9 Dec 2017

Gardeners' gifts and a really lovely and useful GIVEAWAY

Thank you to everyone who took part in this giveaway.  The winner's name drawn from the bucket last week is Karen Gimson. Congratulations, Karen - enjoy your fabulous prize!




I'm feeling very pleased with myself as christmas is usually a last minute thing in my home but, yesterday, a real Nordman fir tree was purchased and the first flutters of christmas excitement began. The box of decorations has been retrieved from up high, candles will be lit, cakes made and snowglobes brought out.

The twinkle of indoor lights is especially welcome this winter as I've lost most of the light coming into my home thanks to scaffolding boards sitting just above the window lintels. Add in short days and grey skies and the room is in more or less permanent deep gloom. Never have I needed a deep dose of hygge more.  So to brighten my day, let's have a look back at a cornucopia of lovely things that have come my way this year and might give some inspiration to fellow gardeners - and, if you read (or skip) to the end, there's news of a very generous and lovely giveaway.

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Lithium-ion operated compact chainsaw Photo credit: Stihl
First up, at the top end of the gift range, my Stihl cordless garden tools - particularly the hedge and grass trimmers, although the chainsaw has also been brilliant for chopping up wood (and perfect if you have a log burner and a couple of trees to fell!). I was given tools from this product range for review and I totally love them. The chainsaw is incredibly easy to use and lightweight - I used it recently and it was really quite the exhilarating experience, unfamiliar as I am with man-tools! :o) Stihl produced a second range for the domestic market in 2017 so it's now possible to get Stihl quality for under £100. Bloggers have tested the domestic range and given them a big thumbs up!

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Photo credit: Fiskars.co.uk
Another tool which I have found invaluable is the Fiskars Powergear tree pruner. I'm 5' 2" (at a stretch) which puts tree top branches well out of my reach but with this amazing tool it's as if my arms are 5ft longer - awesome! The cutting blades are extremely sharp so branches are nipped off cleanly without much effort. I can honestly say this tool has been useful time and again both in my own and client gardens - and will most certainly be used for pruning the fruit trees after christmas. If you know anyone who resorts to wobbling on a stepladder (or worse, chair) to prune and shape shrubs and trees, get them one of these. Hard to disguise when gift wrapping it but we'll just brush past that.

Fiskars Powergear bypass pruners. Photo credit: Fiskars.co.uk
A tool I haven't tried but was very taken with when I saw it at GLEE is the Fiskars bypass pruner. The selling point was that these make cutting 3.5 times easier than standard pruners, making them ideal for taking the hand strain out of lengthy pruning and helpful for gardeners with a touch of arthritis in their hands. There are days in the garden when I would be heartily glad of a pair of these!

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A lot of bloggers have been impressed with Burgon and Ball's stylish pots this year - one will certainly be on my wishlist! but I'd also highly recommend their Kneelo kneeling pads. I've been using one all summer and can tell you it's the absolute business for ultimate knee comfort due its memory foam construction - it also makes a fab seat cushion when it's time for a brew. I was gifted the Flora and Fauna one which is beyond beautiful and quite possibly has magical properties of making its owner feel happy. ;) Check out the rest of the site - really is there anything not to love and want there?  Pots, string, plant labels, tools, eco stuff and children's tools - and how fabulous is the leather handled seed storage tin? (bottom right of my collage below) ... I'm a little bit in love with it all.

A whole heap of desirable gardening gorgeousness under one roof,
including my Kneelo kneeler (top right) and Florabrite gloves (middle right)
Photo credits: Burgonandball.com

While on the Burgon and Ball website, have a look at the Florabrite range.  This range is perfect for anyone like me who's forever mislaying handtools in the garden. Last winter one of my gloves completely disappeared, never to be found again, so Burgon and Ball's lovely PR sent me some Florabrite secateurs and gloves. Not only are the gloves the most comfortable lightweight pair I have ever put on my hands but they (and the secateurs) are so easy to spot. Even the logo will glow under torchlight should you be searching for your gloves after dusk. Happens so often here in the summer evenings ...

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And, finally, the fabulous GIVEAWAY!


Briers are justifiably proud of this latest addition to their collaboration with artist Julie Dodsworth. I spotted this at an event in September and thought the range very pretty and appealing, in greens and lavender with summer garden flowers - excellent quality too. A few weeks later, I 'liked' a photo of the range on Briers' Instagram feed without realising that I'd just entered myself for their competition. I was bowled over (not to mention completely gobsmacked) a few days later to learn that I'd won! However, I'd also seen the brand new Pantone range from Briers and cheekily asked if I could swop my prize. They agreed and suggested that I offer the original prize as a giveaway to my readers. How lovely was that?  The Lavender Garden range is new for 2017/18 and so popular that Briers have had to restock for christmas!  Briers have the items pictured below put aside to send out to my winner - they're just waiting for the name and address! This is what will be sent:

Secateurs, Knife and Pouch set,
Cotton Triple Pack Gloves, Premium Comfy Gloves
Rubber Boots and Garden Bag

I'm absolutely thrilled that I can host this giveaway. This would make a fantastic gift for any gardener - keep them yourself or, if you're feeling generous, split as presents for friends and family. It's a generous prize so there's enough to go round!

The prize is being offered by Briers Limited, a well respected British company.  They will be sending the prize direct to the winner. I assume this will be limited to the UK only. (Sorry, overseas readers. I will check on Monday though. Silly me.)

If you want to enter the giveaway, let me know in the comments below WITH A MEANS OF GETTING HOLD OF YOU! That's important - no point in winning if I can't let you know!

Please also LIKE my Facebook page and follow me and retweet on Twitter and Instagram. (You don't have to but, it's christmas, let's be nice to each other.)

You have UNTIL MIDNIGHT WEDNESDAY 13th DECEMBER to throw your name into the pot - with luck, the prize will arrive before Christmas!! (Exciting!)





22 comments:

  1. Oh yes please, add my name in the pot. I especially need some welly boots as I’ve stood on a nail. Soggy feet. Not good. Karen

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    1. Ouch! that doesn't sound good! Your name is in the hat, Karen.

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  2. What a lovely giveaway, so useful and pretty too. You've got some excellent things this year as well, and I love the idea of using the kneeler as a cushion, I shall definitely do that, I have the perfect spot outside my backdoor that would benefit from a little cushion. Well done on getting in the Christmas spirit. A little gloom is no bad thing at this time of year, all the more excuse for those twinkling lights. Have a good Sunday Caro. CJ xx

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    1. I'll add your name to the hat, CJ. I've had a good year for reviewing products - the kneeler is very well used, especially as the bench at the plot tends to be quite damp at first as it's in the shade of the shed. It's also useful as a kneeler!! :) Wishing you a good weekend too - lots of snow here in London!

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  3. I shall be definitely seeking out some of those Florabrite gloves for allotment wear Caro. In fact I must peruse the Burgeon and Ball website at leisure. Please don't enter me for the draw as I have an embarrassment of similar unused items at present and sadly no gardeners on my Christmas present buying list.

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    1. Ah, yes, I know what you mean Anna. I have so many trowels, hand forks, etc. But garden gloves are always useful. I do think that Burgon and Ball have put a lot of thought into their range - the Florabrite gloves are fantastic. When these wear out, I'll definitely be getting another pair for myself. (On a completely unrelated note, I also love the peg bag and pin board on their website!)

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  4. I would love to enter the giveaway please, these are so beautiful and really useful. I am following you on twitter @UptonAndrea

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    1. Hi Andrea, and thanks for entering and following me on Twitter. I know where to find you if you win!! :)

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  5. You have done well this year. I also like the look and sound of that kneeler.

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    1. Yes, indeed, Sue! Although receiving tools to review can be a mixed blessing - useful but time consuming, especially with this past year being the way it was. Do you want to be in the draw?

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  6. A good post and a nice giveaway but please don't include me. xx

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    1. Thank you, Flighty - never mind, maybe another giveaway might appeal more.xx

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  7. @LucyGarden (twitter and Facebook)10 December 2017 at 11:39

    Ooh, what a lovely set of prizes, fingers crossed! And thanks for the product reviews, those long loppers look just the thing.

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    1. Hi Lucy, thanks for commenting, your name will be popped into the pot. And, gosh yes, those tree loppers are amazing! I was so lucky to be given those! :)

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  8. What a lovely giveaway! We'll also be keeping the Stihl line in mind, as light, user-friendly chainsaw could definitely earn its keep.

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    1. Aha! I'm glad I've been able to draw your attention to the Stihl cordless range - the chainsaw is utterly brilliant, easy to operate, safe and surprising small for such a powerful tool. I'm really pleased with it. Definitely keep this one in mind!

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  9. Oh how lovely, would love to win these lavender goodies! Already following you on Twitter.

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    1. Ah, thank you Debbie. Your name is in the hat - good luck!

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  10. What a terrific giveaway! Please add me to the list, Caro - and if I am lucky enough to win, I will give some of it to my local branch of Macmillan, who are always on the lookout for great raffle prizes! X

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    1. I love that you'll give the prizes to such a brilliant cause, Constance. Your name is in the hat! xx

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  11. How wonderful! You have some great tools there. Lovely giveaway too. I'm too late for the party though.xxx

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    1. Such a shame Dina but there could only be one winner. xx

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Caro x

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