For an insight into what’s new and trendy in the world of gardening and horticulture, there’s no show better than #Glee17. But unless you are trade or a member of the garden industry in some form or another, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll be allowed in, and anyway, it’s all over for another year.
But here are five of my favourite new and innovative ideas from this year’s show, but do remember that some of them are so new, you might not be able to see them, let alone buy them until 2018.
I absolutely love these wood composite garden screens, not just because they are weatherproof and modular but also because the designs are so elegant and inspiring. They are made from 100% recycled materials in a mix of 60% wood and 40% plastic to create a really wood like but durable material. The panels are perfect for screening off a balcony, patio or terrace they transform a boundary into a focal point, harnessing the energising movement of light through the screen patterns. The dancing light is filtered through the screen and illuminates the garden scene elegantly. The screens can be cut to fit your space and are available in a range of sizes and finishes. They can also be used to dress walls and fences, though they don’t then benefit from the filtered light effect. Prices from £40. Available now.
Elementree Splitter & Kindler:
It wasn’t just the innovative design on this freshly launched product range that caught my eye, it was also the enthusiasm and professionalism displayed by the young team behind it. It’s a British designed and manufactured system that enables the homeowner to cleanly and efficiently split wood for firewood and kindling. Forget about wielding an axe or buying expensive nets of firewood – with the ElemenTree Splitter (£259.99) and ElemenTree Kindler (£174.99), you can revolutionise the way you prepare firewood for your home. It’s perfect for small to large wood burners and it’s easy to use. Simply drive logs down and smaller cylinders through the ElemenTree Splitter blades using a rubberized mallet (supplied) to split the wood and make kindling. Or for just kindling choose the Elementree Kindler.
With 70% of the population expected to be living in an urban setting by 2030, #Glee17 had a real emphasis on urban gardening. Elho, always ahead of the trends had some fascinating designs offering elegant form with practical function. It’s Greenbasics Flower Bridge is designed to fit onto a balcony divider and offers a planter with a propagation lid, so you can start your plug plants under protection and lift the lid as the temperature increases and the weather improves in spring. Price £19.99, available from Jan 2018 . It seems that it wasn’t just me that loved this great product, for it won GLEE Best New Product and GLEE Consumer Choice Award at this year’s show.
One of the must visit stands at every Glee exhibition is Burgon & Ball because it has so many exciting new products. You won’t be surprised that I fell in love with the Buzz Bee kids kneeling pad at this year’s show which is partnered with Dotty a black spotted red version resembling a lady bird. Inspired and great fun. But with my practical head on, I really loved this very simple idea. A small pegboard for your shed or even your garden shed, complete with 8 hooks and the fixings to attach it to the wall. It’s available in three shades, Stone (which is a lovely shade of cream), Sage and Grey, for £22.99.
Imagine a cube shaped stool that can be a table too if you add a table top, but a cube that’s hollow inside with a pivoted basket that when you invert the table or stool you have a fire basket balanced inside. You can fill the basket with firewood, briquettes or charcoal and either enjoy it as a central point for a social gathering, or add a grill and transform it into a barbecue. Once the cooking is done, remove the grill and enjoy the fire pit until the embers die down. And then the dilemma, how to extinguish the heat of the hearth? With the Cube you simply turn it over to starve it of air and the sparks die back quickly. It’s a neat design available in a matt black or rust finish, price from £310 for the cube, £53 for the Grill and £65 for the tabletop. From garden centres in 2018.