Behind the scenes we are working on new products. Always with our mantra words - Beautiful, Ethical and Sustainable - ringing in our ears. We are making things that we call ‘Non-compostable’. By this we mean that the flowers we have nurtured from seed, grown in the field and then harvested for our talented florists to use, ultimately fade and return to the soil as organic compost. And so, we also like to have things around us that are less ephemeral: things that we use in our daily lives that don’t end up on the compost; tools we use in our gardening practice, and books we refer to for floristry inspiration. We are curating the hand-made, the one-offs, the objects that will be kept with us our whole lives.
I still use the spatula from my grandfather’s kitchen, and when it’s cold I wear my grandmother’s sheepskin gloves. These items are not only useful, they also have huge personal resonance, as I think of my ancestors every time I flip an egg or throw a snowball.
Sometimes it feels as if there is no hope with all the climate crisis debate raging. It’s difficult to imagine how we, as individuals, can make a difference. It’s so shocking when you realise that practically every piece of plastic ever produced still exists in some form or another.
The horticulture industry would not have been able to become what it is today without the invention of plastic plant pots. That single innovation has meant that plantsmen were able to develop ways of growing that could be scaled up and up. It’s meant that less growing medium is needed, watering is less burdensome, and transport far easier. Billions of single-use plastic pots are shifted around the world daily.
But we feel optimistic at Electric Daisy because we are making changes to the way we do things every day. Although we are dedicated to a ‘zero single-use’ plastic policy in our work, plastic still finds its way onto the farm, but now we are part of a recycling operation called XS -farm, and any packaging that we have to dispose of will be dealt with ethically.
On our nursery the plants that we send up to the shop grow in terracotta pots. We commissioned local potter Matt Passmore at Willow Pottery in Bath to make us a collection of ‘Long Toms’ based on a simple Victorian plant pot. We think they look very contemporary with our logo embossed in the clay. Our plants love them too. They should survive as long as we look after them. But should they ever break, the shards can be re-purposed as crocks in the bottom of the next pot to aid drainage.
Another practical and essential item that we use on the farm is our tool belt. We have again commissioned a British company to make these sturdy and practical belts especially for us. Wearing them means we have the tools of our trade with us at all times, wherever we are on the farm - and there is also a handy pocket for mobile phones! Honestly, I feel naked if I’m not wearing my belt.
And then there is the tea . . . We grow all sorts of herbs and aromatic foliage that we use in our floristry, so of course we thought, why not make our own signature herbal tea? We planted a ‘Tea Garden’ here on the farm and commissioned my son Oskar, who is a trained chef, to come up with exciting recipes. The proviso was that we had to use ingredients that we can grow on the farm, so no Cardamon or Lemon grass, but plenty of Camomile, Lemon verbena or Liquorice.
We are working on the packaging as we speak and will very soon be sharing with you our four, loose-leaf herbal teas: Love, Lift, Nest and Rest.
I love a vintage tin and have an extensive collection of various shapes and forms. We used my tins as a starting point in the design of the Electric Daisy tea tin. And now, like my grandmother’s gloves, I really hope that our lovely tea caddies will have long and illustrious lives, maybe ending up in somebodies potting shed full of plant labels.
Note the irony though: we also hope the tea dregs will find their way into your compost.
Our terracotta seeding pots are available online now. Keep your eyes open for the other products, which will be available on our website soon.