Product news: nature in the city
by Drucilla James
These products may not be in the shops yet, but are worth looking out for, if you want to put fun and funkiness into city gardening and do your bit for nature too.
Urban: by Wildlife World
The collection features a bee and insect hotel; a bird nest box; a bird feeder table; and an insect winter home / summer refuge. The boxes, made of clay and recycled plastic, can be mounted on to a wall, either straight on or diagonally and also have different coloured back plates to complement your garden design.
Poppy: by VegTrug
To enjoy all the benefits of home-grown food in the tiniest of outdoor spaces, check out these foldaway, raised vegetable beds, available in eye-catching colours including red, pale blue, lime green and purple. Consisting of a felt liner in a foldable metal frame, these planters maximise your crop, look good and cut out all that painful kneeling and bending at the same time and can be simply folded away in winter.
Ideal for growing anything from herbs to strawberries, and from salads to root crops, the Poppy is popular with casual, novice and city gardeners – you can even get instructions for growing on the VegTrug app. VegTrug is adding new 2-tier and 3-tier planters to this popular range.
Price: Single Poppy £49.99. New Poppy 2 Tier Ladder £59.99 and Poppy 3 Tier Ladder £89.99.
Flora for the National Trust: by Woodlodge
If you can only have a limited number of containers, these new, hand-finished, glazed, green or burgundy pots, from Woodlodge with their allium, ivy and fern designs inspired by plants from the National Trust’s gardens, would make an elegant addition to any urban space.
EcoMat Companion Planting Mat: by BeeMat
Growing mats featuring salad varieties – either Oriental or Mediterranean- and Garden Vegetables are new additions to the BeeMat range. Designed to suppress weeds and repel pests, the EcoMat provides you with a healthy crop of vegetables, whilst also attracting wildlife and insects to the garden.
The bio-degradeable mats (50cm x 2m) have neat rows of seeds, in plant communities specially selected to germinate and work together to protect themselves from pests. Salad onions, for example, deter those voracious slugs, snails, aphids and rabbits, and sage helps carrots and brassicas to grow, but also discourages cabbage flies, black flea beetle, cabbage looper and cabbage maggots.
The flowers added to the outermost seed rows act similarly. Marigolds release organic compounds to repel pests such as whitefly, slugs and carrot fly and the sweet alyssum attracts beneficial insects like hoverflies and parasitic wasps, both of which also eat insect pests.
EcoMats are easy to use – just cover with compost or sand and water and then harvest your delicious, healthy crop throughout the season.
Price: EcoMat Salad £4.16 EcoMat Oriental £4.16 Eco Mat Veg £4.16
Outdoor inflatable lights: by Luxform Global B.V.
If you want a fun way to shed more light on these stylish additions to your balcony, terrace, garden, porch or pergola, then these inflatable lights could be the answer. In green, fuschia or turquoise, in Capsule, Water-drop, or Triangle shapes, these light balloons are all waterproof and UV-resistant. Simply inflate the container, insert the lamp and cord, plug in and you’re lit up.