Actress Emilia Fox is a passionate gardener: “When I go into the garden, I forget everything,” she has said.
“It’s uncomplicated in my world of gardening. It’s trial and error really. If something doesn’t work, it comes out, and you start all over again.”
Now the star of Silent Witness is the face of B&Q’s new campaign to replace all polystyrene packaging in its range of bedding plants and use non-peat compost.
The gardening giant is introducing what it calls Teabag Technology™, easyGrow™, which is recycled plant trays with virtually peat-free compost for 20 of its bedding plants.
And with the Easter period being a prime planting period the new campaign couldn’t be better timed.
B&Q expects to sell more than 80 million bedding plants between before the end of June.
Up until now their plants have been packaged in non-recyclable polystyrene trays, enough to fill more than 87,200 wheelie bins, which ended up in UK landfills.
Placed end to end, says B&Q, the trays would stretch from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Its peat-free campaign is supported by the RSPB, which wants to protect lowland peat bogs that are home to birds like merlins and golden plovers, as well as dragonflies, raft spiders and carnivorous wild plants such as sundews and butterworts.
The easyGrow™ with Teabag Technology™ involves rooting plants in compost that is between 95 to 99per cent peat-free.
Olly Watts, RSPB peat expert, says: “Now gardeners can buy plants and give nature a home in their gardens without destroying nature’s home in the countryside.
“Lowland peatbogs are really special places for plants and wildlife and there is no reason why we should be digging it up to grow flowers in our gardens.
“Most gardeners love nature and the wildlife that visits our garden flowerbeds, borders and veg patches.
“Many want to do more for nature by going peat free and B&Q is leading the way in helping them do just that.”
The easyGrow™ with Teabag Technology™ is a self-contained biodegradable “teabag” made from corn starch, a renewable resource that is fully compostable.
Each bag is filled with coir, a natural fibre extracted from coconut husks.
Ben Smith, Bedding Plants Buyer at B&Q, said: “The coir we use is produced in Sri Lanka to high ethical standards which have been independently audited.
“We’ve created 750 new jobs there as part of the production, and have been playing our part in helping to support the area with funding for a local school.”
As part of B&Q’s commitment to working with British suppliers, easyGrow™ with Teabag Technology™ has been developed in partnership with British growers, including Coletta & Tyson, a family business based in Hull.