The device you’re using right now and the shoes on your feet could one day contribute to the sustainable growth of one of 35,000 roses growing across SMCT’s gardens. By repurposing discarded items, we keep them out of landfill and put them to good use in our gardens.
What’s at stake?
In the months leading up to spring, young rose plants are tied to stakes to help train their growth. Behind the scenes, an incredible volume of work, planning, and preparation takes place to prepare for the spectacular seasonal display across our grounds.
‘Keeping the roses healthy and tidy requires a lot of materials,’ said Rolfe Stok, SMCT’s Head Rosarian for over a decade. He has been caring for roses at SMCT for 31 years and has seen changes in materials and techniques come and go.
‘Every rose requires a stake and several plant ties to train its growth, and if these wear out over time we have to replace them individually.’
One of his projects over the last ten years has been to find ways to improve the rose-training process at SMCT, and for Rolfe, the first step was one towards sustainability.
‘Rose stakes are 1.2 metre poles that are traditionally made from hardwood and softwood timber, but those materials need replacement as often as every two years due to wear and tear under the elements,’ he explained.
For the last ten years, SMCT has been phasing out timber stakes by introducing 2,000 stakes made from recycled computers and printers every year.