Environmental Practice Guidelines
Lady Penelope Gardens Ltd commit to taking a holistic approach when caring for a garden and will always look at the bigger picture. This approach encompasses the following:-
• We encourage and promote composting of green and kitchen vegetable waste in gardens we care for and aim to use this valuable resource in the garden when ready.
• We avoid bonfires when another alternative is possible.
• We actively pursue all avenues for recycling available to us, for example, our office recycles paper; cardboard; and shredded confidential papers used for animal bedding by the team.
• We have appointed a ‘green champion’ (Bev), to organise and supervise a waste audit in our office, and to monitor the progress of staff recycling.
• When pruning shrubs, where appropriate we save and re-use the prunings as ‘natural’ staking in herbaceous borders.
Pest and Diseases
• Our proactive approach to Pest and Disease management prioritises prevention by good plant hygiene and best practice principles such as promoting natural predators; choosing plants well suited to conditions; providing good drainage; mulching; well- planned pruning regimes; allowing plants sufficient space.
• Gardens are regularly assessed looking for the first signs of problems. Our customers understand the importance of this procedure and are happy to see a senior member of staff walking around the garden with vigilance because we communicate what we are doing and why with our clients.
• We only use natural paints eg for fences and posts, to avoid contamination of wildlife.
• Because synthetic chemicals can have harmful effects on animals, humans and insects, we will seek alternatives to pesticides and will first allow time for natural predators to move in and naturally deal with the problem.
• We will use organic products such as Blood, fish and Bone; Manure; Seaweed, if necessary.
Environmental impact of our actions
• Our practice is to be sensitive to how our decisions in day to day work affect the environment in which we are working.
• Our decisions are based on the need to protect and benefit the garden in which we are working. For example, we do not work on wet soil; we minimise soil cultivation as it increases weed germination.
• We mulch extensively.
• We prevent avoidable damage caused by human impact.
• Lady Penelope Gardens Limited empower staff to make decisions, and to speak up about doing things better particularly around the impact of their actions.
• We put systems in place to avoid duplication of work and to streamline our efficiency and productivity.
• Our team aim to forge a long-term relationship with a garden, with a far-sighted approach that even reaches beyond Lady Penelope’s involvement to benefit future generations.
• We behave in a sustainable way, reducing our environmental impact because we consider the long-term effects of our actions and their sustainability.
• We discuss with customers the possibility of making areas within the garden no mow areas. By doing this we can substitute areas that require regular inputs of fuel (mown grass) with meadows, prairies, shrub or woodland.
• We aim, over the next 3 years, to switch to electric machinery because there is less noise pollution; they are rechargeable; they use less energy per hour; and there is no by-product.
• We aim, over the next 3 years, to switch to mulching mowers because they are faster; use less fuel; there is no by-product and they are very good for the grass because they return the nutrients back into the lawn which feeds it.
• We hold regular meetings during which our team are encouraged to pass on their own specialist experience or knowledge to other members of the team, thereby ensuring that knowledge is recycled efficiently, and that any member of our team is more than just that individual; they are the sum of the knowledge and experience of all our team (which actually equates to over 100 years of combined horticultural experience!)
• For example, when a team member identifies a pest or disease on a plant, they will share this with the team to further their knowledge.
• Our team take part in regular weekly plant idents in the office to increase their plant knowledge.
• This approach enables us to trust and empower each other to make good decisions, to know how and when to take a risk, and to avoid duplicating work and promote streamlining procedures.
• Our team look for ways to be more efficient and share this knowledge.