Contacts and Information to help you through Corona Virus Lockdown

On BBC Radio Leicester, I talk about my garden, what I’m growing, and try to answer listeners’ phone-in and text queries.

Local radio is helping me find food and supplies whilst I’m in lockdown at home and cannot get out. This week I heard about a catering company delivering fresh food boxes around Leicestershire. I’ve given up attempting to get a delivery slot with supermarkets. Instead I’m going to support small companies, farm shops and cafes which are trying to keep their businesses going by adapting to current needs.

I’ve compiled a list of sources of help and advice you might need -to get you through the corona virus crisis. The BBC’s motto at the moment is #BBCMakeADifference. Here’s the people I think are making a difference right now. And I am mostly focusing on the gardening world. Please add anything you feel might be helpful, in the comments below and I’ll update this list and repost it. Please keep checking back for additions.


We are unable to get out to visit gardens, but we can still view them on the computer and help charities. It’s good to look at something cheerful at the moment.

The NGS raises money for Marie Curie and Macmillan Nurses, among others, and stands to lose 90 percent of its income this year, with all gardens closed for the foreseeable future. Nurses are needed more than ever, so this is a disaster for the famous much-loved Yellow Book charity. I’ve joined the county team to help them publicise on-line events this year.

What they are doing: posting you tube videos of gardens and asking supporters to make a small donation via the just giving pages.



How to obtain plants for our gardens through the corona lockdown:

With the closure of garden centres and other retail outlets, sales of ornamental plants are being badly hit. Growers are seeing orders cancelled and staff are being laid off. Some growers say they will go out of business. The Horticulture Trade Association (HTA) is calling on the government to offer general and financial support. Meanwhile, in an effort to support smaller nurseries who currently don’t sell on line, social media app Candide is listing nurseries and creating an interactive map which will take you to nursery websites. Candide has 300,000 members.

Rosy Hardy from Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants is helping nurseries with advice on sustainable packaging and hints and tips on selling mail order and on line.

Alan E Down is presenting online Candide Garden Club Talks starting on Tuesday April 7 at 6pm -7pm. There will be ‘what to do in the garden’ tips and a question and answer session on Zoom app. This talk will be free.


ALISON LEVEY is showing videos of her garden with a link to a just giving page, in aid of the NGS :

30 DAYS OF WILD PARENTING is suggesting ways we can all engage with nature at this stressful time. Feeding the birds and learning more about them is one idea on the blog.

THE THREE GROWBAGS, three sisters with a #DigYourOwnaForCorona daily posts on gardening and how to create a veg patch. A light-hearted guide to lift your spirits during this worrying time:

SALLY WICKS is writing an on-line diary about her gardening life. She is keen for us all to grow flowers this summer to fill our windowsills with colour and joy. Lots of expert help and advice on all aspects of growing.

GARDEN NINJA provides you tube guides for people who are self isolating. Gardening tips for any level of skill for any size space. Explains the theory and shows practical elements of gardening.

GROWING FAMILY is a website packed full of ideas and resources for gardening with children. Lots of ideas to get the whole family out there growing fruit, vegetables and flowers. Craft activities, and projects for all ages.

MIKE PALMER uses Facebook and Instagram live to share his garden and to answer questions on improving your garden and on planting and garden design ideas.

@mikepalmer01 on instagram

LIFE ON PIG ROW Working with AGENTS OF FIELD to show you what you can grow, cook and eat. #whydontyou hashtag. Asking people to share favourite recipes, hobbies, crafts and skills. It’s all about finding the positives at home and in the garden right now.

TAMSIN WESTHORPE Has published a free, down-loadable daily wall planner for children called ’30 Days of Fun in the Garden This April’ in conjunction with Orphans Publishing. It offers affordable ideas suitable for windowsill gardening. You don’t need any special skills or equipment. A boon for any parent with children at home at the moment.

ANNMARIE POWELL is providing a garden design show at lunchtimes, live on instagram @myrealgarden. There’s also a Facebook page where you can ask advice. And a blog post listing nurseries supplying gardening plants and materials.


This is obviously an ever-changing situation according to demand and government advice.

Brooklea Nursery, Rothley : 07599 515689

Goscote Nursery, Cossington: 01509 812 121

Six Acre Nursery, Costock. See website for details.

This page will be updated daily. Please let me know if you’d like anything adding which you think might be helpful.

Thank you for listening in to the gardening shows on BBC Radio Leicester. It’s not the easiest situation at the moment with me on the phone in the potting shed – separated from the team. But I’m cheerfully carrying on, and hope that you are finding the advice helpful at the moment.

Radio Leicester is on your smart speaker, DAB and 104.9FM and on BBC Sounds to listen again.


A much-loved parkland in our county. Home of Lady Jane Grey, the ‘nine days queen.’ Jane was the great grand daughter of Henry Vll through his younger daughter Mary. She was queen from 10 July to 19 July 1553. She died in the Tower of London 12 February 1554. Here’s a virtual tour though the park created in response to the covid crisis.

15 thoughts on “Contacts and Information to help you through Corona Virus Lockdown

  1. Pingback: BBC Radio Leicester Gardens Hour 19 April 2020 | Bramble Garden

  2. Karen, I’m so glad the local radio is helping you find food and supplies to take you home, while supporting small businesses. It’s great! Karen you have a heart of gold by making this list and updating it daily. Thank you. I have taken a couple of addresses. I really like that you do this because it brings out the best in you. Yesterday I heard you on your BBC Sounds gardening show with Dave Andrews on March 22 because the one on 29 was not yet available from your garden shed. I really liked hearing you and understood something: people now send you questions to an email from the program. Get on with it even if you are not heard sometimes, because you make a great program and help people with your advice and the answers to their questions. I’m going to propose something different to gardening for the list. My sister-in-law, Arahi, is a Cuban singer and she sings phenomenally from more lively music to boleros and old Cuban music. Since the confinement began, he sings from his house to entertain people. It is in Spanish, but the music reaches the heart. The address is Facebook Arahi Martinez Carranza – Or if you are on your Facebook page, where it says “search” you put Arahi Martinez Carranza and it will appear. He also sings in English and has a mongrel dog named Coco and he is adorable. She is the wife of my brother who has been caught moving from the island of Mallorca to the Peninsula for a promotion and cannot do it and has almost everything packed in boxes. She is a very good person who loves us all very much. Karen wish your nurse daughter is always safe and sound. Karen, all your family, Mr B and you are safe and sound, with much health, strength, courage, hope and positive thinking. Take good care of yourself all and keep yourself safe at home. Much love to all. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a useful role you are providing, Karen, both on your blog and on the radio. I wonder if the Staffordshire NGS will do a similar thing? I have recently posted a YouTube video of my garden via and plan to do so at the end of every month – and would quite happily have a donation option for the NGS but don’t know how I would go about it. I have looked at Alison’s blog and see that her video and justgiving is all through Facebook , which I don’t ‘do’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cathy, yes, it’s a good idea to have a just giving link. You’ll have to suggest it to the Staffordshire NGS. I’ll have a look on the you tube link. Thanks so much. Will add it to my list as well. All helps. Was it easy to add it to the you tube site? I would like to do something for leicestershire. Keep safe. Karen xx


      • It was far easier adding it to YouTube than I expected it to be, although it took some time – about 15 minutes to upload, although I suppose that will depend on your broadband which I know you have had big issues with. I will contact our County Organisers and ask about facilitating a donation page. Do the Leicestershire gardeners include a link in their description of the clips?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes they add it alongside the clips I think. Good luck Cathy. Did you just use an I-phone to take the video? I’m going to have a go…. x


    • Thank you Denzil. Much appreciated. I’m finding it difficult to be separated from my mum and youngest daughter (who’s a corona nurse.) hope you are coping through this crisis. Take care.


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