I’ve got a bit of a soft spot (obsession) for terracotta pots of all shapes and sizes at the moment – they remind me of those ‘pot shops’ in Spain, the vast garden centres with seas of ceramics and terracotta that you wish you could squeeze into your luggage and bring home. It’s getting silly now – I’ve got dozens of them, but they look so summery, I can’t help myself! I’ve found a good source at my local Notcutts, which sells reasonably priced rustic fayre. These pots have dual appeal for me; they bring up happy memories of holidays, but best of all they mean I’m not buying more plastic.
Alarm bells rang in the gardening world recently when it dawned on everyone that we use so much of the stuff – pots, trays, packaging – which is often only used once. Thankfully most of us have taken at least some action, recycling here and there and sourcing better products. Of course, gardeners are thrifty beings and are long-time recyclers, but there’s just too much plastic being sold in the first place. Put into perspective, it’ll take about 400 years for a plastic pot you throw away today to rot down; 400 years ago Shakespeare was around and the Pilgrim Fathers went to America! So how, other than recycling heavily, can we do better – but crucially, at a thrifty price to match our thrifty nature?
Baby steps are being taken, and the day you can buy non-plastic compost bags will be a good one. But there are lots of options already: coir seedling pots lose water when in use, but are worth the effort. Eco-friendly gardening company Envii have switched to paper postal packaging, and are developing compostable feed sachets. And my favourite has to be Haxnicks, who have been quick off the mark with their bamboo-made pots and trays – fully compostable and cheap at £5.99 for a pack of five and £3.99 for a good quality seed tray from Dobbies, or their website www.haxnicks.co.uk. They now do terracotta-coloured ones, too; needless to say I’m on to that.