February sees every gardeners’ excitement building, with a hope that Spring and getting outdoors is only around the corner.
We are all wanting to sow the first seeds of veg and cut flowers, eagerly staring at them every waiting second after wishing for germination.
But the month brings a whole other of level of excitement for those like myself who not only love gardening, but writing and talking about it too.
Every year, all the brands we know and love come together in the third week to ‘showcase the latest products and stories exclusively to the key names in the garden & home press and media’.
I get to see all the new exciting plants, gloves, tools and much more coming to the market and on sale for you to buy now or very soon.
After attending last year and starting to see all the brands showing a much improved headway in terms of diversifying their ranges to attract a wider, especially younger audience, I was very keen to see last week what further improvements and innovations they had created.
Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed, I felt more passion and a true care for the end customer, YOU, coming from everybody I spoke to. You could tell they had really thought about what we as gardeners want, as well as of course a few ideas that I didn’t realise I needed but now need to get my hands on ASAP.
So whilst I could talk about every incredible plant or product I saw, and every conversation I had, I won’t. I will do what I did last year and share my top 5 with you, a combination of memories and creations.
I am sure the others not featured now, will appear at some point throughout the year for you to see, whether it be in a blog or video.
In no particular order, No.1 is:
Buzz and Dotty – Burgon & Ball
I already knew that Burgon & Ball make incredibly comfy kneelers, giving us no need to squat or for grubby knees when you want to sow, weed or plant. I own the stunning Flora and Fauna one already and used it for much of last year, so can say with confidence that they are wonderful.
But the brand have upped their game and launched two new additions to the Kneelo range, making it a complete family now in my view.
We have had ones for men and women of all ages, but in my view they kept the best until last and the ones for youngsters have arrived! They are meant to be just for children, but I know I am ensuring they have a place at No.27. Yes, I am a big kid!
I introduce Buzz and Dotty, the suitably named and pure brilliant new additions, I love them!
Buy direct now for £14.49 each.
PS. I can vouch that they are perfect for little ones or bigger ones with little knees aka me. Or buy both and use one for each knee if you really want to create a giggle.
No.2 is Hackney Herbal.
Born in 2015, Hackney Herbal is a social enterprise that promotes wellbeing by connecting people with herbs through creative activities.
The wonderful team who I met, set out on a mission to show people how to incorporate herbs into their lifestyles, for health and improved wellbeing. Their idea came from a desire to create more value out of the herbs that were being grown in private, public and community gardens.
Now they grow herbs in a patchwork of sites around Hackney and from these they create unique herbal tea blends. The funds from the sale of these go towards free community activities in Hackney, which bring people together to learn, share knowledge and be inspired.
As well as selling their bespoke tea, they run a number workshops and events throughout the year which anyone can attend for a small fee, including a Herbal Wellbeing Masterclass, where you learn to make blended oils, tea blends, lip balms and room sprays. I have just booked places on this class for my mum and I on Sunday; can’t wait!
Other classes include a Herbal Tea Blending Masterclassand a Grow Your Own Herbs Masterclass to name a few.
Before I left their stand, I created my own blended tea bag which became a relaxing and sleep inducing blend of Lavender, Camomile and Lemon Verbena. I am usually one for get up and go kinda teas, but I thought this blend might stop my brain going at 100mph.
In for No.3 is Gloves, Gloves and more Gloves – Town & Country
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure after visiting the Town & Country stand, that they have the biggest collection of gloves I have ever seen, it’s impressive!
Premium leather, leather and suede combo, bamboo fibre or cotton jersey, you name it, they have gloves in all fabrics to suit all jobs. Latex dipped, dotted palms and neoprene knuckle shock absorbers are some of the weird and wonderful added features too.
Basically, if you want a pair of gloves, they have them, even for the fanciest of us gardeners and the toughest of jobs. They do kids versions too so all the family can get out in the garden this Spring, once this snow has cleared.
I must confess to not having tried their gloves yet, but I did walk away with a pack of coloured jersey grip pairs. So will let you know what I think when I put them to the test against my current favourite pair.
No.4 is for Moveable gardens from Elho.
You may ask, what’s the point of a moveable garden, but personally I think it’s a genius idea, especially for #GenerationRent, a slogan I love which my good friend, Natalie, aka Tulips and Terracotta created.
I see it as a solution for all those you would love to garden but are constantly on the move. Or maybe you rent like me, so you can’t make big plans and create beautiful designs in your garden at home.
You could also use it for your most sun-loving plants, which would then allow you to move them on wheels to the sunniest parts of your garden throughout the year.
An additional feature you can buy is a lid to which turns it in a portable grow house and cold frame too.
I have come to create wonderful relationships with many of the brands and charities who were at the show so it was fantastic to catch up with everyone in person, including Alyson from the incredible charity Thrive, who I visited earlier this month too. As well as put a face to a few names who I have spoken to regularly on email but hadn’t met.
Thank you to each and every person who said hello, gave me a hug and supports my deep passion and cause.
I will be sharing lots more exciting information from the event over the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled and click ‘Follow’ if you haven’t already.
Is there anything you would like to see come to market within the gardening industry? What’s missing? Let me know your thoughts and ideas so I can pass them on.