Jenny Blair asks if I have any ideas how a collection of bottle corks (some of them plastic) can be “recycled” in the garden. She was at pains to explain, in her email, that they were not all accumulated from the Christmas/New Year we have just had, but have gradually been building up over the years. Two uses come to mind: I have seen them used as not-unattractive moisture-retaining mulch on the top of a large flower pot. I suppose you could also use them at the bottom of big pots as a drainage layer, where once “crocks” were de rigueur.
Jenny asks, furthermore, if there is any reason why she should not grow herbs in an old wooden wine box? None that I can see, although the construction of traditional wine boxes is rather primitive (they are simply nailed together), and they are made of very-low-grade thin wood, so even if they are treated with a plant friendly preservative (Eco Wood Treatment from Harrod Horticultural – harrodhorticultural. com), have their nails replaced with brass screws, drainage holes made and a couple of struts put on their base to strengthen them and provide “feet”, they wouldn’t last more than a year or so. A nice idea though – one I might try myself.