The environment is on everyone's minds at the moment, and rightly so.
Gardeners, more than most, are conscious of the consequences and benefits of their actions. We are in it - and working with it - most of the time, after all.
At Crocus, we can not claim to be pure and spotless in everything we do, but we are doing what we can.
Peat free compost trials
For a long time gardeners and the trade were very resistant about moving away from peat, because it is such a valuable growing medium. However, there are now increasingly good alternatives and this year we will be using a reduced peat mix for all our plants. The mix is 50% peat plus a mixture of bark, wood fibre and coir. This is the result of trials we started in February 2011. It was a very wet and sunless year, nevertheless the 50:50 outperformed both the peat free mix and our existing (peat reduced) mix. Eventhough we will continue the trial until Spring 2013, we think we have learnt enough to make the switch now
Despite 2012 being the wettest on record, water is becoming an increasingly rare resource. As a nursery, we use a vast amount of it. Over the last 18 months we have built a network of channels across our 20 acre site to collect the water from the nursery and the buildings. This water is collected in a reservoir and then re-used on the nursery. Last year we reduced our mains water useage by 80%.
Warehouse heating from waste material
We used to use oil, but in 2010 we decided to install a wood burner. This burner is capable of burning most of our waste material - like pallets etc, which used to be sent to landfill. In recycling terms, it's been a bit of a double whammy!
Like any mail order company we have to package everything in order to get it to our customers. As we send out 650,000 plants each year, that's a lot of packaging. In 2010 we made sure all our boxes were made from recyclable board. That way they can, in theory, be used again. The tape and plastic 'nappies' we use for the plants are not recyclable but we aim to change that in time.