Some of my favourite things
I realised early on that if you aren’t careful, you can easily become a ‘gardening product consumer’ and spend a LOT of money on your garden.
It is an exciting project, your garden, and shops and the online world are full of enticing offers. From different must-have tools to seating, firepits, lighting – all selling you one dream or another.
Now I have nothing against buying something that genuinely brings you joy, but I didn’t want my gardening to make me into a passive consumer. So to add to the mix, I build a lot of my own stuff (by trial and error), swap things with friends and neighbours, make finds in skips and places such as freecycle, olio and other local groups and of course, save seeds etc. It makes for a much richer experience, and keeps my wallet healthy.
Having said that, I also have some favourite products that I have found through trial and error, and a small library of books that I return to time and again. I share some of them here with you – and yes, some of the links are affiliate links so I will earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) to help with the website costs. I never include anything I don’t personally use and love though – affiliate or no. For now too, many of the links are on Amazon, but as I source the products elsewhere this will change little by little.
I love these gloves – they are breathable (cool), allow me to do fiddly work, and the small version fits my small hands perfectly. They don’t last more than a season, but they’re worth it. Get them here.
I love seedaholic! They are a small company with a great website where the seeds are imaginatively grouped (eg ‘for pollinators’, ‘medicinal herbs’) and I always find something new and exciting. And my seed packet never breaks the bank!
One of the tools I use most often – a gardener needs a great pair of secateurs and these do the job year after year (with a bit of sharpening and oiling). In general, Fiskars is a great brand (and I’m not just saying that because I’m Finnish!).
I edge my pots in copper tape to deter slugs – very effective!
I use these Nemaslug nematodes around 2x a year as my wet and muddy garden has a big slug problem. I water in the nematodes just before I plant out my seedlings when they are at their most vulnerable.
I’ve found these beer traps to be pretty effective. I kind of like the idea that if a slug has to die, it dies drunk. You can make your own traps of course – A large plastic yoghurt carton with slits cut into it works too!
Why use anything other than jute twine? Ecological and you can throw it in the compost at the end of the growing season. There are many brands available, and it is also sold in virtually all hardware stores.
I use humble chicken wire for lots of garden projects. As a quick fence/garden divider in between bamboo poles, it provides a great support for climbing plants – and withstands high winds!
I like Alys’s philosophy on gardening and the fact that she has a lot of experience on growing edibles in a garden, instead of an allotment or other dedicated space, so pays attention to the aesthetics of the plants – edible or not.
I also like James Wong’s books. He has introduced me to many plants I hadn’t thought of growing before and now grow with great success.
I find that when it comes to tools, you can get by with a fairly basic set – depending on what you are doing, of course. You should certainly invest in good quality hand tools because you will be using those all the time. My secateurs, scissors and hand trowel go with me everywhere in the garden, and I also use my garden fork regularly. The axe and pruning saw see occasional use, and my extendable cutter comes out in elderflower/berry seasons.
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