100 Sunflowers is a project I created to facilitate donations from the plant loving community to UNICEF in order to help Ukranian families in need.
The project, which raised over £500 on its launch day alone, consisted of a special design depicting 100 colourful sunflowers, printed on merchandise such as t-shirts, sweaters and tote bags, with 100% of the profit going to charity.
The project is ongoing, and profits will continue to be donated to UNICEF for as long as the products are in stock.
Loved and lauded, lilacs are back in vogue. Whether gathered in lavish armfuls for the house or flourishing in the garden, their timeless perfume fills the air and they are an essential part of the spring season – fleeting, fabulous and instantly recognisable.
Following on from Dahlias, Hydrangeas and Lilies, Lilacs is the fourth ‘flowers’ book in the series, written by gardening expert and journalist Naomi Slade and with bespoke images from leading photographer Georgianna Lane. It combines a visual feast with information on selected cultivars and practical tips for growing and enjoying the iconic blooms at home.
Available from all good bookshops. Signed copies can be ordered from www.naomislade.com/shop
With over 13 million people in the UK renting from a private landlord, that’s just under a quarter of the population living in accommodation where it may be difficult to make changes to the home and garden without the landlord’s consent. This book, written by Matthew Pottage, is an excellent guide to gardening while keeping your landlord happy. It comes complete with projects, inspiration and handy tips tailored to those who rent, and even considers tighter budgets and busy schedules.
Besides beautiful plants, pots and other accessories, The Plant Shop, a small business based in Teeside, also offer their own candles!
These handmade, hand-poured and hand-labelled candles produce a long, clean and even burn. They can make a space feel homely with your favourite scent, and have that contemporary industrial look with dark glass and silver metal screw-top lids.
Fragrances include Lemon Drizzle, Edwardian Fireside and Pink Pepper & Violet. Best of all, they start from just £9 each!
Earthed Up! are a new workers co-operative plant nursery in Belper, Derbyshire. They grow all their own plants, peat free, without harmful chemicals.
They have put together a gift set to inspire and help more people to grow their own perennials. It includes:
- A book to help you grow your own food
- 2 packs of seed saves from plants they grew, saved and packed – perennial edibles and wildflowers
- 2 bookmarks with info on how to grow the seeds and use the plants
- A beautiful postcard featuring a tree illustration by Glennie Kindred
Packed in a joyful bright yellow envelope. All packaging is plastic free. The sets are just £10 with free delivery!
Design & Beyond was created by owner Paul as a way to express his creativity while bringing a smile to his customers’ homes. Producing colourful, eye-catching homeware in the form of plant pots, vases, trinket trays and more, Paul uses an eco-friendly resin which renders the products complete non-toxic and means production is kinder to the environment.
Products start from £10 and come in a range of shades and patterns to suit any home.
Caring for bees is something that many of us wish that we could do, if we didn’t lack the skills or equipment! However, the Gardeners Beehive provides a natural shelter for bees without the need for a beekeeper.
This fantastic, attractive design features self-regulating honey harvesting, which comprises an annex box atttached to the side of the beehive that becomes filled with honey and can be harvested without disturbing the bees or putting them under stress. Fresh, ethical honey – doesn’t that sound wonderful?
Introducing wildflowers into your garden is one way to help your local bee population, as well as many other native insects. However, if you have pets, it’s important to do your research before introducing new plants in your garden, in order to ensure that you don’t plant something that could be toxic if ingested.
Pure Seeds have done all the research for you and created a special mix of wildflower seeds that are perfect for pollinators and pets. Each of the five flowers in the mix produce a beautiful bloom that, together, make a fabulous display in gardens of all sizes.
Inspired by Taiwanese bubble tea fused with Britain’s famous tea-drinking culture, HumaniTea offers well-balanced tea latte beverages. In fact, they produce ‘the UK’s 1st chilled ready-to-drink plant-based tea lattes bottled into recyclable aluminium cans’ – points for sustainability!
HumaniTea’s drinks are brewed actual tea leaves, creamy oat milk, and ethically sourced, quality ingredients. Try their Matcha and Earl Grey Oat Milk Tea Lattes for your next beverage!
Second-year Design Engineering student Maddie started created eco-friendly plant-based plant pots as a way to fund her education. Now, she has over 1,200 sales on Etsy and hundreds of eco-conscious followers.
Her pots are 3D printed from cornstarch, which is made into a durable bio plastic. This means that the pots will eventually biodegrade, but this takes place after a very long time, and no harsh chemicals are released in the process.
Maddie has a range of contemporary designs, in all shapes and sizes, perfect for housing any houseplant!
Designed in Glasgow and made in Bristol, Potr Plant Pots are made from waste polypropylene destined for landfill. The repurposed material is made into long lasting and sturdy planters that are also self-watering! The cotton cord around the plant pot acts as a wicking straw, which transfers water from the reservoir in the base of the pot to the soil surrounding your plant. Better yet, each pot can be flatpacked for easy delivery and storage.
monopoly go green
Your favourite marathon board game has gone green – literally! In an effort to raise awareness of eco-friendly building solutions, Hasbro has released this special edition of Monopoly that allows players to earn more money by ‘greening up’ their properties.
In this edition, greenhouses and dice are made of FSC certified wood from well-managed forests, and tokens are made with plant-based plastic derived from sugarcane, a renewable raw material. The package, gameboard, game guide, money, cards, storage bag, insert, and money tray are made with 100% recycled paper. Pre-order yours now – releasing September 2021.
Have you ever brewed your own tea? I don’t just mean a bag of tea from the supermarket! I mean growing tea from scratch, then brewing it to enjoy! Thompson & Morgan’s Hydrangea serrata ‘Hydrantea’ allows you to do just that. In Japan this hardy shrub has been utilised for making a refreshing herbal brew for many centuries. Once harvested, the leaves are left to dry in the sun before crushing and re-drying to create flavoursome tea-leaves. With no calories and a naturally sugary flavour, it makes a delicious alternative to normal caffeinated tea.
Did you know that 1 million plastic bottles are sold every minute? That’s a lot of waste. But your plastic bottles don’t have to go to landfill or become downcycled in a process that could create carbon emissions – instead Bottle Farm gives you a kit to turn them into mini indoor farms!
With each kit, you get a nutrient rich ‘Plant Fuel’, seeds, bottle stands and more! You can get your kit for £24.99 here.
ASOS Design is going all out with their printed jumpers! From their now iconic cloud-print jumper to flowers, flames and everything in between, ASOS’ own brand of clothing is nailing outrageous patterns that will make your grandma give you the side-eye.
This carrot-print jumper is no different, and will definitely turn heads at the allotment! Get it now while it’s still hot!
Isn’t this wall hanger adorable? Available from comfybear for £9.99, it’s a very cute way to grow succulents, herbs and other small plants. Simply pour your water into the cloud, and it will distribute the water across the plant via ‘raindrops’ which disperse slowly so as not to drown the plant.
You can purchase this pot in a range of colours to suit your indoor or outdoor space.
Marbec Village creates locally inspired mugs called ‘Metro Mugs’ that everyone across the country can enjoy with a hot drink in the garden! Their designs depict different towns and regions across the UK, in the style of the London tube map. Choose from the Lake District, Snowdonia, Cotswolds and more!
Mugs are £11.99 each and are available at their Etsy shop.
What do you do with children’s books after your kids have finished reading them? Give them to a friend? Sell them? Maybe even throw them away in the recycling? There’s an even better end-of-life route for children’s books that actually provides negative emissions! Willsow have created books that can be planted and grown into vegetables and herbs.
Even better, the seeds represent the characters in the books – so your child can actually ‘meet’ the characters once the seeds have grown!
Plant pots can come in all sorts of materials – but have you ever seen any made from washable paper? This vegan, eco-friendly leather alternative makes a beautiful material for container storage, and for making your houseplants look very special!
These pots are available in six colour and four sizes, with larger sizes on the way. Orders can be made by Instagram DM at @arborfold_.
Ever overwatered or underwatered a houseplant, let it fall victim to spider mites, or neglected its lighting needs? It’s easily done. But these plant specimens from Slow Pharmacy are suspended in time by a secret formula inside a vial, meaning that they’ll never die! Made by an innovative small business in South Korea, these ‘liquid terrariums’ are not only practical, but they look very pretty on your shelves. A great gift idea for the plant killer in your social circle!
Those who really love tea and want an authentic, but luxuriolus, experience when sipping their favourite beverage, will love Pinestone Tea.
This company produces beautiful boxes of premium Chinese tea with unrivalled flavour, alongside an environmentally and socially responsible ethos. I recommend trying the Luxury Green tea Gift Set for three wonderful teas to enjoy while you’re planning your spring garden in your head!
If there’s anything we all have in abundance, it’s kitchen scraps! But if you don’t know what to do with them, they can just go to waste in the kitchen bin. Not anymore – Regrown by Paul Anderton and Robin Daly shows you how to ‘regrow’ 20 vegetables from their scraps. Magic! Buy it here from the publisher or here on Amazon.
sea the change
Have you ever wondered what happens to a crab shell after you’ve eaten it? Probably not, but it most likely goes in the bin, and then landfill, to decompose after some time. But what if we could harness the nutrients within crab shells and use them to benefit our gardens? Sea the Change have done just that. This fertiliser fights plant diseases, promotes healthy growth and triggers plant defense systems – and it’s 100% crab shell. Nothing added!
Ooh, I love a good vase, and probably have far too many! La Soufflerie is making beautiful glass-blown vases from 100% recycled glass. Each piece is unique.
La Soufflerie are a non-profit, family owned company, who are keen to preserve the art of ancestral glass-blowing.
Now, there’s a LOT of Dahlia to choose from these days; we are positively spoilt for choice… But, ‘Evanah‘ really got my attention! The blooms are almost sculpted, like one of those fancy artisan candles!
Start from tuber or potted plant; it’s great to have such a choice, as we haven’t all got the space to start off tubers indoors. Buy yours at Sarah Raven…
We all chat about microgreens and how good they are for you, but have you ever tried any? Here’s the easiest way to do it… Each pack of ‘Silly Greens‘ is delivered pre-sown, all you need to do is water the pack every day, and in next to no time you’ll have a healthy crop right in front of you!
Zhuzh up that dinner plate today!
And, remember, Silly Greens is a first of its kind; farm-direct, unfinished cropping, full of goodness. Prices are just £5 per box, with no monthly commitment.
These are cracking little kits, and the design is just perfect! The ‘Craft Beer’ kit caught my eye, can’t think why! Each kit has all you need to grow; biodegradable husk pots, organic peat-free compost and the seeds for success!
I always fancy giving the Jalapeno kit a try! The succulents also look pretty cool. Great for kids, adults, and everyone in between!
I’ve been following the journey of GREK Tea for a few years, as many of you know I have Greek heritage myself. The range has lovely traditional teas such as Mountain Tea and Peppermint, but my pick of the range has to be their Lemon Verbena!
It’s caffeine-free, and packed with health benefits, and recently bagged two gold stars in the Great Taste 2020 awards!
Alcohol-free drinks have come a long way, baby! I am loving the complex botanical creations from Crossip, a new initiative which also gives back. 5% of all sales to social causes.
The flavours are mature and sophisticated, with 3 concotions in the range. ‘Pure’ boasts Hibiscus flavours, and can rival a traditional Negroni! For a Whiskey substitute, why not consider the Dandy, it’s deep and complex, and perfect with ice and soda. Finally, ‘Fresh’ is like a fruit punch, just without the morning after punch.
plantgrow slug & snail solution
I’m all for natural remedies, and especially when they don’t kill little garden creatures! This dried material acts as a barrier around your plants, protecting them from any imminent slug or snail attacks! This actually then leaves hedgehogs and garden birds with their much needed food source!
Manufactured from 100% natural materials, and mixed to a secret recipe, it’s also vegan, and available from PlantGrow in Norfolk. It’s totally worth a try, I’ll certainly be using it around my prized plants!
camellia summer nights
This is a brand-new breeding breakthrough, this is a Camellia that flowers in the summer. This is most unlike all other Camellias. Bred in China by Mr Gao Jiyn, who has worked with Camellia for over 50 years, and finally he managed to make one that blooms from May to October. No wonder they call it “Summer Nights“! 2 metres high and 2 metres wide, so perfect for small gardens or voluminous pots! Available soon from Thompson and Morgan.
Just when I was getting bored of macrame, these awesome leather plant hangers from Hung Studios come along! They also have a vegan line too.
The colours are well-chosen, and I think I may have to treat myself to one of the fleuroscent ones! They’re so 80s it hurts!
boskke sky planters
How about a really different feature for your houseplants, and it’s one your orchids will enjoy in particular! The Sky Planters by Boskke defy gravity with their unique construction, and orchids can feel like they’re growing in the wild. It’s time to remove their supporting canes, be brave!!
These planters are easy to put together, simple to water, and make a real statement. Ferns also work well, especially Boston Ferns! Give it a go!
elho vibes range
Outer pots for houseplants just get cooler and cooler! The ‘vibes’ range from Elho looks like it stepped straight out of a design store! The ribbed pots are made of recycled plastic, and are sleek and sexy!
Look out for them in your local gardening shop or buy online. The dusky pink is my pick of the range too! Available in 14cm, 16cm, 18cm and 22cm diameters.
Taste Plants mints
Sometimes minty chewing gum is just a bit much, and it always seems to make me sneeze too! Sometimes I feel like refreshing my mouth in a different way, and over the years I’ve tried all the alternatives: chewing parsley, running a strawberry over my teeth, and other things I won’t care to mention!
Taste Plants tablets are the ideal mint substitutes! Each tablet is made with whole plants and extracts, so it’s not just about superficial flavouring – you also retain and benefit from the powerful anti-microbial properties of those ingredients. Fresh mouth to behold!
There’s finally a cool way to support your indoor plants! The fantastic ‘Super Trellis‘ replaces those basic green canes and gives your plant a contemporary feel. Perfect for ‘scramblers’ like Hoya carnosa, I would also be tempted to remove the hoop from a Stephanotis and install a Super Trellis instead!
There are 20 colours available, and it’s no surprise there’s a patent pending. You’ll soon spot these ace supports in many an Insta post!