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Q&A with Pledge to Plant Founder Kathy Whyte

Kathy Whyte is the founder of Pledge to Plant which she set up in memory of her mum to acknowledge the wonderful hospice care she received in her final days and also her mum’s love of gardening and flowers. Here she talks us through her top tips for Pledge to Plant sales and the many benefits of gardening.  

What plants are suitable for Pledge to Plant sales? 

Any plant is suitable, the list is endless!  

What were your bestsellers last year? 

Plants that were in flower were the first to sell. However I sold everything on the day. For plants that were not in flower I showed images on my phone. Each plant was also clearly labelled so people could also check it on their phone.   

How did you organise your sale?

The plant sale was part of the weekly country market held in a local school car park in Clonmel. It was very straightforward to organise and great to be part of the farmers market which guaranteed footfall.  

How did you let people know about it? 

Local radio (Tipp FM), social media and of course word of mouth!  

Is there anything you are doing differently this year? 

I’m not doing a dedicated plant sale this year, but will be sharing plants and flowers with a number of friends’ Pledge to Plant sales.  

Where does your love of gardening come from?

From my dear Mum and Grandmother – they spent their lives in the garden. Some of my earliest childhood memories are watering my granny’s tomatoes and deadheading her roses in her beautiful garden in Tramore.  

What benefits do you get from gardening?  

Gardening provides an escape from our crazy world, peace of mind, relaxation and so much satisfaction. 

What flowers are easiest to grow from seed?

Sunflowers, nasturtium, cosmos – all of which can still be planted in June, to bloom in Autumn.    

Not all plants bloom in June, are people still interested in buying them?  

Yes people will still buy them once you can advise them of the following: A. What colour they will be; B. When they will flower; C. Whether suited to a small or bigger garden and D. If they like a sunny or a shady spot. 

What are your top 3 tips for those holding a Pledge to Plant sale this year? 

1. Label plants and ideally know a little about the plant so you can share your knowledge.

2. Keep it simple and ask for help with practicalities. 

3. Enjoy the day. Maybe have a cup of tea too!