The latest for gardeners in innovation and style
The Garden Press Event is heaven for gardening journalists – we get to see (and sometimes trial) the cutting-edge products the horticultural industry is showcasing for the season.
It’s a big exhibition held at the London Design Centre and I have to say, it’s impossible to get round everyone if you insist on chatting to people as I do.
Many apologies if I didn’t get to your stand, it’s not because I didn’t like your products, just a lack of time.
I’ve divided my picks of the show into separate posts: tools and sundries; composts and pest control and feed. There will also be posts on new plants and seeds.
Today I look at tools and sundries:
Burgon & Ball
An array of innovative tools, an RHS-endorsed range and surprisingly reasonable prices make this a great company to take a look at.
For gifts, you can’t beat the new RHS British Bloom pattern from the RHS Gifts for Gardeners range.
In dark pink, purple and black dahlias and peonies, the design appears on products from gloves to watering cans.
The new RHS-endorsed container gardening range is really innovative with a weeder, scoop and innovative root and transplanting knife, starting from £11.99.
Also new is the Express Hoe, £32.99; the Super Slice, £29.99. Garden and Flower Scissors, £9.99, Blade Edge Restorer, £9.99, Charcoal Indoor Watering Can, Dig the Glove gardening gloves in Oak Leaf, (various colours) £14.99, Seedling Widger, £3.99.
There’s also a host of new houseplant products, with containers, hanging pots and tools, starting from £5.99, www.burgonandball.com.
A leading name in the USA since 1928 for garden tools, Corona’s range is being launched in the UK.
These high-end cutting, hand and long-handled tools are well-known in the States for their long-lasting durability and performance.
The products aren’t cheap but are very impressive and solid – they’ll last a lifetime.
My favourites were the Pruner MAXFORGED Branch & Stem Convertible Pruner/Lopper, £44.99 and the FlexDial Branch & Stem Pruner, £34.99, https://uk.coronatools.com.
A display always full of lovely products, this year dominated by metals in dark zinc and brass or painted in cream or eau de nil, contrasting with plain classic terracotta pots. With zinc trays starting from £2.49, there’s something for everyone.
My favourites were the space-saving yet smart pot tower with four 19cm terracotta pots, £42.99 (without pots) or £49.99 (with pots) and the fat snax bird feeder with a clever roof water bowl, so bits don’t drop in it, £19.99, in aluminium (available now) and eau de nil (available in the next few weeks), www.crocus.co.uk.
Known for their hoses and interlocking watering systems, what took my fancy was the Bokashi composter, which will make my kitchen’s cracked blue Ikea dish for veg waste redundant.
All food waste can be fermented in the airtight container with the addition of Bokashi Bran before being turned into nutrient-rich liquid compost and an enhancer when added to a traditional compost bin, £55, www.hozelock.com.
Established in 1922 in Dundee, the company’s jute twines are now available in all sorts of colours, including neon and are used not just for gardening but for crafts and decoration. It’s produced from sustainable crops and is biodegradable, from £2.30, www.nutscene.com.
The firm’s lawnmower range welcomes more than 35 new models this year, including petrol, mulching, ride-on and robotic mowers.
Fans of petrol lawnmowers can choose from 17 models. For smaller gardens, the RM 248 is an affordable, efficient and easy-handling petrol mower.
Also new is the RMA 2 RT, STIHL’s first cordless mulching mower, combining battery power from its PRO battery system, with the fertilisation benefits of mulching.
Completing the mower line-up is iMow, the robotic mower that cuts grass automatically. Equipped with double sharpened mulching blades, it fertilises the lawn naturally without the need to dispose of clippings.
All STIHL mowers come with a five-year domestic warranty and prices start from £299 for the RM 248 petrol mower.
There is also the new HLA 56 long reach hedge trimmer (£199), as well as a selection of products from STIHL’s Lithium-Ion range (HSA 45, FSA 45 and BGA 45) that all cost £99 each, www.stihl.co.uk.
Championing British wool is Twool, which makes garden twine, woolly bags, hats, dog leads and the new sustainable tree and shrub tie.
Made from rare breed Whiteface Dartmoor wool, it’s an eco-friendly alternative to imported jute, as well as being renewable and strong.
When it finally degrades, it releases nitrogen from the wool back into the soil, www.twool.co.uk.
A fan of Lego or Meccano? You’ll love WoodBlocX, made from sustainable pine in Scotland.
You can literally create anything you like from these modular wooden blocks – raised beds, seats, walls, ponds, edging – your imagination is the limit.
New this year is a change in the dowel system which holds the blocks together, making them easier to take apart.
Should you have a particularly awkward problem, Calum assures me they can solve most things with made-to-measure elements, or check out their ready-to-make kits, www.WoodBlocX.com.