I’ve just got back from Glee at the NEC, Birmingham. Glee is the UK’s gardening industry’s biggest trade show taking up several halls at the NEC. Here many of the major gardening product manufacturers and suppliers show off their wares for the following year.
One of my first ports of call was the new products area – and several things caught my eye – not necessarily for the right reason!
Many of the new products were centred around the grow your own bug that is sweeping the nation. There were lots of patio growing kits, raised bed kits, containers and compost specifically for veggies - including fat growing-bags, including some specifically for potatoes - and even new feeds and fertilisers, crop covers and other bits and bobs.
One of my favourite new products was an inflatable/blow up greenhouse – a bit like a transparent, greenhouse-shaped airbed. The air in the walls would provide excellent insulation – but I’m not sure it would be that practical in a windy area. I also thought it would be fantastic for Glastonbury Festival – although everyone could see what you’re doing inside!
I also loved the Bosch battery powered secateurs. This uses lithium ion battery technology, as I’ve got in my Bosch lawnmower, and will make up to 900 cuts with one battery charge. It was much lighter than I thought and well balanced. Perfect if you\’ve got a lot of pruning to do or you have arthritis or similar affliction that doesn’t allow you to grip secateurs handles properly.
And for the squeamish among you a slug grabber to pick up and dispose of the number one garden pest. It’s basically one of those long-handled rubbish picker-uppers with the trigger activated grabbing mechanism. Not sure about this one – just wear gloves.
Wildlife attracting gizmos were also much in evidence – including an all-in-one friendly insect overwintering station. The same company was also promoting its new ceramic bumblebee overwintering hive, which looked great until I saw the instructions: “First fill with material from a mouse nest or old bumblebee nest – OK, so where on earth do I buy/find either of those!
All in all some winners and some losers in next year’s race to remove money from your purse or wallet when you visit your local garden centre.
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