The National Trust has opened Britain’s first peat-free garden centre.
Set at Morden Hall Park in south London, the 5,000 square metre garden centre will only sell plants and shrubs grown in peat-free compost.
The National Trust has waged war on peat use for a decade. It argues that peat must be left in the ground as a carbon store and wildlife habitat.
The new garden centre will sell peat-free stock including 100 varieties of roses, 75 varieties of shrubs and 97 types of perennials.
Shoppers will find 36 varieties of peat-free herbs, 24 varieties of ornamental trees, 13 varieties of climbers and seven of soft fruit.
Even acid-lovers such as camellias and rhododendrons will be grown in peat-free.
And if you’re looking for compost, you can choose between peat-free and peat-free!
Manager Ed Ikin said: “We found fantastic peat-free plant growers. Being able to sell peat-free plants is important, because of the conservation work we do to protect natural resources.”
The National Trust has turned to peat alternatives such as Sylvafibre – a fine composted wood fibre that’s increasingly being used in peat-free and peat-reduced commercial plant production.
Ed summed-up: “By using environmentally-friendly alternatives like Sylvafibre, and high-quality green waste there is no difference in plant performance.”
In 1991 the Trust banned peat use for soil improvement at its gardens. In 1999, it banned all peat at its gardens.
From 2003, the majority of plants grown, bought or sold at Trust properties have been grown in peat-free compost.