RHS Garden Press Event

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The RHS Press Event February 2011

The first press event of the year was held today at the RHS Halls in Vincent Square ,London. This is an opportunity for members of the garden press to see and write about a variety of new products which are being launched for the very first time.

Some exhibit annually but there were some new faces this year introducing a new cultivar, gift item or product for the industry.

This year the celebrities were out in force, some like Charlie Dimmock were on hand to promote her recent uniting with Gardening Direct, the direct grow and sell mailorder company. Pippa Greenwood however, had her own stand with her Grow your Own vegetable plants which she sends out along with info and tips direct for ready planting. Peter Seabrook and Christine Walkden were wondering round taking notes and chatting. A vast poster of Alan Titchmarsh on the Plant Heritage stand looked so realistic that one exhibitor who hadn’t noticed it before, introduced himself before realising it wasn’t him! Quite funny!

Of particular note ate the show were some of the new seeds developed exclusively by Thompson and Morgan. These include Petunia ‘Phantom’, a deep black with stripes of yellow on the petals. I can see many hanging baskets with those in this summer. Verbascum ‘Blue Lagoon’ and Echinacea ‘Magic Box’ along with some unusual Crystal tree Lilies with double blooms that reach 6 feet were other new introductions to the range.

New mechanical products include one from Bosch with their ‘Ergoflex’ lawnmowers with a handle that relieves muscle and joint strain. The system of handles can be adapted to other cordless machines in the range. I was also impressed by the cordless chainsaw they manufacture which is relatively lightweight for domestic use. Brother, best known for large office and home printers launched a new domestic hand held print labeller which I will be testing out. The adhesive labels which are used by many commercial growers, are frost,rain and fade resistant.

Sophie Conran, better known for her pottery ranges, has teamed up with Burgon and Ball to produce designer style to the garden with a range of lightweight tools. She was on the stand to promote the tools along with her ‘buckets of fun’, galvanised steel buckets containing different kits from camping to making your own lemonade and cordial.

Green Thumb were celebrating National Love your Lawn Week, helping to spread the message of having a beautiful lawn by using their treatment service.

Firepits which have been quietly coming onto the garden scene for a while, were on display from a company called Firepits Uk which hand makes every one individually and has their own version of a patio heater, much less gaudy from the norm.

Plant Heritage is a charity which conserves the Uk’s ‘living library’ of cultivated plants for future generations to enjoy. On their stand, it was fascinating to see and learn about the rare and endangered plants we have in the UK and the need to identify them. They produce a directory where open days are held around the country at individual gardens. You can visit the gardens to see individual species.

Eco-friendly garden products from the Nether Wallop Trading Company included this year a herb drier to effectively preserve crops by air drying.The three tiered stand is attractive and lightweight enough to have on a kitchen counter.

There were many other exhibitors and these included the Greenfingers Charity,BALI, Haddonstone,Hilliers,Scotts Miracle Grow,Solus ,Vital Earth and Vitax to name a few.

A well attended event, the press were given a taste of new product launches to the Industry before they hit the garden centres. Next week it’s the Birmingham Gift Fair where there will be even more to report on in the world of Horticulture so keep checking on The Garden Network for another review of what’s hot and what’s new!