Brexit blamed as Devon garden centre gives away plants for free

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A Devon garden centre company has blamed Brexit for a staff shortage as it gives away £100,000 worth of plants for free.

The Plants Galore centres in Plymouth, Newton Abbot and Exeter are planning on giving away their stock on a first-come-first-served basis.

Bosses say they cannot maintain the plants due to a staff shortage, which they say is related to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Team leader Matt Pollard said he would rather see the plants go to a new home than die in the garden centres.

Staff are giving away £100,000 worth of plants.

“We aren’t able to look after these plants, we’re not able to take them back to our nursery to cut them to produce plants for next year, so we’re just going to give them away,” he said.

“It’s really disheartening as a business because we have grown all of these as cuttings that we took last year - we’ve planted them, looked after them, we’ve grown them, brought them into the stores, we’ve tried to sell them and now we can’t continue to do this.

“We haven’t got the staff to look after these plants as they should be and we don’t want to watch them deteriorate.”

Matt Pollard, team leader at Plants Galore.

Plants Galore’s recruitment crisis started after many of their European workers left the UK following Brexit.

The free plants will be located in the carparks of the Plants Galore stores in Plymouth, Newton Abbot and Exeter.

The giveaway starts at 8am on Friday 13 August.