RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014: product news
by Drucilla James
As well as the grandiose, Chelsea had plenty of practical products on show for the rather more bijou plots of the city gardener. Here are our six of the best.
Isio Shape and Edge by Bosch
Bosch’s Show-winning new Isio Shape and Edge, for example, is a compact, cordless, multi- purpose tool which not only shapes shrubs and trims lawn edges but with its new sprayer attachment can also be used for spreading fertilisers or pesticides and for watering. Its smaller size makes it easier to store too. With the rising interest in topiary it enables you to sculpt shrubs according to your fancy and care for them as well. Cost £64.99. Sprayer attachment £19.99 www.bosch.com
Hozelock’s stand featured the Pico Reel, another scaled-down winner, this time of a complete watering system. Neat and non-drip enough to be stored in a kitchen cupboard or on a shelf, it comes with all the necessary fixtures and fittings including 10m of hose and a multi-spray gun. Weighing less than two bags of sugar, it is also light and easy to handle and ready for any watering task. Cost £29.99 www.hozelock.com
MiniMax by The Big Green Egg
The new MiniMax version of The Big Green Egg ceramic barbecue also punches above its weight promising to bring all the cookery resources of celebrity chefs like Daniel Clifford and Sat Bains to the urban terrace.
It offers the same features as its bigger brothers, including the ventilated pod which when used with charcoal, lets you grill, bake or smoke food at precise temperatures by a quick tweak of the air controls. Its ceramic surface makes it safer to use and it has the eggstra advantage of being self- cleaning. Taken together with its range of egg-cessories, nothing could be further from the usual image of the British barbecue. The different sized models in the Big Egg range are priced from £350 – £1250. www.biggreenegg.com
Vertical gardening is another much touted method of making the most of an urban space. The Plant Prop at www.plantsupports.co.uk is great for holding plants against a wall without using screws or wires. The Props are portable too which means you can create a vertical garden anywhere. In rustic untainted steel, they start from £10 for a pack of 3.
The Croatian company Klara, in partnership with Zagreb School of Design, also had colourful ideas for making the most of vertical spaces. Its KiPo herb pots have, in addition to magnets and adhesive panels for fixing to metal surfaces, walls or tiles, a handy slot to hang pots from kitchen rails or balconies. A reservoir ensures herbs stay watered. They cost £9.99. Klara’s Trio of curved herb pots also have in-built magnets to fix them to metallic surfaces for more vertical growing opportunities. £19.90. www.klara-gardening.com
twool rope by twool
Balcony and roof gardens can often be windy and exposed with a greater need to support and tie plants. Twool is well known for its twine made from rare Whiteface Dartmoor sheep wool, but this year it introduced a twool rope made from the twine, for those jobs requiring extra oomph. The rope is highly versatile being useful for training and supporting trees and plants, as well as for constructing decorative patio barrier ropes or handrails, hanging baskets and planters or even creating swings. It is the only worsted rope manufactured in the UK and costs £10.99 for a twisted hank. www.twool.co.uk