We are a small-scale nursery and garden shop based in Faversham, Kent. We have done shows with you, promoted your training services and been advocates of what you have done for some years including attending policy launches.
I don’t know if you viewed our piece on Gardeners’ World where we displayed some of our processes which allow us to basically stop the sale of single use plastic, a modern first in the UK. We run a peat free compost bag for life scheme, we have invented and made the POSIpot which stops the sale of a plastic pot at point of sale, we sell feeds and sprays in refills or brown bags.. we have done numerous radical steps that has seen our sales go through the roof, customers being incredibly positive and us taking full responsibility for the plastic in our business.. we have broken the plastic chain.
When we started this last year, we didn’t want to do this half-heartedly, we think that climate and nature collapse demands a radical and inconvenient approach. I say inconvenient approach deliberately; we firmly feel that the small extras efforts involved has had a huge positive with our business… We talk more with our customers; we work more with community.. an example is we don’t throw away surplus plants, we plant up community spaces.. we work with the school we are based to design garden waste recycling processes including ironically a black plastic recycling centre.
We firmly believe that our green model for garden centres and nurseries is the future, the UK nursery business is declining rapidly as your recent report described, very few young people are opening them. What can make UK nurseries community based, relevant and distinctive as compared to the massive import market from the EU and the big players like Crocus online and B&Q on the high street? Respectfully, I have to challenge the RHS to look at how they can rise above the greenwash like taupe pots or the fact that plants pour in from abroad when we should be growing them here, peat free, pesticide free and selling them plastic free.
I have contacted the RHS numerous times to gauge support for our business and share the positives.. I have faced nothing but negatives or not being responded to. I am considering handing back my membership which is a real shame and even if I don’t receive anything from this, I am going to visit nurseries and shout about what we are doing. It is the future…