturists last year who were struggling with the challenges of work, unemployment, bereavement, illness, disability and old age. We’d like to be there for more people and are working hard to increase our fundraising activities in order to grow and offer services to more people who need our help.”
The hardy group was photographed at The Roof Gardens, Kensington in a variety of seasonal poses. For some of them, it wasn’t the first time this year that they have gone naked to raise awareness and money for Perennial. Several of them shot to fame with a naked photo shoot to celebrate World Naked Gardening Day in May, which resulted in media coverage including an appearance on ITV’s Loose Women. The group, dubbed the Grubby Gardeners, originally came together through Twitter to form a fundraising team that raised over £6,000 for Perennial by taking part in the Dirty Dozen Races mud-run in April.
Plans for the calendar were initiated by Michael Perry, founder of the Grubby Gardeners and a gardening expert and presenter. He comments:
“I’m sure you remember the Calendar Girls, then we saw firemen, marines, even rowers, but somehow gardeners had never de-clothed for charity. So I’d been hatching a plan for a few years, looking for a range of horticulturists who might be up for it. On the back of all this cheekiness, Perennial and their charity work is going from strength to strength and beginning to reach a wider audience, so let’s continue to make that happen!”
Pictures for the calendar were shot by professional photographer Debbie Monique Jolliff, the granddaughter of the acclaimed bulb company founder Jacques Amand. She says, “We had great fun on the shoot – everyone was very relaxed and took it all in their stride. The venue was incredible – early summer sunshine, a beautifully kept garden as a backdrop and the stunning flamingos. We hope you enjoy the results.”
The 2015 Perennial Naked Gardeners calendar costs £9.99, and is available to pre-order now at www.perennial.org.uk/calendar
The Grubby Gardeners starring in the Naked Gardeners Calendar 2015 are:
Michael Perry, New Product Development Manager, Thompson and Morgan
David Lewis, Head Gardener, The Roof Gardens, Kensington
Trevor Burke, Gardener, The Roof Gardens, Kensington
Neil Miller, Head Gardener, Hever Castle, Kent
Ryan Beauchamp, Trainee Gardener, Hever Castle, Kent
Matthew Western, Trainee Gardener, Hever Castle, Kent
Andrew Wain, Head Gardener, Wiltshire
Ben Pope, Head Gardener, Sussex
Darran Jaques, Owner, Urban Creations, SW London and Surrey
Andrew Lane, Formal Gardener, RHS Wisley
Rocky Coles, Self-Employed Gardener, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
Alec Jones, Masters Student (Landscape Management) at the University of Sheffield
Daniel Stanton, BSc Student (Horticulture) at Writtle College, Essex
Marcelo Serafim, Accounts Assistant and Garden Enthusiast, Leicestershire
Tom Frost, General Practice Surveyor and Garden Enthusiast, London
Ben Jones, Freelance Horticulturist and Designer, Cambridge
Follow the Grubby Gardeners on Twitter @grubbygardeners
For further media information and images please contact:
Clare Johnson | firstname.lastname@example.org | 07815 041635
Jennie Spears | email@example.com | 07944 552634
Notes for Editors
Established in 1839, The Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Fund or Perennial as it is now known, helps everyone working in and retired from horticulture, including landscapers, gardeners, garden designers, green keepers, tree surgeons, groundsmen, seed and turf growers, those involved in intensive production horticulture, parks and gardens staff and many more, and their families during times of crisis. The charity provides a range of support to people experiencing hardship whether that is through debt, illness, disability or old age. In the current economic climate this help is needed more than it ever was; in 2013, Perennial helped over 1,200 people, over 85% of whom were still of working age.
Perennial celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2014 and has set a target to raise £175,000 to go toward helping horticulturists in need. All of Perennial’s funds come from the generosity of the horticulture trade and the garden-loving public. To find out more about the work of Perennial and ways to get involved, please visit www.perennial.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call one of the team on 0845 230 1839.