Tuesday, 17 March 2015
With a new season upon us, we thought it would be the perfect time to have a look at items that can make your time in the garden more efficient, more comfortable or (importantly!) more stylish. From potentially spying on hitchhiking weasels to using NASA inspired technology, here’s what garden gadgets and gear to look out for in 2015…
Gardening trousers need to be comfortable, warm, and have handy and secure storage for your tools. The Genus range of trousers seem to tick all these boxes and more. They feature damp-proof seat and knee panels and easy care fabric and come in male and female versions.
Trousers from £95.
Looking further ahead to the summer where damp-proof fabrics are (hopefully) not required, these stylish gardening ladies dungarees from Land Girl look great. They come in several colourways and feature lots of pockets and padded knees.
Or if you already have a pair of trousers that fit well but don’t have the benefit of reinforced pockets you could buy this handmade leather pocket from Tanner Bates. It slips inside your existing rear pocket to safely hold your sharper tools.
If you constantly find yourself needing to nip outside into the garden on a damp day but don’t want to put on your wellies, these funky and colourful overshoes from Mouillere could be just the ticket. They come in a wide range of colours. We got a pair back in December and they’ve been performing well over winter. They provide great grip on snowy or icy days and stretch easily over our shoes. On standby at the backdoor, they’re proving to be very handy.
If, like us, you’re short on space in your tool shed or greenhouse, this folding watering can could be the perfect solution. The nozzles all fit into storage spaces in the lid and there is a very handy water level indicator. It comes in a range of lovely bright colours. We love the cherry red one.
If you’re also short on space to grow your own (let’s face it there is always something new we want to grow and are trying to squeeze in!) and want something that looks cool, you might like the Click and Grow system of software-controlled growers. You can pick a range of plants such as basil, strawberry or tomato. They have NASA-inspired Smart Soil (!!), LED lights, fertiliser and an internal irrigation system.
The tomato version is currently £41.99.
These re-styled spades and forks looks cool in their bright colours and they’re designed to reduce backache and wrist strain AND the manufacturers help recycle your old tools and give them to deserving causes such as schools. If you trade in your old or broken tools you’ll get £10 voucher. What’s not to love about all that? £39.95 for a fork and spade pair.
Who needs a boring old electric kettle in the kitchen when you can use a stylish storm kettle, a few twigs, a smidgeon of spirit of the adventurer and have a fresh brew outside in 3 minutes? The fire is located inside the body of the kettle so heats super efficiently.
From £34.99- £45.99.
If you were recently inspired by the once in a life time photo of a weasel hitch-hiking on a woodpecker, you might want to invest in a BirdCam Pro to see what the wildlife is getting up to in your garden.
If you’d like to capture time lapse images of your seedlings growing, the birds in your garden or the season evolving on your balcony, the Brinno TLC200 is for you. You just need to select the time interval, set up the shot you wish to capture and press record. It can take up to 270,000 frames and runs from 4 AA batteries.
We’ve started to plant our seeds for this year and have been adding a bit of style with these elegant copper plant labels from Wells and Winter. It’s the pressure from the nib of your pen rather than the ink that “writes” on them. They’ll look even more beautiful if any verdigris develops.
There are lots of gardening specific software and apps available to help you plan and maintain your flowers, fruit and veg. Here are some of our favourites…
My Soil app
From the British Geological Society, this app tells you all about our soil based on where you are and by inputting data you help improve the database. Gives you info on your soil properties – type, organic matter, texture and pH. Android version from Google Play and Apple from iTunes store.
Sprout It app
Sprout It will help you decide what to grow and in what conditions (raised beds/pots etc). Once it knows where you’re located it sends you reminders about what to do, what equipment you’ll need and when to do it. Online version available here. Apple version from iTunes store.
Garden Compass Plant/Disease Identifier
Got a plant, a pest or a disease you can’t identify? Just submit a photo and you’ll receive a reply telling you how long before you will have your answer. Answers typically come within two and 24 hours. Free.
RHS Find a Plant
This newly re-formatted online database allows you to search for the perfect plant for any area in your garden. You can search by lots of parameters such as level of sunlight, soil type, hardiness, colour, season of interest.
[[image:blog/blog-gardeninggear-16.jpg=Need to find the ideal plant for that gap in your garden?]]
National Garden Scheme
If you’re looking for inspiration and wish to visit other gardens, the National Garden Scheme app will tell you which of the 3800 gardens are nearby. You can look through photos of the gardens to help you pick which to visit and it also tells you opening times, costs etc. Android version from Google Play and Apple version from iTunes store.
Or if you are looking for a more personal touch, give us a call and we can help you find the perfect plants to suit your garden and lifestyle.
Thanks for reading.
All at Vialii
(All prices and suppliers correct at the time of the blog being posted. Apologies if any of these change but it’s outwith our control.)