Harley Street

From a distance these box balls look real, but get a bit closer and there’s something odd about them. They’re a bit too round, and a bit too monotone, a bit too dark. And totally inert.

Because they’re plastic.

I honestly can’t understand why anyone uses them. They take from the environment and give absolutely nothing back. And yet I’m seeing more and more of them.

Real box balls aren’t high maintenance – I’m the worst pot waterer in the world and I’ve never managed to kill one. And they don’t need clipping that much (I like mine a bit fluffy around the edges). They’re not cheap, but then nor are the fake versions – they cost about the same.

A fake box ball won’t grow, absorb CO2, give back O2, or increase biodiversity, or sport lovely fresh green shoots in spring. My heart sinks every time I see one.

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