One of my favourite gardening shows every year is not one of the RHS Flower Shows. It is in fact a trade show that is held in September at the NEC.
GLEE is the place where new products and gardening tools and accessories are exhibited alongside our regular garden stalwarts.
There’s everything from the latest wheelbarrow designs to innovations in planters and containers, all arranged within three large halls at the NEC. Hundreds of industry manufactures and distributors gather to showcase their wares to discerning garden retailers all looking for innovations and ideas for their customers.
I spend three days at GLEE 2016 looking for new trends, interesting products and ideas to feature on not just this website, but also within articles that I write for magazines and newspapers. Here are five that caught my eye.
This new innovation in garden planters is practical, attractive and just a little bit different. The
slotpot is made from rings of sustainably sourced birch plywood, finished in a choice of five really attractive colours, in a flat pack package. It’s really simple to put together, there’s a video on YouTube and comes complete with a black liner for your compost and plant. It’s lightweight, ideal for posting to loved ones as a gift and it’s one of the most interesting developments in garden planters I’ve seen for a long time. Prices from around £ 37.50 for a hanging basket, plus delivery.
I wasn’t too sure about the
Belightful Butterfly Feeder when I first saw it; it needs explaining, as it’s much more than a butterfly feeder. It’s a sculpture in its own right, designed and made in Scandinavia, but it also supports butterflies by providing a quality nectar alternative to sustain these elegant garden creatures. Added to a garden where a variety of nectar rich plants are grown it creates an animated, vibrant jewel in the garden designed to attract more butterfly species. Coming soon to a garden near you. Price around £50.
Garden Marker from Artline:
Labelling your plants is an art in itself. How many times have you carefully noted down the date and variety of your seeds or the species of your plant on a garden label only to find it’s faded or worse next time you look. I might have just found the perfect pen for general plant labels. The Garden Marker by
Artline, but perhaps more exciting, for those of a more creative nature, there’s now a very new marker for flowers. It’s so new it was delivered to the show the second day and I just happened to be walking past. This neat little pen can be used to write on leaves and even the petals of flowers or flowerpots. Available in metallic silver or gold, just think of the applications. Leafy nametags for gifts, petal place names for the table or just being able to write on a petal or leaf. Coming soon, price around £3.
We’ve all done it, lost our precious garden tools deep in the undergrowth of the garden, or even worse, tipped into the green refuse bin, never to be seen again. It’s a wonder these haven’t been available before, but the new range of FloraBright tools from
Burgon & Ball are so bright and loud that it’s pretty unlikely you’ll mislay or tools again. Perfect for the scatty gardener, or someone with partial vision, the fluorescent hues are enough to scream out from the undergrowth. Available in a choice of bright pink or fluorescent yellow, prices from £9.95.
If you’d love a garden fire pit but you’ve only got a tiny plot or balcony this
Kadai Travel Firebowl is great. It’s just 35cm across (but there’s a bigger version too) and weighs 6kg and is designed to pack up for camping, holidays or beach barbecues. Handmade from recycled oil drums in India it includes a stand, grill tongs and a cotton duffle bag.