100,000 packets of Mr Fothergill’s seed donated to refugees during Covid-19 pandemic

Mr Fothergill’s and the Lemon Tree Trust are working together to provide 100,000 packets of quality seed to people living in refugee and IDP (internally displaced people) camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Mr Fothergill’s is supporting our Emergency ‘Gardener to Gardener’ Seed Appeal with a week-long promotion to its UK customers. For every packet of vegetable, herb and flower seed bought online in the first week of May, a packet of seed will be donated to the Appeal. We will purchase further packets with direct donations from supporters in the UK and USA.

People receive seed packets to grow food and flowers in their home gardens and our community garden in Domiz 1 camp.

Demand for seed and plants in camps in the KRI has significantly increased since all camps were closed to help combat the outbreak of Covid-19 in the region. Thousands of people have lost their jobs as a result of the outbreak and food shortages have been experienced in most camps. In the last two weeks alone, we have distributed more than 3,000 plants and seeds to over 1,000 families in Domiz 1 camp, with further seed distributions of previously donated seed from Mr Fothergill’s planned in a further seven camps over the next two weeks.

Our Founder and CEO, Stephanie Hunt, says:

“We are all seeking refuge and solace in our gardens as Covid-19 completely disrupts our lives. The need for personal green space and home gardens has never been greater in the camps where we support people to grow food and flowers. Limited space and resources make people creative and this is certainly true of the incredible gardeners we know in Kurdistan. We are thrilled to have the support of Mr Fothergill’s and have been humbled by the number of personal seed donations we have already received this month.”

Tim Jeffries from Mr Fothergill’s says:

“We’re all thankful of our gardens at the moment and here at Mr Fothergill’s we have consistently seen at least 100% more demand than usual for seed. Thanks to our partnership with Lemon Tree Trust we can support people in refugee and IDP camps to create home gardens for purpose and pleasure, helping in our own way to overcome the global challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

This new support follows a donation of over 11,000 packets of seed from Mr Fothergill’s and the RHS earlier this year and support with other projects in 2019 and 2018.

Support the Appeal

1. Buy a packet of vegetable, herb and flower seed from Mr Fothergill’s online shop, 1-7 May, and a packet of seed will be donated to the Appeal.

2. Send any spare seed directly to us for distribution later in the year – email [email protected] for a postal address.

3. Donate directly to the Seed Appeal online here.


The Azadi Community Garden in Domiz 1 camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is run by a small team of gardeners headed up Aveen, our Operations Manager. We asked team members Ismail and Shalal (pictured below) some questions about their work in the garden and their favourite plants. Ismail “I’m Ismail, a Syrian refugee. … Continued

Huge gratitude and thanks go to Erin Benzakein, Becky Crowley and all the team at Floret Flowers. As well as a generous donation of Floret seeds to our emergency ‘Gardener to Gardener’ Seed Appeal, Erin has published a lovely interview feature with our founder Stephanie Hunt on the Floret website. In the feature, Stephanie chats … Continued

Our heartfelt thanks go to Bridget and Henrietta at The Land Gardeners for donating profits from the first issue of their new pop-up magazine to Lemon Tree Trust. In this beautiful digital magazine, The Land Gardeners share what to plant and how to grow in lockdown. Plus, read about Erin Benzakein’s favourite pink flowers, Paul Bangay’s most-loved garden book, Kay … Continued