Full of Glee 2017

It all started as a wide invite to the #gdnbloggers on twitter, asking if anyone would like to come along to the Glee Trade show held at NEC Birmingham. It’s one of those trade shows I have never been to, so that had to change! Glee was being held from Monday the 11th until Wednesday the 13th. As Mum disappeared on holiday, I was literally left holding the baby, so on a lovely Wednesday morning, me and Alannah (one year old apprentice!) headed up north toward Birmingham.

Ahh the delights of the early morning drive, watching the sun appear over the horizon,like a glowing ball of fire whilst working out the best place to stop for breakfast! Soon the horror of both the motorway service stations and the traffic disappeared as I reached the NEC.

Very soon I was checked in by two very nice ladies, gave me all the info I needed and walked in to hall 18, OMG been to some horticulture shows in the past but never one this full before, just masses and masses of tools, fertilisers well everything you could need for the garden! Here’s my photos and notes on some of the products that really caught my eye during the day

First stand I stopped at was the rather excellent Gold leaf gloves, I am a great fan of these gloves and personally wear them when proper hand protection is needed. They are made from deer leather which makes them so supple. They have a new range out this year beautifully decorated with prints from the RHS library, will make a very practical and beautiful present for someone. It also won new product of the year in this years show, well deserved!
Next stop was the Vitax stand, it’s no secret I am a great fan of their products, Vitax Q4 is the best all round fertiliser I think. What impressed me the most on their stand, was the product for box hedging and positive point of sale information explaining how best grow the plant to fight box blight, giving I felt a really positive look on using box within a garden. I know it is done to sell their product but never less it’s a really good bit of positive advertising!
Vitax also have some great new products out for release next year, I think the clematis one will be a massive hit!
Viano have some great products, used the mo-bactor lawn fertiliser before on clients lawns and had some great results from it, feeding the grass over a 12week period as well reducing both the thatch and the moss and leaving the lawn in a lot better shape without as much work as scarifying it. They do also have a couple of other products that look very interesting! First one being the rose feed and secondly recovery organic. This would be a brilliant fertiliser to use once scarification has taken place on the lawn. The8% Nitrogen, 6% Phosphate, 13% Potash, plus 3% Magnesium base with the added humifirst, helps the grass to recover quickly as well as producing a thinner but denser sward for the prefect lawn
A new product for me, The Mud Daddy was designed for washing dogs after a long muddy walk. I will be honest and say I walked by it and just glanced at it first, about 4 paces past the stand, ideas of how it could be useful for me in my line of work. I hate hate putting tools away muddy and not all clients have an outside tap. This with its pump action tank would be a prefect answer for that problem and making big sure I can clean my muddy boots off. Since seeing it, I have brought one online, will let you know how I get on with it in a few months


Having a living wall is now becoming very popular, with lots of ideas and methods on the internet for the home gardeners. I liked the simple idea behind The Wonder wall system including the self watering system that is very simple to put up and link together. The containers fit a 1ltr size pot, so you can almost add any plant in that size range and needs changing the display can be done very easily. it’s going to be another product I shall trial and I shall let you know how it goes
Hydroponics has been around for years, it’s basically the way of growing plants without using soil just using water, it is used commercially in a wide scale, most of the salads and herbs are now grown this way. Now what I loved about this display from JardinNice is the simple and attractive system they have, it would good in any modern kitchen, with the different colour lights, it would work as well at night as during the day. They can also supply the feed for the water as well so basically the whole package. Would make a lovely gift as well
Some beautiful looking insect hotels were on show, these are on the area show casing the products in that area. I lover the colours on show
The RHS greening Britain is gaining a lot of momentum, hopefully more people will change from block paving to maybe gravel as a product of choice, with he cars parking on paving on the gravel, these sites and be planted up with a wide range of low growing plants and ones like this set up so easy to see what they do, is great way to encourage people to try them out
Again in the same area as the insect boxes, they showed off a great range of bird boxes, again one that you add decoration to most gardens
Water is always a great extra in the garden, whether it’s a pond or like we have here, a free standing one. It adds both movement and sound to the garden, helping to drown out nearby noises of traffic etc. These complete water features from Bring Water to Life really look great and can see the Buddha one fitting into a Japanese style garden quite happily
Let’s be honest, most of the tools for sale aimed for children are mainly bright coloured crap, no good for more than a few hours work/play/destruction/fighting let alone teaching them how to use them properly or care for them. This range from Kent & Stowe buck that trend, with well built tools for the younger generation to enjoy to use
BBQs are a great way to get out and relax and enjoy our outside spaces, they always looked rather dull and boring! This one certainly doesn’t! It makes a great feature even when not in use. Bespoke-Oak furniture had some great products on their stand, some more quirky than others love the smoking tractors below as well

The Niwaki stand, don’t need to say much more do I? Just quality quality Japanese pruning and garden equipment, just top stuff!
It’s another problem I get sometimes when cleaning off clients patios, those dark patches of black lichen left behind that nothing can remove, I know how frustrating it can be, my partner moaned about them on our patio! This looks the answer, saw the promotional video and it looks good, will order a bottle and try at home first. There’s 4 in the range, one each to use on natural stone, concrete products and pavers and a top up one for the year after to prevent it coming back. Again will let you know how I get on with it
Deluxe built and looking bird boxes and tables, again another product that just oozed quality and ideal for attracting in wildlife and just looking damn good at the same time! Check out The Beautiful Birdhouses!
I have heard about Dale composts a bit online over the past few years and it was great to finally come face to face with the product and the people who produce it. Dale composts are made using just 2 main ingredients, Bracken and wool, these two products make a really fine compost that covers all the need of growing plants. I am so looking forward to trialing it this compost next year!
A taste of Africa now with these well made sculptures from Jaukali, making movement out of metal. I would love to use these in amongst miscanthus, with their heads poking out, really lovely bits of sculpture
Love liquid feeds especially ones based around liquid seaweed and this one made in Australia, looks like it will as popular over here as it is in Australia. Mr fothergills has a big following in Australia. Shall trial it over the summer months and see how it goes
Topbuxus has expanded its range of products to include a mulch for under the hedge to cut down spreading by water splash. It really complements the feeds in their range
Yes Christmas is coming 👍

There are so many other products I saw at the show that really do need a mention and over the next year or so I shall be trialing them as well, Grazon have expanded their range of deferrers to include one for caterpillars (I can’t wait to see if it works on rose sawfly) and Lilly beetle, Plantgrow unique produced plant fertilisers, both in liquid and solid form, these are naturally produced as a bi-product from biomass plant to produce electricity. The biomass uses bacteria to breakdown plant material and produce gas which is then used to product the electricity. Also saw a few rather interesting new mycorrhizal products to the market, an area that interests me a lot and certainly will be having a play with these Would love to thank all those at Glee for being so helpful, Glee and Kimberley from Hornby Whitefoot who invited me. Thank you<

4 Comments Add yours

  1. John Kingdon says:

    Some interesting new things there. MO Bacter is something I’d like to have a go with next year (if I can find a stockist that isn’t Amazon) and that Australian seaweed product will certainly help if I accidentally plant something upside down. 🙂 Mud Daddy seems a simple but effective solution to cleaning – even when there’s access to a tap, if you need detergent or something, it’s a pain; mixing the necessaries in the device would be a comparative doddle.

    Did you get to meet Jake on the Niwaki stand? Must dash – my wishlist has just arrived from Beth Chatto!

    1. thomashort says:

      Cheers John, yes can get it from pitchcare, hahaha I agree would be idea for that 😀 I am just waiting for my one to turn up and try it out but yes you are right, would be great to add a cleaning product to it as well
      I didn’t this time but have in the past, great bloke!
      Haha enjoy your plants 👍

  2. joturner57 says:

    Good to hear about some of the highlights… Sounds like a fairly huge Have been drooling over those Niwaki ladders for a while now… also intrigued by the Dale composts, especially the wool one. Be interested to hear how you find it down the line. Also good to see some children’s gardening tools made to last. Think the whole horticulture industry needs to move away from plastic and cheap gew-gaws…even all the plastic pots nurseries use should be recycled at least.. but that’s a whole other subject. Hope you and your toddler apprentice had a great day out… Thanks for sharing : )

    1. thomashort says:

      Lol they are as good as they look, I have a couple of the ladders now and love them, indeed love all their tools tbh. Totally agree about the plastics, great shame the industry as a whole can’t do more to recycle pots. Can’t wait to get some good tools for the kids to use 😀

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