Monday, 9 December 2013

Muck Boots: Perfect Winter Wear

Whether you’re sweeping up great swathes of wet leaves, digging up vegetable beds, turning soil or generally pottering about, the garden can be a messy place at this time of year, which is why solid footwear is so important.

Luckily for me, my friends at The Internet Gardener ( sent me a pair of Muck Boot Scrub boots to help me in the London Vegetable Garden over the autumn and winter months.

The first thing I have to mention about these boots is the fact that they are half-height, making them the perfect boot for garden work.  Shoes can offer little protection from muddy, cold and wet garden conditions, while full-size wellington boots can often feel cumbersome for gardening tasks that require a lot of flexibility: these Scrub Muck Boots are comfortable and protective while allowing freedom of movement.

As with all other Muck Boots, this Scrub Boot is constructed in by creating a neoprene bootie complete with Airwick lining. The entire boot is then covered in natural rubber ensuring it is 100% waterproof.  The ridged rubber sole will give grip without clogging up with mud as other wellies can, making it perfect for tramping through soil and undertaking gardening tasks such as digging, while  it also provides a firm grip on patios and decking.

I have recently been standing in vegetable beds as I dig out old roots, and turn the soil, as well as wading through great piles of leaves while sweeping up garden debris, and these scrub boots kept me warm, dry and were very flexible and easy to work in, as well as being extremely comfortable.

These boots are available in sizes 4-12, and when ordering from The Internet Gardener, you can also order a boot jack in a variety of colours, as well as a stylish boot bag to keep your boots in.  I highly recommend these muck boots, which have already become a key part of my gardening activities here at the London Vegetable Garden.

Visit The Internet Gardener for these muck boots, plus a whole host of superb gardening equipment!

Boot-Scrapers: Keeping the Outdoors, Outdoors!

Whether pottering about in the garden or rambling across the moorland of Derbyshire, I love nothing better than being outdoors.  However, what I dislike is bringing the outdoors back inside with me!

Muddy walking boots, leaves, soil and all sorts of garden flora and fauna invariably end up being trampled inside my house, much to the chagrin of my wife.  Luckily for me, the folks at the English Lamp Post Company have come up with the perfect solution for life here at the London Vegetable Garden.

Well known for their range of lampposts, the English Lamp Post Company is turning its expertise in superior cast iron to garden products, which of course, is very exciting news for gardeners!  The company’s new boot-scrapers are the perfect solution for muddy boots: the boot-scraper and brush has been hand cast in iron and is finished in a satin midnight black, ensuring a quality product with a durable finish and stylish design.

The back door of my cottage now has a beautiful boot-scraper outside, ensuring that the muck and mess of a wet wintery garden is kept firmly outside.

In addition to boot-scrapers, the English Lamp Post Company also has a charming range of cast-iron post boxes, benches, hanging baskets, water features, urn planters and also a superb garden lighting range.  Take a look today!

Birds and Bees: Bird Seed That Supports British Wildlife

The current plight of bees is a very topical, and indeed, critical, issue facing agriculture today.  This is a global issue with huge ramifications for crops, food and ecosystems, yet it is also an issue that we can help to overcome at (forgive the pun) ‘grass roots’ level.

I was recently contacted by the lovely folks at Birds & Bees bird seed, a new ethical birdseed company from Marcus Waley Cohen (founder of Firefly Drinks) and Upton Estate Manager, Rob Allan (Countryside Farmer of the Year 2012).

Birds and Bees actually started life ten years ago as a project to create some space on their farm for wildlife.  Back then, everyone was farming to the edge of every field; great for farming yields, but not so good for birds, bees and butterflies which had nowhere left to live.

Ten years later, Birds & Bees has over 150 acres of land dedicated to wildlife, home to thousands of species.   Every year they make the farm better for wildlife, but they realised that to make a bigger difference they needed to encourage more people to look after birds and bees in their own gardens, and more farmers to farm in a wildlife friendly way.   And with that, Birds and Bees was born.

They buy all of their British cereals from bird and bee friendly farmers and they have also dedicated to creating more habitats for wildlife - that's why they're planting one square foot of new wildflower meadow for every new customer who joins them this year.

I have already started using Birds & Bees in the London Vegetable Garden and I genuinely love the fact that not only does it help the many lovely birds in my garden (finches, nuthatches, blue tits, sparrows, robins) over the winter months, but the seed is produced in a way that is actively encouraging bees and wildlife back into British farmland and countryside – how good is that!

So please, if you’re looking for bird seed this winter, check out the great range of products over at  There are plenty of offers in the shop, plus you can also earn £5 for yourself and £5 for a friend – click here for more details.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Planning Ahead: The Perfect Place to Put Your Gardening Tools

It might be winter now, but that means that spring is only around the corner, and with it comes fresh opportunities for new garden projects to help fill your leisure time over the coming year, and we think we have the perfect project. With house sizes decreasing year-on-year, gardeners all around the UK are running out of space to put their tools of the trade, so this year, why not make your gardening project to design and build your own outdoor space to help store your things.  Here’s how we suggest your do it.

The Right Spot
Here in the UK, we’re accustomed to bad weather. Although it’s not generally enough to dampen our spirits and prevent us from getting out into the garden, it can be detrimental to the health of a shed or greenhouse.  Wood can get water-damaged and the wind can take a serious toll on a greenhouse, so finding the perfect spot for your outdoor storage area is essential.  Large trees or dense bushes make excellent wind breakers, and if you’re building a shed, use a waterproof roof material to prevent any serious deterioration or rot.

The Appropriate Materials
Although you might want to cover your roof in slate tiles, they’re more expensive than a lino and are prone to becoming unstuck in the wind.  Therefore you need to weigh up the pros and cons of every material you plan to use.  If you’re making a greenhouse, you have less to think about in this regard, but you might want to consider the ventilation of you’re going to get out of your planned system – Do you need to drill any holes in your glass sheets to allow your plants to breathe?   

The Necessary Equipment
It’s ironic that you’ll need a range of tools for your outdoor storage space – the very place you intent to put them when the job is done.  Thankfully, the things you’ll need are generally inexpensive and can be purchased from a place like Elcocks, so you don’t need to travel to get everything you need for the job. As a minimum, you’ll require:
  • A hammer
  • A hand saw
  • A measuring tape
  • Screwdrivers

Once you’ve gathered your tools, picked the perfect spot, and thought about the appropriate materials, you’re all set to go. Building your shed or greenhouse shouldn’t take too long, and once it’s done you can sit back and admire your handiwork.


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