Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Just In: Harvest Help

We've had some great new products in lately, all to help us prepare for autumn and the big garden clear-up that comes in its wake. It's time to start trimming, pruning and clearing up those past-it plants and preparing borders, window boxes and allotments for the next season. But it doesn't have to be back-breaking work:

The "Handy Hands," so called because it's, well, a really big pair of plastic hands, will help you clear up dead leaves, stems and other garden debris in no time. Also available is a Heavy Duty version (right), which reduces the need to bend and stoop quite so much.

"Handy Hands," £6.95 and Handy Handy Heavy Duty £12.95 both available at Garden Boutique

In your haste to clean up the fallen leaves this autumn, don't forget that they are a great source of nutrition for the soil. Either add them to your compost bin or turn them into a mulch. We recommend using these Jute Leaf Mould Sacks; they are 100% biodegradable so they decompose alongside your leaves. You can just store a sack full of leaves under a bush and wait for it to magically turn into a healthy mulch that will really give next year's plants a boost.

This Berry Picker is great for conducting a speedy berry harvest. It's really satisfying to pull the little berry heads from their stalk necks and pop them in your mouth, but if you have a fair few to harvest this tool will be a real time-saver. It contains a comb which cleverly separates berries from stems as you work it through the bush and deposits them into the red plastic container. I made a sweet vanilla and blackberry cake with my fruit. What will you do?

And finally, there's no time like the present to do a little maintenance on your herbs. Our herb drying kit contains new seeds (vervain, balm, mint, rosemary)and everything you need to dry them out for future use. I have the most fragrant sweet basil at the moment, and there's nothing like hanging it up to dry to fill the house with a delicious scent.

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