Amenity nursery launches its 'eco plantings' service

Aaron Nurseries partner Richard Thorpe has launched what he calls "eco-sustainable plantings" in collaboration with landscape designers and in response to customer demand for cheaper and more environmentally-friendly bedding options.

Council beds require hours of work.  Image: Nottingham City Council
Council beds require hours of work. Image: Nottingham City Council

Thorpe said customers increasingly wanted cheaper and more environmentally-friendly beds but needed professional guidance on how to create them effectively.

He added: "Money is tight everywhere these days and we are finding more and more people are enquiring about how they can get a planting scheme that doesn't revolve around spring and summer bedding plants. They are asking where they can incorporate herbaceous and general shrub plants.

"Perennials might cost more in the short term, but ultimately they require fewer man hours and you don't have to rip up and discard your beds every few months."

Aaron Nurseries is part of the Carbon Footprint Offsetting Partnership and Landscape UK - an association of various horticultural businesses.

He said it was vital for amenity market suppliers to find new and innovative markets in order to survive in a sluggish economy, and with Government cuts looming, many parks departments will soon be facing diminished budgets.

Thorpe added: "At Blaby District Council in Leicestershire, they were looking to reduce their labour and planting costs, so they incorporated shrubs and herbaceous plants. But we are not saying do away with bedding 100 per cent. It's just about supplementing it with plants with a longer lifespan."

The group is now seeking other growers to come on board to make a national network of suppliers to reduce plant miles and strengthen growers' eco-credentials.

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