The recent relaxation of restrictions and prospect of people returning to work are welcome news for office plants and our technicians.
In March 2020, the mass exodus from communal workplaces to home based desks left many office plants alone in cold, dark, and empty offices – missing your chat.
Did you know, according to a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) study, talking to plants can help them grow faster?
But lockdown saw many of our technicians roaming deserted towns and cities, entering unoccupied buildings to keep your plants thriving.
Lesley Ireland, interior landscaping technician at GP Plantscape, said: “In some buildings I haven’t seen anyone for a year.
“I miss my customers.”
The prospect of a smiling face and a friendly greeting, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, is therefore very appealing to our team members.
In what has been a lonely year on the road, our technicians have worked through several challenges to keep plants in the best shape possible for office staff to enjoy on their return.
Lesley said: “In the beginning, we couldn’t get into a lot of buildings and so the plants were obviously suffering and then as we got into buildings it was then a case of there were no lights on, there was not heating on, so they were suffering.”
Tropical plants enjoy a stable environment, with temperatures above 12 degrees centigrade and consistent watering which allowed technicians, pre pandemic, to deliver a planned service regime from visit to visit.
But over the last 12 months, technicians have learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to the condition of the plants and if companies take the opportunity to refurbish or carry out buildings works the problem becomes compounded.
Lesley said: “In one of my buildings they have ripped out all the flooring and I had to wear two jackets every time I was going in because it was freezing.”
Not ideal for tropical plants.
In some cases, planters have been relocated to take advantage of natural light, but this has not always been possible due to lack of space, the weight of the containers or where buildings are sun protected.
And where workers have periodically been back to the office, bumping up the heating and switching on the lights for short spells, the plants can find it difficult to cope with the varying climatic conditions.
The practicalities of working in unoccupied buildings, during the pandemic, has created further obstacles for the team.
In some offices the water has been turned off completely and where it is still flowing, it is rarely heated.
“It’s best to use three quarters cold water with a quarter hot water,” Lesley says.
“The warmth helps to dissolve the feeding and is less shocking for the plants.”
Access to toilets and parking have also been challenging, most notably in Glasgow for Lesley, with the removal of carparking around George Square where several of her sites are located, meaning walking long distances laden with her bags of watering cans, dusters and plants.
But despite all these the hurdles, GP technicians have worked tirelessly to nurture the foliage under their care and whilst inevitably there will be casualties the majority of plants have come through unscathed and will thrive once more with a little companionship.
and plant care tips.
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