Entries Tagged 'Garden Products and Catalogues' ↓

Mantis Rotovators take the pain out of gardening

When I first started gardening a large field (8 acres) in my old house, I hired a cultivator to turn over the grass and dig a patch of it. It was very heavy and hard to control and use and I never used one again – it seemed easier to dig it be hand!

However, I have just received information about the Mantis Cultivator which looks as though it might be the answer for anybody who needs to dig their soil regularly but either has not the time or has back or knee problems – or simply doesn’t like digging.

mantis cultivator

Apart from rotovating your ground, which the Mantis Cultivator does very well, it is also useful for a number of  jobs.There are a number of attachments you can use to make your life easier.

The terms Mantis Rotavator and Mantis Cultivator seem to used interchangeably but generally refer to the the same unit.

One of these attachments is a planter. This of course, is useful for planting potatoes and leeks not to mention trees. It is always time consuming, not to mention energy consuming to do these plantings, with the Mantis Cultivator, it is much easier.

Another attachment is the crevice cleaner. This is so useful. You can remove weeds from paths without bending down.

Edging your lawn or borders is always time consuming, not to mention boring, but it does give the garden a much More professional look. I have always thought that if you have time to do only one job after mowing the lawn, then edging it makes the difference. There is a border edge to do this job in half the time. While we’re talking about lawns, there is a lawn care package which will help with de-thatching the lawn and aerating it. You will still need to mow regularly but it will look so much better if you de-thatch and aerate it, and, with the Mantis Rotovator, this becomes much easier.

As the Mantis Cultivator only weighs 11kg (23 lbs), It is easy to handle and store. The single 4-stroke engine is powerful enough to undertake any work you care to use it for and if you want one, there are also electric units available.

Mantis guarantee the patented tilling elements for a lifetime against breakage under normal use and it also guarantees the complete tiller cultivator and its accessories for five years.

The Mantis Rotavator is not the cheapest on the market but if you feel you could use help with the work in your garden, it is well worth a look. Click the link for more information and price details for the Mantis Garden Tiller.

Visiting Gardens

Have you heard of the NGS, or the Yellow Book? The NGS (National Garden Scheme is a scheme where people open their gardens to the public, charging a small sum for entry, and the proceeds go to charity. This year the president is Joe Swift, who last year co-presented Gardeners World, so you know that the folk involved are knowledgeable about gardens, and what makes them interesting.

The scheme has been running since 1994 and is going from strength to strength. All gardens are inspected by members of the scheme to ensure that they are up to the right standard and also that they are safe for the public before being allowed into the scheme. The book which lists the gardens is called the Yellow Book and is available to buy from many bookshops and also on the internet
Click Here to get more information on The Yellow Book 2010: NGS Gardens Open for Charity (National Gardens Scheme)

Currently the Yellow Book is listing 360 gardens open to the public. They are listed by County, so it is easy to find gardens near you which are open. They are also listed in date order, so that once again it is easy to find gardens open on any particular date. Where gardens are small, you may find that more than one garden is open in the same area on the same date with a covering charge. A map of every county is included with the gardens marked on it to make finding them  a cinch.

Each garden has a small decription attatched to it explaining any particular plants or areas of interest attatched to it, often with photographs  of the garden to wet your appetite.

Visiting other people’s gardens is an excellent way of getting inspiration for your own garden. Many of the gardens will have plant sales in them, so that should a particular plant catch your eye, you may be able to buy one in a pot. Often the owners of the garden are on hand to chat and share information with you.

For gardeners like me, visiting other people’s gardens is a great way to spend an afternoon. It is relaxing and interesting and often inspirational.

The Yellow Book is really the key to finding the gardens open in your area . You can visit them knowing that they are going to be of a high standard.

Vernon Geranium Nursery Catalogue

I have just received The Vernon Geranium Nursery Catalogue and looking, through found it very interesting.

For anyone liking geraniums (These are really pelagoniums, but lets not split hairs), then this is the catalogue for you. They have a wide range of these plants, from trailing geraniums, ideal for hanging baskets or to trail through flower beds or even on the patio pot edges, through to Ivy leafed geraniums, double geraniums, fancy leaf geraniums, scented leaf geraniums regal geraniums and even baby dwarf geraniums. You think of it – they seem to have it. The range of colours are great too.
However, they no longer just sell geraniums, although that it still their speciality. They have expanded into quite a large range of plants. From trailing Begonias through Surfinia Petunias to Impatiens with Mimulas , Double Begonias and Bizzy Lizzies thrown in for good measure. All in a range of colours to blow your mind.

Vernons are a family nursey and has been growing plants for 30 years. They are proud of their reputation for ofering quality plants  and service and offer a  30 day no-quibble guarantee. Ordering is easy, by telephone, on ine or by post and delivery is by post in specially designed packaging to ensure that the plants get to you in their best condition.

There are special ofers spread throughout the catalogue ranging from free rootgrow with roses to money off multiple orders of plants. The roses offered in this catalogue include many of the nations favourites including Mum in a Million, Golden Wedding and Happy Anniversary. They are also offering their Rose of the year 2010 which i s “Absolutely Fabulous” – a buttermilk yellow flower with agood scent and is a strong grower.

Like many plant catalogues, Vernons Geranium Nursery also offer a collection of containers and other garden hardware in their catalogues. They also send a free leaflet giving advice about raising your plants with every order. Post and Packaging costs are very reasonable – £1.95 for all orders however much you want unless it is over £35 when P & P is free.

Though I have mentioned a number of plants here, I have by no means covered the whole spectrum of their range. This catalogue is definitely worth a look if you are interested in buying small plants for your garden or patio – or even hanging baskets – at reasonable prices.

Thompson and Morgan Seed Catalogue



I have done some research, and have found that not only are Thompson and Morgan seeds  very good value (generally, you get more seed  per packet, often for less money) but also they have a very good germination rate. (Often 100%). Whilst there are rules about the germination rates for vegetable seeds, these do not apply to flower seeds. However, Thompson and Morgan also rate highly for the germination of their flower seeds.

Thompson and Morgan seed catalogue is one of the best for the information they give for  each of their packets of seeds. Not only do they list the height, spread and general descrition of the plants, they also give information about the type of soil conditions required, the amount of sun and also the number of days required for germination of seed. They also give a ‘green finger guide’ axplaining the level of experience and care required to get the best results. Should you need to soak seed for optimum germination, or any other treatment, they list that too. In fact, it gives just about all the information you could probably want. And on top of that, they print pictures of almost all their plants.

I have been growing plants from Thompson and Morgan seeds for over 10 years and have made a habit for keeping their catalogues  which I use almost as an encyclopaedia. (I also use conventional plant encyclopeadias but they do not give specific information about the cultivars and varieties supplied by Thompson and Morgan.)

The seed catalogue is arranged in  such a way that it is easy to find a specific plant should you want to. The main part of the catalogue is in alphabetical order first for flowers, and then for vegetables.  in the front of the catalogue are pages devoted to new varieties for the year, then for specific types of plants such as patio plants, grasses, annual plantrs, perennial plants and wildflowers – useful if you are not sure what you want but do not have the time, or inclination, to search through lists of plants. The pictures are attractive and helpful, although as with every other plant catalogue, occasi0nally, the colours are not exact. This particularly applies to blues.

In recent years Thompson and Morgan seed catalogue has started to include  items allied to  the growing of plants such as pots, propogators and seed trays.  They are also selling nematodes which are natural pest control which is safe around children and pets.

All in all, I have no problem in recommending any gardener, whether  highly experienced or new to the activity to  use the Thompson and Morgan Seed Catalogue as a primary source for buying seeds and other gardening essentials.