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

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - GARDENING -

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.

VE­GAN TAKEOVER

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.

RHODO DRIVE

UR­BAN JUN­GLE In­sta­gram­wor­thy house plants in Hack­ney, main; be­low right,Alan Titch­marsh fronts theteam

WHO NEEDS PLAS­TIC? Biodegrad­able flow­er­pots should be pop­u­lar in 2019

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