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Christmas goes hand in glove with Town & Country

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With a vast range of high quality gardening gloves and boots to choose from, it is no wonder that Town & Country are the ‘go to’ company for discerning gardeners who value functionality, quality, and style. If you know someone who enjoys taking care of their garden, and wants to look good whilst doing so, Town & Country has a Christmas gift for them – no matter the price point!

GLOVES

Bamboo Gloves - £5.99 Town & Country’s Bamboo Gloves are the choice for the environmentally conscious gardener. The natural bamboo fibres are luxuriously soft, naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial. The latex coating on the palms and fingers offers full dexterity and grip, whilst protecting your hands from thorns and brambles. Available in three colours - mint, navy, raspberry.

Premium Leather - £13.99 These ultra soft and comfortable leather gloves are tough and hardwearing, making them perfect for heavy-duty tasks. Strong enough to withstand any challenge and supple enough to give unrivalled comfort, they have a specially designed thumb and elasticated wrist to enhance the fit, and a fleece lining for supreme luxury.

Ultimax - £15.99 A multi-feature glove designed to offer an extremely close fit, unequalled dexterity and exceptional durability. Ultimax gloves carry out heavy duty tasks in maximum comfort. The palm is made from strong but flexible synthetic leather and features textured palm pads for improved grip, added protection and extra durability. The back of the glove is stretch elastane for optimum comfort and fit with a neoprene knuckle ‘shock absorber’ and reinforced fingertips. Available in five colours – blue, green, pink, purple, yellow.

Premium Leather Gauntlet - £15.99 These high quality gloves can take on whatever is thrown at them, whilst remaining comfortable and easy to wear. The extremely hard-wearing, tough leather palm provides added protection, with the extra long, reinforced safety cuff fully protecting the wrists.

Extra Soft Leather - £16.99 Made from the finest quality leather, this range of stylish hard-wearing gloves are in a class of their own and will bring a touch of luxury to all work, gardening and outdoor activities. These rich, supple and soft tanned gloves, with a specially designed keystone thumb and fitted wrist, offer superior comfort and fit, they also have a suede palm for added protection. 

BOOTS

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The Bradgate - £36.99 This short fit natural rubber Wellington boot has a cushioned insole and is lined for comfort. A steel shank provides added support, and the contoured design and reinforced seams add to the strength of the boot. It provides added flexibility and manoeuvrability thanks to its shorter fit, and is available in a variety of calf fittings. Available in three colours – aubergine, green, navy

The Bosworth - £49.99 Traditional length boots with a cushioned insole and lined for comfort. Made from natural rubber, with an adjustable strap for a secure fit. They have a contoured design and reinforced seams for strength. A steel shank provides added support. Available in three colours – aubergine, green, navy. 

The Rutland - £79.99 These new Neoprene-lined boots are a cut above the rest. At 4mm thick, the neoprene lining covers the whole of the inside of the boot including the insole area, making them supremely comfortable. A concertina-style gusset on the inside gives the boots an adjustable fit. The boots are a traditional green / brown colour, with a contoured style and textured surface, plus a steel shank for strength in the sole.

SOMETHING FOR THE KIDS

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Kids Wellington Boots - £9.99 It’s great to get children out in the garden, even if it is just to splash about in puddles! These PVC Wellington boots have a cushioned sole and are extra lined for comfort, so the kids can stay out until teatime, once they have built up an appetite. The reinforced seams provide strength and durability, and the high grip tread will keep children sturdily on the ground, even in slippery conditions. Available in four high shine, bright colours (blue, navy, orange, pink), these boots are sure to be a hit.

To view the entire range, please visit www.townandco.com

Town & Country displays Captivating Colours and new products at Glee 2017

 

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For over 30 years, Town & Country has focused on bringing innovation to the gardening sector, with a range of gloves and footwear that combines quality, functionality and style, with a price tag that represents exceptional value for money. At this year’s GLEE, the company will display a range of new products from its ‘Captivating Colours’ collection.

With the new addition of purple, teal and pink, the collection will brighten up even the dullest of days in the garden. One of the ranges to get the ‘Captivating Colours’ treatment is the Bamboo Glove. This is the choice for the environmentally conscious gardener. The natural bamboo fibres are luxuriously soft, naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial. The latex coating on the palms and fingers offers full dexterity and grip, whilst protecting from thorns and brambles.

Also part of the ‘Captivating Colours’ collection is the Ultimax Glove, a multi-feature glove designed to offer an extremely close fit, unequalled dexterity and exceptional durability. Ultimax gloves carry out heavy duty tasks in maximum comfort. The palm is made from strong but flexible synthetic leather and features textured palm pads for improved grip, added protection and extra durability. The back of the glove is stretch elastane for optimum comfort and fit with a neoprene knuckle ‘shock absorber’ and reinforced fingertips. At just £15.99, these are the perfect example of Town & Country’s ethos of providing quality products at an affordable price.

Also on the stand will be Town & Country’s ever-popular Cloggies.  These lightweight, comfortable, slip-on shoes are perfect for leaving by the backdoor, ready to slip on and off when needed. No more racing to get your shoes on when it starts to rain and you need to get the washing in! Available in the three signature colours, as well as a patterned design, Cloggies are contoured to fit the foot comfortably.

For those looking for a Wellington boot, Town & Country will have a number of designs on display. The Bradgate is a short fit natural rubber boot with a cushioned insole and lining for comfort. A steel shank provides added support, and the contoured design and reinforced seams add to the strength of the boot. It provides added flexibility and manoeuvrability thanks to its shorter fit, and is available in a variety of calf fittings. The classic boot is now available in two new patterns in aubergine & cream and navy & pink.

Another boot now available in these eye-catching patterns is the Bosworth. This is a traditional length boot with a cushioned insole and lined for comfort. Made from natural rubber, with an adjustable strap for a secure fit. They have a contoured design and reinforced seams for strength, with a steel shank again providing added support.

It is not just gloves and boots that have had the ‘Captivating Colour’ makeover. Also available from the collection is a pair of secateurs in the three colours, as well as kneepads and kneelers in teal. The secateurs have a cushioned handle and built in safety catch that makes them extremely easy to use and perfect for light duty pruning.  The chrome plated carbon steel blades and comfort grip handle provide ease of use, with the tool able to cut branches and stems up to 2cm thick. 

Prices

Bamboo Gloves - £5.99

Ultimax Gloves - £15.99

Cloggies - £12.99

Bradgate - £36.99

Bosworth - £49.99

Kneepads – £7.99

Kneeler – £29.99

Secateurs – £9.99

As of August 2017, Town & Country is a division of E P Barrus; a British Company with over 100 years trading experience.

For more information, and to see the products, please visit stand 18M10-N11.

To view the entire range, please visit www.townandco.com

 

 

Gardening Glove competition

Town & Country are inviting all 4-12 year old children to get creative and design a new gardening glove which will be sold across UK gardening centres and online later this year.

The competition was piloted in Leicestershire with great success and we now want to take it nationwide.

Click here to download your template. (If you require a different format, please email andrea.litchfield@townandco.com )

The closing date is Friday 10 June 2016.

All entries should be posted to:

Andrea Litchfield, Town and Country, 22 Bardon Hill Industrial Estate, Leicestershire, LE67 1TE

There are three prizes up for grabs:

1st prize: The winners glove will be sold across UK garden centres and online, plus a glove made for themselves and their teacher, they will also win a Go Ape gift voucher for a family of four and a Skinny Jean Gardeners Kids Tool Set from Greenman Garden Tools

2nd prize: Town and Country gardening goodies and a sweet tree.

3rd prize: Town and Country gardening goodies.

The panel will meet on June 20th to select a winner, joining Marketing Executive Andrea Litchfield on the panel will be:

Blue Peter's skinny Jean Gardeners

Barry Page, owner of Town & Country

Stephen Kiernan, School Coordinator for My Edible School.

We look forward to receiving your designs.

I don't care what the weatherman says

Us Brits love the weather. We use it as a form of ritual, the acceptable small talk at dinner parties when the food is a tad unpalatable. In my opinion, this year has been an interesting one, never quite warming up before descending into the current gloom once again. As we are now fully into the late Autumn conveyor belt of storms and rain, can I be bold and offer you a small glimpse of my memories in the art of bad weather forecasting?

Once, whilst living in deepest darkest Norfolk, I returned home from planting 3,000 trees to a warm fire, a hearty meal and the television weather report. As I sat there, getting the life back into my toes (this was the days before I had bought Town and Country boot warmers), the meteorologist announced the evening would be fine and fair. As I had spent the entire day toiling in heavy rain I was somewhat surprised by the news. To be honest she looked abashed by the statement and as I lived not twenty miles from the studio I can confirm the weather was anything but fine and fair. One cannot blame the poor girl of course, she was just doing what the computer told her - you see the modern super computer cannot lie.  The moral here is I suppose, ignoring your own experience and instead relying on what others insist is true prediction, leads you on a merry farce. As a result of that one incident (I like to think my complaint was key), the BBC has created a new website, just so that we, the humble invisibles can report our own findings. So, with that in mind would you like to be part of history? You can be. Go to 'BBC Weather Watchers' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/weatherwatchers. An interactive website of some merit  it relies not only on a computer, but  on crowd-sourced information, making the weather reports that much more accurate. Wonderful. Now you and I can take photos, write reports and generally cause merry havoc at the BBC without leaving the fire-side armchair. What is more if you really want to get truly involved, then Town and Country has the ultimate collection of weather watching equipment. All you have to do is go to the products page on this very website. Click on the 'Clocks and Weather Stations' link and you can be your very own Francis Beaufort. Buy your Royal Meteorological Society Weather Watchers Logbook  from Amazon, perhaps download a radar app to your phone and hey presto, you'll really be making a huge difference to the recording of what is a national addiction. By the way, for the BBC record, it rained the next day too.

What does autumn say to you?

Chill in the air; the first frosts; golden leaves crunching underfoot?

Personally, I think it is the most wonderous time of year. As Shakespeare put it, " The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, Bearing the wanton burden of the prime, Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease."  Of course, I was not want of love so the wanton burden is not orphaned to me!

Autumn is the season of tidying, of preparing for what the winter may bring; of taking stock too and thinking on the richness of the spring to follow. Perhaps best described as the slow gentle release of warm breath before the slumber.

Of course it offers much to the garden cognoscente. Visit an arboretum and enjoy the wonderful colours and textures that this time of year offers. If you are lucky, there may be some autumn crocus or cyclamen to brighten your perambulations and temper your mood. Seek out the Katsura tree, (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) whose golden leaves smell of burnt sugar when in hot sun or when crushed. A true gem of autumn.

When you return home think on. Leaf mould is a superb free source of soil improver, so, rather than burning the fallen crop why not collect it in string bags and give it a chance to rot down for a good late summer mulch next year. Nature giving free garden bounty cannot be sniffed at, or in the case of the Katsura, perhaps it can!

After the first frost has bitten, collect sloes and add it to gin. Let it steep for 2 months for a hearty Christmas  warmer. If you are so inclined I am told crab apple vodka is equally stimulating but time is running out for this year's crop as the apples are starting to tarnish!

Also, start to think over your garden plans. What are you going to plant and where. Look at the seed catalogues. If you are planning an evergreen bonanza, now is the time to purchase and plant. Spring bulbs are also in need of a good home. Just remember, try not to plant them in a fine lawn or in areas of special cultivation. You may regret the impulse.

Add a last mulch of compost or manure whilst the soil still retains some heat. Your plants will reward you next year for all the cosseting you give this.

Autumn Lawncare

It may have escaped your attention, but we appear to be almost at the end of September. Where did that go? Not that I am complaining of course, the sea is still beautifully warm and the balmy, but slighlty wet air has extended a summer feel to the gardens. T-shirts are still needed!

If you haven’t scarified your lawn, now is the time. Many think one does this in Spring, but they would be wrong as it weakens the grass structure when it is trying to grow after the struggles of winter.  You can scarify simply by raking the grass with a metal, spring-tined rake. If you have a bigger lawn, you can hire a mechanical scarifier. Simply put, what you are trying to achieve is the perfect lawn. By scarifying, you are trying to rid the lawn of all the years build up of thatch and dead grass. You are also encouraging stronger root growth, which given we are increasingly having dry summers, you will do well to remember, the better the root, the better it will survive. If you have bald spots on the lawn, buy some lawn seed and mix with compost and cover the patch, watering liberally. If the whole lawn is thin, add seed to the whole thing, once you have scarified. A good root feed will also help – do not add nitrogen now as it will be wasted. There are many root feeds to choose from, but bone meal will do no harm.

Try to spike the lawn before you feed then water well to wash the nutrient in.

If you are wondering why the grass is going mad at the moment and needs cutting twice a week, it is because we are in the period the French call the ‘second spring’. Basically as winter approaches all the plants are burning off all the last of their sugars – which is a liability in cold weather as it crystallizes in the cells and eventually destroys them. Plants like grass do not have a good tap root, so will instead go into a state of virtual hibernation – which is why many other plants by autumn have built huge tubers full of carbohydrate converted from sugars to see them through the dark months.

August - an interesting time in the garden

As the weather changes to Autumnal westerly storms, August is an interesting time in the garden. The Swifts departed at the end of July and many of the Martins and Swallows with them for some reason. What that says about our coming season I know not. If you have a problem with you lawns now is the time to start thinking of how to rectify them. For example, I am about to treat a client's lawn with an Autumn feed and moss killer so that it is ready for scarifying in September. This may sound odd, but one must remember grass is a fickle plant. It cannot be grown too long (otherwise it clumps). By the same token neither can it be cut too short (it gets stressed, dies back and allows moss to take over). It doesn't like shallow roots, nor wet roots and it doesn't like too much wear from footfall. Who'd have a lawn? It is a little known fact that the National Trust replaces vast swathes of turf in the autumn and winter, leaving the impression that somehow they have the magical touch. A green and flat lawn may be every Englishman's idea of perfection, but, truth be told, to get one right deserves a medal or a perhaps a padded cell - I am never sure which.

In the flower garden as plants finish flowering try to deadhead them to extend the flowering season. Some roses especially respond well if they think that all their efforts at propagation have gone to waste. If the plant is a shrub, prune the whole plant back into shape once the flowers are spent. Then feed everything well with a good mixture of blood fish and bone - the poor things must be exhausted after all the exertions attracting the bees!

August is also the month when you get the winter veg in.  Cabbages, Brussels Sprouts, Turnip Greens and Collards are all high on the list of plants that will provide early leaf for next Spring. Remember that these plants like a good firm soil to live in - they hate to be rocked by hard winds. Also add a dressing of garden lime to the soil as you plant, to deter root problems. I have also been naughty and planted onions at this time of year too. If I am honest, the harvest was a little earlier than normal, but nothing truly remarkable despite what the books say. 

Plants to avoid in the family garden

Recently in the news there have been reports of plants causing blisters or being poisonous, as if this had never been discovered before.

Well, as a favour to all the loyal Town and Country customers here is a list of the top plants to avoid in the family garden and why.

1. Monkshood (Aconitum). Beautiful. All parts deadly poisonous.

2. Euphorbia species. The plant contains a sap that burns the throat and eyes.

3. Box. (Buxus). The plant sap contains a substance known as buxine that can burn the throat if ingested.

4. Stagshorn (Rhus). The leaves contain a substance that creates painful blisters on the skin.

5. Giant Hogweed. A Gertrude Jeykll favourite. The leaves and stems contain a substance that can cause the skin to blister in the sun.

6. Laburnum. A member of the pea family the seeds look edible. Don't believe this. I spent a day in hospital having my stomach pumped when I was four years old because I thought they were good snacks. A similar plant with pea like seeds is broom.

7. Solanum. Any member of the potato family has the distinct ability to poison if not treated with care. Some more than others. Deadly Nightshade is one to avoid!

8. Rhododendron. The leaves are toxic.

9. Chrysanthemums. The leaves can cause an allergic reaction and the flowers  are quite toxic.

10. Wysteria. Another beautiful and toxic plant that has pea-like fruit. Is there a theme here?

11. Sweet Pea. My children love eating peas straight from the plant, but I have to make sure they always ID the plant before they ingest anything!

Whilst talking of ingesting seeds and berries, try to identify what you have in your hand. The fashion for wild foraging is growing and so too are the incidents of accidental poisoning.

There are many plants that look pretty, that are not in any way shape or form to be consumed. A short list of the ones you may come across every day is: Holly, Ivy, Asparagus, Horse-chestnut, Broom, Spindle tree, Oak and Privet. Interestingly Yew leaves and the seed in the berry are toxic. However the red pulp is not - but I do  not recommend you try this out!

Mid-Summer

Seeing as we are now, annually speaking, over the hill - having witnessed last week the `Mid-Summer` solstice- I am sure you are wondering what is left to do in the garden whilst we await patiently for the first signs of Autumn and the inevitable Christmas adverts on TV?

Well, there is a lot.

Despite the fact that somewhere our societal calendar has stepped away from tradition and now follows the schools, the garden believe it or not has much to offer.

Your lawns, I am sure could do with a good feed, but instead of running out to the shops and buying some ecologically damaging chemical or other, try a light dressing of something called 7X. If you are not sure what I am talking about, it is a bag of well rotted manure-cum-compost (not an Australian beer), available at the garden centre, high in the vital nutrient nitrogen and perfect for summer feed. It doesn`t smell either and can be walked on immediately unlike the chemicals.

Also, as I am sure the lawn has already seen a fair amount of use, despite the mixed weather, it may be an idea to spike your lawn, offering the roots some air and reducing compaction damage. This can be done with a fork.

Another job for the diligent is the dead-heading of flowering shrubs and roses. Whilst you may extend the flowering season, you are also helping the plant divert its resources from producing off-spring to the vital role of keeping itself healthy.

Indeed, as shrubs finish flowering, it is a good idea to prune them to shape, or perhaps a little harder in order that they still have a chance to grow back into shape and to grow the buds for next year’s flower. Plants like Kolkwitzia, Philadelphus and Deutzia appreciate this treatment more than a general tidy at the end of this year’s play. In fact, it is directly after flowering that these shrubs do well to have the old wood cut out entirely - letting in more air and light and ultimately producing a better plant.

Another great job for the meticulous is weeding. Many see the task as a frustrating chore, to be bemoaned and avoided, but I myself find the exercise very Zen if that is possible for Englishman. I can let my thoughts wander to ideas of what it is to be a seedling or perhaps an ant, whilst the majority of my frontal lobe is in a well-trained auto-pilot discerning unintentional from the intentional. If during this experience, my mind goes blank, even momentarily, I have become one with the garden and Nirvana reached.

Or that`s what I`m told.

Time for a cuppa I think.

 

Spring has sprung

April is an interesting month. It is the real divider in the year between the warm South of the UK and the still cold Northern counties. You may not be aware but April 14th is First Cuckoo Day - the traditional first day of Summer in West Sussex. I am sure there are those in Scotland or Northumbria who would think this mad and will certainly not be celebrating, but there you go. You can’t homogenise the seasons to suit all. That said, the swallows have arrived back so it can’t be too bad!

Here in the South we have enjoyed warm days and clear nights but at 5am you may still notice the ever so delicate kiss of Jack Frost on the car window or on the grass. If you are unsure what this means to the garden, it represents a couple of things. The older generation will be busy putting down a ‘Spring’ mulch about now, because that is what they have always done. Don’t copy them. Break the cycle of mismanagement and learn the science. If you mulch now you are creating a layer of insulation – so effectively you are creating a refrigerated bed which will take longer to warm up. My tip is to put your elbow on the soil and if it feels warm (just like you would  a baby’s bath water), mulch. If not, leave it. Wait until the soil feels warm, water it, then add a mulch. Your plants will love you more and so will the worms.

The cool night-time temps also mean that the delicate plants should not yet be put outside to ‘harden off’. Some tender plants such as the orchid Cymbidium may need a cool night or two to help propel it into flowering, but if there is any sign of a heavy frost repair them back the glasshouse quick smart! If you are looking at planting out your French beans hold off for a just a few more weeks. Whilst talking of veg, don’t forget, successional planting will create a succession of vegetables throughout the year. For example Broad beans planted now, again in a month and then again in June will give you crops up until September if you are canny.

As an update to my exploits with the Town and Country Charnwood Boots, they are still going strong and still excellent. I have worn them at work on most days for the past 5 months and they really are excellent. Still waterproof. Still warm. Still doing the job they were designed for! I can honestly say, I am very pleased with them and will be ordering another pair.