The lay of the land: gardening trends in 2019
A green-fingered look at the year ahead sees potential in veganism, plastic pot alternatives and rhododendrons – but trouble for blackcurrants and peat-free compost. By Matthew Appleby
LESS PLASTIC PLEASE
Taupe-coloured recyclable plant pots are the response of the horticulture industry to the anti-plastic movement that began with David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II. The issue was given a horticultural context by Monty Don on BBC’s Gardeners’ World.
A September special on plant pots was the most-watched edition of the year, and a follow-up broadcast on plastic pot alternatives will be featured in the next series this year. About
500 million pots are used annually – and millions of taupe pots will be available in 2019.
Taupe (and any other lighter colour) is detectable by recycling machines (black isn’t), so is better suited to kerbside recycling schemes. However, there is evidence that 87 per cent of pots are still not recycled by councils, even though many could easily be made into new plastic products.
Plastic alternatives include
Haxnicks bamboo seed trays and pots (£5.99 for 6in/15cm pots) and coir pots, as used by the Hairy Pot Plant Company (sold via thenatural gardener.co.uk). Aluminium foil containers have been trialled by the National Trust and jute is another option. US company Ecoform offers biodegradable pots made of renewable grain fibres (not yet available here).
However, plastic makes by far the most practical container for growing and transporting plants so recycling is still an important option.
I’ve said for the past few years that vegan gardening is the next big thing. As vegan and flexitarian numbers explode, the animal-free trend is spreading to areas such as beauty products – and gardening.
The drive towards vegan gardening is fuelled by climate change, animal cruelty and human health concerns. pattern follows through it could mean a cold start to spring.”
However, if this winter is drier than expected it could mean drought is more likely in 2019 thanks to a knock-on effect: last year, after the joint-hottest summer on record, reservoirs in many areas, including Yorkshire, north-west England and Northern Ireland, were depleted by half.
URBAN JUNGLE Instagramworthy house plants in Hackney, main; below right,Alan Titchmarsh fronts theteam
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