Serving the garden centre industry since 1963, we remain committed to growing Great British plants for Great Britainís gardens ...


‘Growing plants the right way’

Plants make a very positive contribution to improving the environment, but here at Darby’s we are very conscious to ensure that our production techniques and delivery methods don’t counteract the positive impact they make.
The nursery has had an environmental policy and audits for over 15 years and been accredited to ISO 14001 since 2007.  This continues to bring real benefits to our business, our customers and most importantly the environment.
There are 3 key elements to our environmental strategy.


We operate a waste management system with four key objectives :- Avoid, Reduce, Re-use & Recycle
  • Avoid - The overall aim is to avoid waste, but where this can’t be achieved, waste is segregated & where possible recycled.
  • Reduce - One of the ways we have reduced waste is through attention to detail, careful ordering and stock control.
  • Re-use - Where possible we use recycled materials, our pots are made from 100% re-cycled plastic.
  • Recycle- We currently re-cycle the following:
    o Plastic- All recyclable plastic is separated out & collected by our designated recycling contractors.
    o Cardboard- Separated from waste to avoid going into landfill.
    o Green Waste- Green waste is composted and used as a soil improver in local agriculture


Reducing our energy consumption is a long term goal for the business.

  • Electricity

We are in the early stages of implementing a solar photovoltaic system that will generate enough electricity to make a substantial reduction to our carbon footprint & overall running costs.

  • Oil & Fuel

The consumption of oil & fuel is kept to a minimum. The glasshouse thermostats are calibrated with precision to allow heat only when temperatures fall below -2⁰C in winter.
Fuel usage had decreased by investing in a number of electric buggies, where we previously operated diesel tractors.

  • Packaging

The pots and trays we use are made from 100% recycled plastic. These in turn are all recyclable.

  • Raw materials

We are continually trialling new growing media to reduce our reliance on peat, such as wood fibre, bark & coir. None of the peat that we use is sourced from Sites of Special Scientific Interests (SSSI)

  • Water

Water is used as efficiently as possible on the Nursery. Rainwater is harvested & used for irrigation and all of the growing beds are level capillary sand beds, making far more efficient use of water by reducing evaporation losses.


We recognise that the spraying of pesticides is a major environmental hazard and therefore follow an ‘Integrated Crop Management System’ (ICM). We have a technical team, who walk the nursery daily in season checking plants to identify issues as soon as they occur; reacting quickly to use the smallest possible amounts of pesticide to resolve the problem before it escalates.
The ICM system encourages the use of the most environmentally friendly technique first & only resorting to pesticides as a last measure.

  • Cultural Control - Can we eliminate the problem by changing production techniques? For example, better irrigation management.
  • Biological Control - Is there a natural predator or parasite that can control the problem? Such as Phytoseiulus persimilis to control red spider mite.
  • Biological Pesticides - Is there a natural product we can use to control the problem?
  • Chemicals- If all other methods have failed then we apply the appropriate chemical to control the problem. All our spray operators are trained to apply the minimum amount of pesticide in the most effective way for the crop they are treating.