A plant shop on Gloucester Road in Bristol is opening its own garden center in its back garden at the end of the month.
wild leafwhich resides at number 43 Gloucester Road, claims to open the city’s first independent garden center “with a strong focus on sustainable produce and car-free plant shopping”.
The shop will sell herbs and flowering perennials The Hairy Pot Plant Company, whose plants are all grown in the UK, in peat-free compost with coconut fiber pots – making it easier for gardeners to plant directly in the ground while reducing the plastic waste involved. Additionally, there will also be peat-free compost available to buy – something the team say they are “very excited to offer a UK-grown, peat-free and plastic-free option to gardeners in Bristol” as “most gardeners are aware environmental impacts of the use of peat and plastic and wish to find alternatives”.
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Wild Leaf moved to larger premises in March 2021 which have garden space and so the team have made it their mission to expand their product offering to include garden plants, with the aim of making the indoor and outdoor gardening accessible to anyone living in a city center.
They point out that most garden centers are located outside or on the outskirts of Bristol, making it difficult to get to garden centers without using a car. The Wild Leaf team believe they are the “first independent plant shop within walking distance of the city center and with easy transport links” to offer this garden center option.
Shop owner Tya told Bristol Live: “I started my career as a researcher in the fields of sustainable urban design and sustainable transport. After moving to the UK I spent 15 years as a sustainability consultant in the construction sector.
“I learned a lot about resource use issues in the UK and how a bit of innovative thinking can create new products that solve entrenched resource use issues.
“When I opened Wild Leaf, I wanted to give people a way to bring nature into their lives. I also wanted to provide my customers with solutions for gardening (indoors and outdoors) from the most sustainable way possible.
“Wild Leaf’s new downtown garden center offers people a way to access garden plants without using a car, and a way to reduce the use of peat and plastic as much as possible.”
Wild Leaf also runs an in-store plastic pot reuse program, where any old nursery pots used by the team are available to customers free of charge and the team says they try to encourage customers to bring their own. unwanted nursery pots to the store to be reused, in the hope that this will help reduce the number of plastic pots going to landfill, as nursery pots cannot be recycled in most places in the UK.
Another aspect of the store that the team is equally excited about is the terrarium bar. This area of the shop is dedicated to planting and creating beautiful enclosed ecosystems and these are available to purchase as pre-made items – the team welcomes custom orders and also has all the components separate so people can make their own at home.
Additionally, Wild Leaf has also just launched Terrarium Workshops, teaching people the history of how terrariums were invented and how they become self-contained. Participants leave with their brand new creation, as well as “a wealth of knowledge and confidence”.