Recycling in the garden

Throughout our history we have been keen advocates of recycling. As an example we harvest all the rainwater from our greenhouse roofs for later use in irrigating the plants.

We also recycle all our compost and plant trays and pots for use in following years. For several years our till staff have also ensured that we recycle as much of our cardboard packaging and surplus plant trays as possible by using them to pack customers’ plants at the cash desk. This not only speeds up service, but also ensures that the plants travel home in relative safety – a triple benefit!

A former plant advisor, Suzanne Wilson, is an avid recycler and a few years ago helped her local horticultural society win a gold medal for creating a garden almost entirely out of rubbish. Suzanne is keen to extend this recycling theme and has offered the following ideas for you:

  • Keep soap powder scoops for filling small pots with compost, or alternatively, cut a supermarket milk bottle in half, and keep the segment with the handle.
  • As a plant pot mulch, use diverse items such as small fir cones, wine corks, buttons, glass beads or shells.
  • Use old wooden kitchen spoons (inscribed) for herb bed markers.
  • Cut up old ice cream cartons into strips to be used as pot labels.
  • Keep cut down raspberry canes to use as pea or dwarf bean sticks.
  • Let your imagination run riot to scare the birds! Try old CDs, strips of tin foil, baking trays, strings of sea shells and old metal knives and forks (with holes drilled through the handles).
  • Upturned broken plant-pots placed in damp areas make a great refuge for frogs and toads.
  • Cut up cardboard tubes to bring on seeds such as sweet peas and beans.
  • Spread the wood ash from your fire basket or barbeque on the garden soil either as a snail deterrent or a source of potash.
  • Re-use rose prunings or dead holly leaves as a cat deterrent on your flower beds.
  • Make your own bog garden/ wildlife pool by putting a cork in the hole of a large ceramic pot.
  • Decking off-cuts make great “stepping stones”, especially in gravel in a “sea side garden”.
  • An organic alternative to “touch weeder” is salt! Just put a small sprinkling in the centre of daisies and dandelions.