Making jobs that little bit easier and improving your mental health
Anything that makes gardening tasks more manageable, leading to gardeners keeping their independence without relying on others is a massive boon (trust me, I speak from experience).
I haven’t included anything really radical here – just tools and sundries based on my own experience as someone who suffers from repeated soft tissue injuries due to my joint hypermobility syndrome disorder (hypermobile Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome) and terrible balance.
Reducing bending, stretching, repeated movements and cushioning falls is very important.
Soothing frayed nerves and encouraging a good night’s sleep is also a boon for anyone – here are my picks.
RHS Ergo Deadheader by Burgon & Ball, £14.99, Suttons
This ergonomic pruner offers extra grip, comfort and controllability which sits in the palm of your hand, ideal for those with limited hand and wrist strength and mobility.
Kitchen Garden Planters, from £74.99; Grow Bag Tray Container, £74.99, Forest Garden
The planters come in either 1m or 1.8m lengths and at 70cm high, they’re ideal for tending your crops without bending.
The Grow Bag Tray Container encloses unsightly growbags and makes them more accessible by lifting to a workable height. It is designed around the standard 100cm long x 40cm wide grow bag. Full details of planters and the container can be found here.
Sophie Conran Tool Range, from £34.99, Burgon & Ball
If you find most forks and spades are too big or heavy for you, try the Sophie Conran range. New this year are digging fork and digging spade (£39.99 each), a lopper (£34.99) and a hedge shear (£34.99).
The spade and fork have T-grip handles, which make it easy to use a double-handed grip for better purchase while digging. Both tools are slightly shorter than usual, which also keeps weight to a minimum. The narrow profile of the spade head slides easily through the soil, and the tines of the fork are shorter than most, for reduced soil resistance.
The hedge shear and lopper feature drop-forged high-carbon steel blades and lightweight FSC® ash handles with ergonomic grips to minimise weight and provide a better grip.
You Are Not Alone T-shirt Dress, £28, And So to Shop
This You Are Not Alone slogan midi T-shirt Dress is available in black and olive in a wide range of sizes -10 per cent from every sale is donated to mental health charity Mind.
Darlac Lightweight tools range, Telescopic Tree Lopper, £49.99, Dobbies
This range by Darlac is aimed at the elderly or less able gardeners so they can enjoy gardening for longer. There’s an extensive choice, from shears to loppers and rakes to hoes.
The Snapper, with interchangeable heads, is popular for trimming out-of-reach branches, collecting fruit and deadheading at a distance without the need for a ladder. It is single-handed operated. Check out the Darlac website for all tools and full stockists’ details.
Edera waist pouch, £13.52, Le Giuliette
Practical and fancy waist pouch for carrying your gardening tools, leaving your hands free. The price is for the pouch only – the belts are available for £5 extra. Available in many different combinations.
L’Occitane Pillow Spray, £19.99, Dobbies
One in three of us suffers from poor sleep but this L’Occitane pillow spray with essential oils including lavender, bergamot and sweet orange can soothe you into sleep.
The fragrance can be sprayed on pillows or around the bedroom to evoke a calming, peaceful atmosphere.
Peta Easi-Grip Weeder, £14.95, Arthr
This stainless steel garden tool allows more work and less effort for people suffering from arthritis or similar conditions. It has an angled handle that helps keep the hand and wrist in a natural angle, cutting the risk of strains and blisters caused by repetitive action.
The non-slip handle helps you keep a firm grip and you won’t lose it in the soil, cuttings or shed, thanks to the bright yellow and green colour.
Sleep Bundle, £26.99, Health & Her
Sleep problems are very common for women, particularly at times of hormonal flux. Developed by experts, this sleep bundle aims to help you fall asleep, and stay asleep.
The Sleep bundle contains:
- Health & Her Sleep Aid 30 Capsules
- Health & Her Sleep Balm 50g
- Health & Her Sleep Masks
Recoil Knee Pads, £62.95, Arthr
Kneeling can cause pain for people with joint problems, especially arthritis. The spring-loaded Recoil Knee Pads reduce pressure on the knees and increasing comfort.
The six-spring suspension system absorbs the impact when the knee touches the ground. The pressure is spread more evenly across the whole joint rather than being focused on one point, further reducing pain.
Combisystem Fruit Collector, £39.99, Gardena
Collecting fruits and windfall without having to bend down is possible using the GARDENA combisystem Fruit Collector. Thanks to the flexible plastic struts, fruits from 4 to 9cm can be gathered.
It doesn’t matter whether you are harvesting walnuts or apples – simply roll over them with the Rolling Collector and the fruits will end up inside.
Garden Kneeler and Seat, £23.99, Thompson & Morgan
A kneeler/seat like this has been a godsend for me. The frame is made from high-quality steel, with a thick layer of polypropylene foam to protect you on both sides.
It can be folded down in seconds at the press of the spring mechanism for easy transport and storage to measure just 12cm wide weighing 2.7kg. There’s also a touch fasten pouch that can be used in either position to store your gardening tools in.