Plants4Presents is a family business and we all believe that it is important to balance a quality service with a commitment to a sound environmental policy.
Since the very beginning we have opted for cardboard and paper wraps and ribbons that can be recycled rather than plastic and polythene that ends up in landfill sites. But over the last couple of years we have been striving ever harder to reduce the impact of our business on the environment.
Sussex grow chilli plants; bees enjoying lavender from kent; toads are a useful ally in the war against slugs
Unfortunately due to the shorter day length in the winter and of course the colder weather, some of our tropical plants and citrus cannot be raised commerically in this country and therefore we do import these by road from mainland Europe. However wherever possible we use Sussex and then British growers to supply our plants. Our blueberries and camellias come from Dorset and our cyclamen, hyacinths, poinsettias and primulas travel just 10 miles to reach us in Sussex and we are growing more and more of our plants including grapevines and chillies on site.
All our plants are gift wrapped in recyclable green kraft and tissue paper from
managed forests, boxed in 80% recycled cardboard, decorated with paper and raffia
ribbon instead of plastic and cellophane. Our care instructions are and Plants4Presents
greeting cards are unlaminated and printed on 100% recycled paper and card. As part
of our ongoing commitment to recycling all our office paper and envelopes are made
from recycled paper and we segregate and recycle all our office waste as much as
possible (right down to the teabags!)
At our Glasshouses in Sussex we also grow organic vegetables for local farmshops and box schemes and in September 2008 we acheived organic status with the Soil Association for our vegetables and homegrown herbs and peppers. The plants we buy in are not certified "organic" but we do use only organic methods of pest control once they reach our nursery.
As well as composting all plant waste we also segregate all office and packhouse
cardboard and paper waste. This is then shredded and added to the nursery compost.
Although our citrus trees do still receive a balanced chemical supplement all our other pot plants are fed using a nettle and comfrey 'tea'. The benefit of this nitrogen rich 'brew' has been well documented and we have been really pleased in the boost to general plant health since we introduced this in July 2007.
We don't use any chemical pesticides in our nursery and we think this is particularly
important as we send so many edible plants and trees. Instead we use a combination
of horticultural soft soap, natural predators and sticky traps. You can find out
more about natural predators and pest control at our sister site
But natural predators doesn't just mean nematodes and ladybirds. We actively encourage a range of beneficial wildlife within our nursery. Bees to aid pollination, Robins, Finches, Sparrows, Wagtails, lizards and toads who all help control slugs and caterpillars in the veg areas.