Using unorthodox containers for plants is no new phenomenon, but there is something extremely wholesome about recycling something that could have ended its life in landfill into something that generates sustainable new life.
Preparing the Plant Pot
The choice of container is entirely dependent on what is to hand. Any large impermeable container that has been thoroughly cleaned and that can hold soil and water will do. A top tip is to add small holes into the side of the chosen container to promote airflow and allow surplus water to drain away to avoid the risk of drowning your plants!
To honour World Environment Day and to visually enhance the Flowcrete Headquarters car park, Flowcrete’s Group Marketing team decided to create a colourful garden inside an IBC.
Flowcrete UK have utilised Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) as much as possible when supplying flooring materials to customers in order to keep the number of non-reusable packaging and waste low. Even recyclable materials cannot last forever however, and when this became apparent, the Flowcrete team decided to turn this end-of-life packaging into something that could delight staff and visitors at the UK offices.
After cleaning the IBC, that once held ionic water, the top of the plastic container was removed to allow access to the interior. IBCs are inherently large, as one of their key functions is the ability to carry materials en masse in preference to sending small packed items in non-recyclable packaging. Due to the sheer size, recycled aggregate was used to half-fill and weigh down the container, before the top half was filled with compost. Small holes were drilled into the bottom of the IBC to allow for irrigation, an important process for the health of your garden.
Picking the Plants
Flowcrete selected a range of colourful plants, including bright red Lupins to reflect Flowcrete branding, Ivy, suitable to interweave around the IBC’s cage and blue Scabiosa. Choosing colourful flowers that mirror brand colours are a great choice for the workplace. You will also notice the presence of Flowcrete’s garden mascot, Freddie the Gnome, who I think we can all agree looks very at home amongst the plants! Since planting, the Lupins have flowered and are successfully attracting bees and other wildlife, generating a lovely mini eco-system in itself.
Similar containers could be used to hold other types of plants, such as herbs, tomato plants or similar foodstuffs that could be enjoyed by office staff. These types of plants would be well suited to small barrels, plastic bottles or tubs that could be modified to allow the plants room to grow, breathe and gain enough sunlight.
Ensure that the plants chosen are kept somewhere suitable to their needs, for example fully shaded areas are not ideal for most plants that need sunlight to strive. Keeping heavy immovable containers far from sources of water can also be problematic.
Set against the industrial backdrop of Flowcrete HQ’s warehouse, the IBC garden’s colours pop and present a welcoming juxtaposing visual. At the entrance to the warehouse loading bay, and in the centre of the staff and visitor car park, it is also in prime position to be seen by all. Since the creation of the garden, the Flowcrete Group Marketing team have already planned to re-use more end-of-life packaging to brighten up the outside areas around the offices. Keep up to date with the latest on their social media platforms.