21. December 2009 23:03
In the current climate we need to make sure that the plants that we are bringing into our gardens don’t have a huge carbon footprint after traveling half way around the world. With this in mind it is more important than ever to make sure that as Irish gardeners we are using Irish plants when and where possible. We tend not to think about where our plants are coming from when we buy them. We think that buying plants for the garden is doing our bit for the planet, and it is. It is just that we need to be careful where they are coming from. The world of Horticulture is no longer the world of the local gardener growing a few plants outside in his back garden and offering them for sale. This is now a multi billion euro industry with many plants that reach the Irish marketplace starting off in a distant country. Many of these plants will have been grown in artificial environments with artificial heat and light and then they get wrapped in plastic, placed in plastic trays and fed onto trucks which will deliver them all over the world. So now one can see where the damage is being done.
In these times of climate change posing a real threat to our way of life it is now essential that each one of us begins to act more responsibly and that no longer means that we are doing enough by simply driving to our local bring centre in the first week of January to dispose of used Christmas wrapping paper so we can feel good about ourselves. No the responsibility that we have now is that we need to use our heads about all things that we do. We need to think about everything that we buy and how it has been produced, where it has been produced, how much unnecessary packaging has been used and how did it get to us. Equally we need to think about how it or the packaging will be disposed of.
We can do a huge amount for our local environment and thus the planet at large by creating a healthy living and sustainable garden. It is a joy as a hobby, a beautiful addition to the home and in material terms a valuable add on to any real estate. I use the word sustainable here in terms of our purchases. Where do the plants come from and how do we treat pests and diseases. If we can be sure to use locally produced Irish plants and try and garden with nature using natural solutions for garden problems then we will be more successful as gardeners and be doing our bit for the natural order.
Also of huge importance right now is that by buying Irish grown plants we are keeping Irish nurseries in business and thus helping keep employment in Ireland. This is obvious in its importance at the moment. We need to think about where our plants are being grown and try where possible to obtain locally produced plants.
There is a long tradition of growing plants in Ireland and a vast number of Irish plants available to the amateur gardener and Peter Dowdall is making it easier than ever to purchase Irish plants through the website www.gardeningonline.ie.