The view from my kitchen door, early one morning, just before heading off to London last week for the day.
I love a visit to London, to walk through the city seeing the sights & people-watching is always a treat. This time though, it was head down, avoiding the slippery pavements & hoping snow hadn’t affected trains & tubes too much…. fortunately it hadn’t.
I was there for one of my favourite events the annual Garden Press Event. Its packed with all things garden related & you can talk to the people who make things, distribute them & generally know all about them.
My main intention was to keep an eye open for any thing that helps sustainable gardening, new ideas & stylish things too, because function is important, but it has to look good too.
Hope Grove Nurseries:
They supply all kinds of hedging, but it was these kits of bare-root hedging that caught my eye. There were many for special purposes, obviously the gin makers hedgerow appealed to me most. Bare-root hedging is great value & can be planted until April.
More about Hope Grove Nursery here.
Seeds fall into this category without much effort, You simply stick the little pod, containing 2 or 3 seeds, into the soil & wait for them to germinate. The surrounding cardboard, which doesn’t have any glue or artificial content, gradually disintegrates into the soil. If more than 1 seed comes through, the weaker ones are plucked out, it’s survival of the fittest in gardening.
It’s more expensive than buying a packet of seeds, but not everyone wants a whole packet, & this might just encourage beginner gardeners & children. I reckon they’d be great for balcony gardening or a window sill.
They’re sending me some packs to try out, so I’ll let you know what they’re like.
More Seedcell info here.
Burgon & Ball:
Where to start, because they have so much on offer, including garden tools, & lots of other gardening paraphernalia.
My favourites on the stand were the little pots for house-plants
& the pegboards, for when you want to feel more organised. Lots of other products here.
Whatever you need for your garden, Crocus probably make a stylish version of it, & they sell mail-order plants.
If you need a cloche to protect plants there are a whole selection, including these with a copper base to keep the slugs out. I’d love to know how well they work, I still haven’t recovered from my small dahlia plants being eaten a couple of years ago.
More delicious Crocus products here
I think very hard about buying big items of gardening equipment, they take up space, are usually noisy & expensive. But there was something appealing about the keen little, robotic mower, slavishly nipping round & just getting on with the job. It cuts within the boundary of a sensor laid out around the perimeter of the grass.
I surprised myself by thinking why not one of these? After all most gardens have a lawn, they need frequent cutting & are generally one of the most time-consuming gardening tasks.
It’s electric & therefore quiet, there aren’t any polluting exhaust fumes & it would be useful for disabled gardeners, gardeners who may not have as much energy as they used to, or if you’d rather sit down & watch something do the work for you…. I’m all of those, apart from disabled.
The smallest retails at just under £500.00
More about them here.
Bosch Power Assisted Secateurs;
I had a go with these & they’re light, feel comfortable & made easy work of tough stems. They have a sensor that measures the force you’re using as you make the cut. When it exceeds a certain limit, a sensor sends a message to the drive unit & the power kicks in. But it’s not just about making life easy, the cut is clean & heals more quickly than a ragged one.
These are ideal if you have arthritis or want to avoid straining your arm, especially in rose-pruning season when a repetitive movement can be painful, whatever your age. But the attraction for me is making light work of a gardening task & saving energy, especially when there’s so much to do in the garden.
They retail at £84.99
More about them right here.
These are solid little log-shapes of used coffee grounds. Aimed at indoor stove users, they’d also be ideal for a brazier in the garden & seem like a good alternative to using fossil fuels.
To minimise transportation, Bio bean use existing waste collection set-ups, to transport the used beans to their factory in Cambridgeshire.
Find out more about them here
Next weeks post will be about what to do in the garden in March, sign up [top, right of the page] to have it delivered to your in-box.
all photos: Jill Anderson