New Products for 20194th March 2019 • General • Stephanie Donaldson
I’ve just been to the annual Garden Press Event, where we get to see what’s new in the world of gardening and I found plenty to catch my eye. Nutscene’s Thick Chunky Twine Ball (£10.95 from www.nutscene.com) is a heavy duty twine that will be invaluable in the garden for those jobs that need something more robust than ordinary garden string.
Forest Garden’s Victorian Walkaround Greenhouse is a great idea for anyone with limited space – the gardener stays outside and opens the doors to get access to the plants inside. Maybe not ideal for the gardener when it rains, but a good place to keep tender plants during winter – I’m trying to work out if I have somewhere suitable for it – it would make a perfect miniature orangery to overwinter my citrus trees. £529.99 from www.forestgarden.co.uk Blooming Amazing (£6.99 for 70 litres) is a soil enricher that is the by-product of anaerobic digestion in which plant material is broken down to create biogas. Think of the process as an artificial cow’s stomach – the plants go in, are chomped up, break down, and release gas and out the other end comes a useful soil mulch that is pleasant to handle, rich in nutrients and an ideal top dressing for the garden. Check their website www.bloominamazing.com for local stockists.
There were several companies at the event introducing new ways of feeding your plants. Envii caught my eye with their probiotics for plants – these work in a similar way to mycorrhizal fungi, but apparently are different. I will be interested to try them, especially the Maximato tomato feed (£20 for 500ml from Amazon). There were several things I liked about this company – on a practical note, the liquid feed containers had a built in measuring device which is something I’ve been requesting for absolutely ages; also they are working hard to make their packaging and delivery as environmentally friendly as possible. Envii is phasing out single-use plastics and they now use a green type of jiffy bag that is entirely compostable, hexcel paper instead of bubble wrap and paper parcel tape instead of the plastic version. To highlight their green credentials they had planted up a jiffy bag and also used the self-clinging hexcel paper to make a plant pot. Good stuff. www.envii.co.uk
Specialist feed producer Vitax has a range of targeted plant foods to meet the specific requirements of a variety of shrubs and trees. The latest additions to the range are an Olive Tree Feed (help for those many starved specimens you see languishing in pots) and a Tree Fern and Palm Feed. None of these plants is cheap to buy so it is worthwhile investing in targeted feed to keep them healthy and growing strongly. Local stockists are listed on their website www.vitax.co.uk
If I needed any more planters (I definitely do not!!!!) then I would be very tempted by the Rustic range at Woodlodge. The moulds used to make them have been taken from natural materials so they give a very good impression of being made from bark, slate and weathered timber. They are extremely heavy (concrete?) so very stable and are reasonably priced. www.woodlodge.co.uk for stockists
Wandering among the seed merchants displays, two that tempted me were Alonsoa warscewiczii ‘Scarlet’ from the Sarah Raven range for Johnsons Seeds and ‘Red Swan’ dwarf French bean at Mr. Fothergill’s. The alonsoa was such a gorgeous colour that I felt I must have a go at growing it – and with the French bean the combination of the pink shade and the claim of ‘incredible flavour’ on the seed packet proved irresistible.