Well, after a hectic 4 days at the Plantarium trade show, I finally have some time to reflect on the aspects of the show / trends that were on display. Holland is probably one of the epicentres when we come to think about Horticulture and never fails to surprise me when it comes to the innovative use of plants in everyday living circumstances, and this year was no exception.
Apart from the plant displays (which as you can see from some of the images) that demonstrate the cutting edge use of plants in both floral arrangements and garden displays; the key trend this year seemed to be very much about the environment and the re-use / recycling of items many of us take for granted or ignore as rubbish.
Pallets – used in the transport of goods that appear many times on the side of the road after use by a local factory near our offices in Australia and which I have never thought of as more than firewood – surprised and inspired me when I saw how those far more creative than myself had repurposed them.
Whilst I have seen many ‘do it yourself’ projects where the wood from the pallet is repurposed, none of these projects seemed anywhere near as creative as the uses seen at Plantarium to fulfill everyday garden functions.
My favorite item re-use (because of its simplicity and fact that it answered a problem that I currently have in my own garden at my potting bench) was the use of the pallet for shelving / organizing garden tools, holding the plastic pots that I cannot bear to throw away and as an option for holding plants and things whilst the container is being filled.
There were also a multitude of functional and decorative items using the repurposed timbers from the pallets as you can see in other images from the show.
It is funny thinking about how we have changed as a society in that, where we used to repair or maintain the things we owned, replacement is now the main option that many of us choose (with the exception I think of those of us who garden). In some cases this is not because an item is broken or cannot be repaired, it is just because we are sick and tired of it or it is old.
The reason that I don’t include gardeners (although we do sometimes use the replacement option) in this category is that I think we are far more aware of the impact of using the finite resources available and the impact of waste on our environment – something far more topical in Europe which has a very strong green focus across all areas for businesses and households.
Anyway, next stop on my travels is the USA, visiting various growers, retailers and (hopefully) gardens. Here are a few more photos of cleverly repurposed and recycled wooden pallets, taken at the Planterium show. Enjoy!