do your plants
nourish nature?

Are you fed up with companies that care more about their bottom line than the earth - selling plants doused in chemicals and grown with peat in flimsy plastic plant pots?

so are we

Like most gardeners I've bought my fair share of plants over the years. It's easy not to notice the bad stuff in the industry when you're feeling the sun on your brow and enjoying the summer in the garden.

It wasn't so easy to ignore the hottest summer I've ever lived through though. Or how there never seems to be as many bees crawling in and out of the flowers, or the plastic pots littering the side of the shed that seems to build up no matter how many I give away, or the wet wet wet winters that don't get properly cold anymore. 

Especially in the lockdowns. I got a bit obsessive over it all to be honest...

so we started the most sustainable plant nursery possibly possible

I realised that If we started a genuinely sustainably plant nursery, then we could show that things can be done differently. Plants can be grown without plastic, without chemicals, without pollution, without causing climate change.

Instead every plant we grew would have a tiny effect at slowing climate change. If we grow enough plants then tiny things add up to something big that actually makes a difference.

meet the family

meet the family

Pictre of head gardener


general dogsbody

I grew up spending my school holidays vaguely helping in my grandparents smallholding, Digging up spuds, shelling peas and getting chased by sheep. My gran was pretty good at growing - they asked her to stop entering local horticultural competitions because no one else had a chance!  Hopefully something of value slowly percolated through!

Pictre of head gardener


earth rod

 I am definitely in charge of keeping things on course and not letting Sam enthusiatically divert us down a million rabbit holes - I said trying to make individual little carefully folded newspaper pots for every plant was not long term do-able.

 It did not last long. Nuff said...

I also make damn good cakes.

Pictre of head gardener


animal whisperer

The worlds most natural ferret wrangler!

In charge of all of the nursery's 4 legged friends, Lemmie, Bubbles and Archie.  This seems to mean encouraging general mayhem. 

Enforces employee regulations - apparently every 10 minutes, snack breaks are legally mandated.

Pictre of head gardener


chief pallet deconstructor

 Man he just really REALLY likes hitting things with hammers.

And pulling things apart.

And nailing them back together.

Perfect job match really.

Pictre of head gardener


food hoover upper

Getting on a bit now but still enjoys making a nuisance of himself in any way he can. So long as it's from the sofa. 

Loves cuddles and dinner.

(But not in that order)

why does sustainable gardening matter?

Microplastics are poisoning the world

Every year the horticultural industry produces 30,000 tonnes of single use plastic.

Black plastic plant pots can't be recycled so they end up in landfill

Recyclable pots are not accepted for recycling by 97% of councils surveyed.

Microplastics which pollute the earth. including bioplastics

Even worms in microplastic polluted soils lost 1% of bodyweight every 10 days. 

60% flying insect decline in the last 20 years

Even looking at it in a completely selfish way, a 60% flying insect decline puts our food security at real risk.

Pests and predators are becoming out of sync, messing with the natural food chain.

Pesticides are linked with everything from Parkinson's disease to poisoning earthworms.

Herbicides  cause up to 94% bee mortality - the concoctions aren't hamless - they kill insects and worms

Synthetic fertilisers damage the soil food web and the wider world.

Environmental damage and climate change is speeding up

Harvested peat causes more carbon to be emitted kg for kg than burning coal.

Coco Coir is a popular alternative to peat because it has 'green' credentials, It also involves massive fresh water use in drought prone locations, chemical waste, and worker health problems

Big nurseries negate the carbon absorbed by plants by using energy to force them on out of season, to grow bigger and flower earlier, and by importing plants in from abroad to save money and make more profit.

how we grow plants for your garden

Plastic-free plants

Our plastic-free plants aren't just shipped without plastic, we don't use plastic plant pots at all. 

These sustainable plants are grown in wooden planters (made from old pallets). We harvest fibrous rooted plants carefully throughout the growing season from the troughs. Taprooted plants which don't like to be moved are either grown in woodfibre pots as an eco friendly sustainable alternative to plastic plant pots when smaller, or left till they are dormant before they are dispatched.

The planters are deeper than plant pots and it is easy to mulch the entire trough just as you would a flowerbed, so waterlogging is not an issue - there are no mushy, rotting roots.

When we harvest the plants, we prune the rootball, encouraging strong growth as all pruning does when . This means the plants will establish well in your garden and thrive.

After harvesting, your plant will be balled and burlapped (rootball wrapped in hessian). When planted out, the hessian should be left on and it degrades in the soil, adding organic matter to help feed your flowerbed's foodweb.

phoo of plantsgroing in large reclaimed wooden troughs

Chemical-free gardening

We don't use any synthetic chemicals at all in our sustainable plant nursery to grow your plants. No synthetic fertilisers, no pesticides, no herbicides.

As advocates of chemical free gardening we use barriers like sandpaper instead of slug pellets, and rely on natural predators like hoverflies, toads and birds and practice companion planting to confuse and deter pests. Also sometimes they have a good munch and thats cool too.

Our compost naturally feeds our plants for 12 months and only Soil Association approved fertilisers like seaweed feed or sustainably processed waste byproducts like Vinaase is used if more is required for older, more established plants.

picture of sheep among braken in lake district

Eco friendly Compost

We looked close to home for a more eco-friendly compost than the major suppliers are able to offer. Just a few counties north is Dalefoot Farm in the Lake District which makes certified organic compost from wool sheared from their own organic flock of sheep, braken from the fells and comfrey which is grow as a cover crop. 

Wool has lost so much value that farmers are literally setting it on fire as it is not economical to bring it to market anymore. Braken is invasive and needs to be controlled - so this compost is diverting waste streams from being burnt and releasing CO2 into the atmosphere to growing plants which absorb carbon instead.  

I trialed this compost when we started our sustainable plant nursery and it's excellent at holding water, feeds plants organically for 12 months and the plants grow really well in it.

Are flowers important for mitigating climate change?

Flowers are important for mitigating climate change - perennial plants lock around a 1.34 tonnes of CO2 per acre into the soil every year. Even annual plants sequester some carbon into the soil. 

Not many gardens can fit in more trees, but almost all gardens have some bare patches of earth.

The UK has over 10 million acres of garden and the average British garden is 188 square meters. Lets say only 1%, (or 2 square meters) of each garden could fit in additional sustainable garden plants...Altogether they would absorb and sequester 134,000 tons of CO2. 

Every single year.

That is equivalent to the carbon stored by planting 2.2 million trees and growing them for 10 years.

Just 8 plants in every garden can make a real difference.

A carbon neutral sustainable plant nursery

As a sustainable plant nursery we keep our emissions to a real minimum - we do not use artificial heat to force our plants (they are all grown outside anyway), our carbon miles for supplies like compost and wood fibre pots are the minimum we could achieve, and we use Royal Mail for shipping as it has the lowest carbon footprint per parcel, whilst packing in boxes from a carbon neutral B-corp supplier. Our EV van is second hand and we use repurposed and second hand materials whenever we need something - check out the coldframes we make from glass shower doors we rescue whenever we see them on a skip! 

The remaining emissions we create as a business are offset by planting 360 trees every year under scopes 1 (direct emissions), 2 (indirect energy emissions, and 3 (indirect other emissions) - so that's everything from the farts coming out of the back of the sheep that supply the wool for our compost to the postie dropping the plants off at your door.