Happy Earth Day! This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, focused on the theme of climate change. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
With such a big challenge on our hands its easy to think that the small changes we make as individuals, can’t possibly matter. Well, they do. At Another Studio, we’re trying our best to make small and effective changes to help with sustainability. We care about the environment and promise all new products will be using a starch-based cellophane by 2021 and our studio is 100% plastic free!
Another way we can help with sustainability is growing our own greens! We wanted to get tips from a pro on her experiences and the little changes you could apply in your life. We spoke with Violet Bennell, founder of Superb Herbs, about her interests in horticulture and here’s what she had to tell us;
Can you tell us what initially got you interested in horticulture and herbs!?
I moved into a flat with a big garden that was basically a jungle of stinging nettles, in working out what to do with it I slowly became a little obsessed with plants. I couldn't stop thinking about them! So I decided to start from the beginning and studied for an RHS Principles of Horticulture Diploma whilst working in another profession entirely. Herbs always interested me because they all have stories to tell, whether it's finding out about them in history or how different cultures use them. They are also a joy for the senses!
How many herbs do you have growing at home at one time?
It's probably almost 100!
What's your top tip for maintaining herb plants at home?
I probably couldn't give just one tip! Find out about your herb and try to recreate its natural environment as much as possible. Give your plants a real big drink less often as opposed to little drips, and water in at soil level, the leaves don't need the water!
Aerate your pots using a thin stick and poking it in to your potting mix, all the way to the bottom.
Favourite/ most versatile herb you've come across?
I think the classic Rosemary is great for a few reasons. Rosemary is of course brilliant in cooking (fresh foccacia with rosemary mmmm!) It’s also great in a tea to revive and get the blood pumping. Great for your skin in a facial steam, then let the water cool and use it as a re-balancing scalp rinse.
In a time where everyone is talking about the importance of being more sustainable and green, what are some practical tips you can give to help a newbie plant parent?
When buying new compost try to use peat free (peat is an unsustainable natural resource that is crucial to many wild habitats).
Buy plants grown as locally to you as possible, your local nurseries and growers will also have great tips about what will grow well where you live.
Try to help wildlife and not to be too tidy in your garden, leave a pile of logs, leave a few weeds, the wildlife in your area will thank you for it and probably return the favour with natural pest control! Did you know ladybirds love to much on apids? Even better if you can grow or leave a few wildflowers growing for bees and other pollinators.
Feeding the birds in your garden is also a great way to encourage wildlife and they will nibble on some of your pests too. Don't forget to leave them out a shallow dish of water too.
Final TOP TIP on being green?
If you can start your own compost that's also a great way to sustainably recycle kitchen scraps and garden waste, or if not try and use your council green waste collection. It's an amazing way to turn your onion peelings into great compost for gardens to flourish and avoid it just going to landfill!