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Monday, 20 February 2012

My top garden products for 2012

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go to a garden press event, where companies were showing their new products. There were lots on display, but here are some that caught my eye.

Biodegradable plant ties (Greenworthy). Pure cotton and biodegradable, these are woven so they stretch gently and don’t cut into growing plants. Come in a 25 metre roll or pack of 24 180mm precut ties. For UK stockists, contact

Pop up grow cloches from Greentree. These give ventilated protection to seedlings and tender plants, can be secured with ground pegs and fold flat when not in use. They come in three sizes. Also in the range are frost cloches, which protect to -6’C. Greentree director Gary Ackers is a keen gardener, and his products spring from personal experience and testing in his allotment. There’s also a grow cage, which can be assembled in different forms, vegetable grow frames,  planters that can also be stored flat out of season, and many more interesting ideas. Full range at Online stockists include Harrod Horticultural, The Gardener's Friend, Strawberryfield Crocus and Charlies Direct.

Garden shoes. I love these. They’re so much easier to slip on than boots, are comfortable, waterproof, have a grippy sole, and the innersole can go in the washing machine. Plus they come in lots of colourful designs.

Collapsible bucket. Brilliant space-saving idea. Wacky Practicals director Kay Glennie has also devised collapsible breakdown cones, funnels, cooking pots, kettles and bowls – ideal for camping or travelling. I especially like the lunch boxes, which can be pushed  down flat after you’ve eaten.

Easy-go Multi-purpose Cart from Keter. Takes up much less space than a wheelbarrow, is a doddle to manoeuvre and very strong. Mine is currently loaded with bricks which a neighbour was throwing out, but which will be perfect for edging a border. My only niggle is that when it’s empty, it can tip backwards.

Three products which look promising, and which I will be trying over the coming growing season:

Vitax Q4+, a pre-planting fertiliser for roses, trees and shrubs. It has added mycorrhizal fungi for stronger growth.

Squirrel Ban, said to be a bird food that squirrels won’t eat because of the added chilli.

Rockdust, natural vocanic minerals and trace elements to boost soil and compost fertility.

Happy gardening!


  1. Thanks for all these great ideas. Bought some flowery clogs last year at Hampton Court and worked in them all summer. Good reminder to order more now. Love the collapsable bucket and fold away cloche too-perfect for small gardens with not much storage space (just like mine). Intrigued by collapsable kettle-must go online and have a look now.

    1. I've just discovered the medium pop-up cloches fit perfectly over our now-redundant newspaper recycling boxes. These have found a new purpose as planters for veg, etc, and the cloches protect them from the weather - and the squirrels.