2020 is going to get a pretty bad write-up in the history books. It’s been a miserable and frustrating year for so many of us. But it’s also been a year where individual people came together to make a difference and start new things. It was in that spirit, and inspired by initiatives like Meals for the NHS that a small group of us launched Muddy Trowel in March. What started as a response to a call to arms to save the gardening sector became a fully fledged business delivering our plant kits across the land.
So as this strangest of years draws to an end, with so much still uncertain, we wanted to make a few New Year’s Resolutions this year to solidify our commitment to the things that got us going in the first place – our commitment to keep things Simple, Sustainable and Joyful.
“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one”
This quote, attributed to Mark Twain and Winston Churchill, amongst others, sums up the effort it takes to strip things back to the basics. Nowhere is that more true or more necessary than in the world of gardening, so:
- We will continue to demystify the gardening world (how’s your Latin everyone?) and make it accessible for even the greenest of gardeners
- We will expand our range to introduce aspiring gardeners to new native species and different combinations of plants; always eschewing the old clichés
- We will improve our plant-care instructions, giving our family of Muddy Trowellers the right advice for the right plant at the right time
We are proud of what we have achieved in so far, with eco-pots from Elho (who manufacture plastic plant containers from recycled materials, using 100% wind energy for their manufacturing process), our choice of long-lasting perennial plants, and peat-free compost. However there is still some way to go, so in 2021:
- We will reduce the impact of each delivery in terms of distance travelled and emission performance of our fleet
- We will work with our nursery partners to better understand the full lifecycle of the plants we sell
- We will review our printed materials (such as flyers and plant postcards) to make sure they are printed on responsibly sourced materials and that the printing processes are planet-friendly
- We will commit to doing quarterly reports on our sustainability practices to hold ourselves accountable and to the highest sustainability standards
It has been a delight to hear from customers about the joy our plant collections bring when they arrive on the doorstep. So in 2021 we want to spread that joy:
- We will ensure people with different sizes and types of outdoor space (from shady window sills to large gardens) take up gardening for the first time
- We will lead and support initiatives to bring the joy of gardening to under-represented communities
- We will spread the joy of plants by making our gift process as smooth as possible for both the giver and the recipient – getting more plants to more people
- We will meet together as a team in-person, something we’ve not been able to do in 2020
Building the Muddy Trowel community is going to be crucial for the growth and social impact of our business in 2021. We have seen the ability of gardening and outdoor spaces to bring people together in challenging times. Plants and gardening have huge proven benefits in tackling mental health problems and loneliness; they also create common ground for many that may be isolated in cities with small outdoor spaces or no space at all. We want the gardening conversation to include but also move beyond the more ‘traditional’ gardeners, to create a space for people to get into gardening no matter what their outdoor space, and learn from our community at the same time.
We ask that you, our growing community of Muddy Trowellers, keep us honest on our resolutions during the year – and we hope that you will also join us and make your own resolution to get outside and garden in 2021.