Another Year, Another Successful GLEE Show for our Clients

We’ve had a busy few days attending GLEE this week. Many of our clients had a presence there, so the preparation work had been well underway in the run-up to the show, organising editorial previews to give people a glimpse of what to expect this year, and arranging to meet journalists and bloggers at the show.

E.P. Barrus’ three key gardening brands, Wilkinson Sword, WOLF-Garten and Town & Country unveiled a staggering 150 new products at GLEE this year, including a number of great gifting opportunities and extensions to hugely popular lines to create more opportunities for retailers and stockists.

EP Barrus at Glee

All three brands could be found at one large stand, divided into clear sections – all the gardening tools and accessories you’ll need in one place.

Westland Horticulture also announced new innovative products to the market, including one of the most exciting breakthroughs in growing media for many years – New Horizon BIO3™ – a compost produced from three natural and sustainable ingredients that is indistinguishable in performance, appearance, smell and texture from 100% peat based products.

Westland at GLEE

Many of Westland’s leading brands, including Resolva, Unwins, Peckish and John Innes also announced new products, packaging and branding ahead of the 2019 season. Its new Deadfast Rodenticide range received ‘Best Garden Care’ New Product Award in the Chemicals, Fertilisers and Growing Media category.

Victorian Tall Wall Greenhouse from Forest Garden

Our client Forest Garden partnered up with Thorndown Paints to display its extremely popular Victorian Tall Wall Greenhouse painted in pastel Skylark Blue wood paint. ‘Grow your own’ continues to be a big trend, which was evident at this year’s show, but the emphasis continues to shift towards making gardening more accessible to those who do not have as much outside space as homeowners with large gardens or those with access to an allotment.

Our days were jam packed with appointments and catching up with journalists to show them around the stands. Now it’s back to the grindstone to follow up on all the enquiries to secure coverage and start raising awareness of all those new products!

For more information on any of the companies mentioned, please call the office on 01332 258335 or email hello@paskett.co.uk

Christmas Gift Ideas for Gardeners

Here’s our roundup of some of the best Christmas gardening gifts for your green-fingered loved ones.

Town & Country Bamboo Gloves – £5.99

townandco.com

Gardening gloves make a great stocking filler, and the Town & Country Bamboo Gloves are a brilliant environmentally friendly alternative. They are made from natural Bamboo fibres, have a luxuriously soft feel that is naturally hypoallergenic and feels as soft as brushed cotton. Bamboo is naturally antibacterial, helping to reduce the bacteria that thrive in clothing and cause unpleasant odours. They are available in a range of colours, including raspberry, mint and navy. 

 

 

Lechuza Yula Planters – £9.99 to £19.99

www.lechuza.co.uk

The Yula range delivers fun with gardening all year round. All Yula products are designed to complement modern living and are available in a harmoniously coordinated colour way with two colour combinations (pistachio/white, and grey/white) and a semi-gloss finish. There are two planters in the range, with a matching watering can also available. The first is a plant bag complete with handle which sits alongside a 0.5 litre table planter. Yula planters utilise the Lechuza wick watering system that simplifies plant care. Simply place the wick in the base of the plant pot, put the pot in the Yula and leave to absorb.

WOLF-Garten Mini Hoe – £14.99

www.wolfgarten-tools.co.uk

The 7cm Mini Hoe is a great gift for gardeners. It has three straight prongs on one side to loosen the soil for optimum nutrient supply and a blade on the other for smooth slicing through weeds.

It’s great for those with smaller gardens or lots of beds and pots to tend to; it’s all very compact and easy to store. As part of the WOLF-Garten multi-change® range, it comes complete with a small handle, but can also be used with all of the other handles in the range.

Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Hedge Shears – £29.99

www.wilkinsonsword-tools.co.uk

Weighing only 670gm, the Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Hedge Shears are 30% lighter than regular shears. Along with soft grip handles, they are designed for comfort and ease of use so are perfect for working higher up without getting tired arms!

Town & Country Charnwood Boots – £44.99

townandco.com

Keep feet warm and dry when exploring the great outdoors with the Charnwood boots from Town & Country. These plastic rubber shells boots offer protection from the elements and have a Thermolite lining and fleecy cushions insoles. These stylish boots are available in navy and aubergine, sizes four to eight.

The Posh Hedgehog House – £82.50

www.theposhshedcompany.co.uk

Sadly hedgehog numbers in the UK are in decline, but you can help them by giving them a new home this Christmas whilst giving an elegant gift to your loved one! The hand-crafted Hedgehog House has a handy pull-out tunnel and cedar roof and fits subtly into any corner of the garden.

Cobra BV6524V lithium-ion Battery Powered Leaf Blower – £74.99

www.cobragarden.co.uk

For gardeners who love their gadgets, the Cobra 24v leaf blower is a must!

It is extremely lightweight so is easy to grab to blast away leaves. It’s battery can give upto 20 minutes of run time without the need and hassle of finding and storing petrol, or the limitations of being electric.

 

Forest Garden Plant Ladder Display – £99.99

www.forestgarden.co.uk

For something a little different, the Forest Garden Plant Ladder Display gives a flexible, functional and decorative home to potted plants. Its five tiered staggered shelving lets you display a variety of plants in different sized pots, and, with a small footprint of just 1 metre wide and 56cm deep, it gives plenty of additional growing space in a small area!

 

 

 

Playhouse Company Hidey Hole – £1,755

www.theplayhousecompany.co.uk

Children can have their own secret hiding place with the Hobbit inspired Hidey Hole. Transport children into a magical land where the storytelling never ends with this quirky hideaway, which features a curved roof to make little ones feel like they’re hiding away underground in their own private space. The cedar shingle roof and sides blend into the natural environment, just like a den at the bottom of the garden – hide and seek has never been more fun!

 

For information on any of the above companies, please get in touch!

hello@paskett.co.uk      01332 258335

We’ve Been Awarded Marketing Campaign of the Year!

We have won ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ at the East Midlands Chamber Business Awards 2018, after playing an integral role in promoting the record-breaking gold medal-winning garden for Hillier Nurseries at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Account director Holly Daulby
Account director Holly Daulby

Our campaign, called the Memory Tree, formed part of Hillier’s exhibit, and allowed visitors to the world’s most famous flower show to become part of RHS Chelsea history.

As part of the campaign, we invited celebrities and members of the public to leave their most-treasured gardening memories in a special memory book and on tags which were then hung on the tree. Gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL was the first to leave his memory, and other stars included Joanna Lumley, Dame Judi Dench, Carol Klein, Anton Du Beke, Nigel Slater, Chris Evans, Matt Baker, Alex Jones, Jo Whiley, Piers Morgan, Nigel Havers and Cerys Matthews.

Alan Titchmarsh
Alan Titchmarsh MBE signing the gardening memory book at RHS Chelsea

The East Midlands Chamber Business Awards recognises the brilliant work of businesses in the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire regions.

We are thrilled that the Memory Tree has been recognised at these awards. It was great to see our idea come to life with so many famous faces getting involved!

Account director Holly Daulby at RHS Chelsea
Account director Holly Daulby at RHS Chelsea

Celebrities left their memories on copper tags which were auctioned off, with all proceeds going to Hillier’s charity partner, Wessex Cancer Trust.

Managing director Graham Paskett
Managing director Graham Paskett

September Plant of the Month by Martin Fish: Eucomis bicolor

Plant of the Month by Martin Fish

 

Eucomis bicolor

If you fancy something a little different to flower through early autumn, look out for eucomis. This is a group of bulbous perennials that originate from South Africa and are commonly known as pineapple flowers or pineapple lily. When in flower you can clearly see how they get their name.

Eucomis bicolor

Despite coming from a warmer climate, many types of eucomis are fairly tough and will grow perfectly well outside in the UK, either planted into a well-drained soil or in containers. Eucomis bicolor is a popular choice and very easy to grow. It produces long strap-shaped leaves during the summer and from the centre of the rosette flower spikes develop in later summer and continue right through September and beyond if you’re lucky!

The tiny maroon and white flowers are clustered up the stem and topped with foliage. In the winter the plant dies back to the bulb and lies dormant until late spring when it will start to grow again. Bulbs need planting around 20cm (8in) deep for protection and when established they form a clump that look great when in flower.

At this time of the year you can often buy eucomis in flower, especially if you visit one of the flower shows such as the Harrogate Autumn Show in mid-September.

Horticultural expert Martin Fish

Martin Fish is a gardening columnist, broadcaster, speaker, RHS judge and all-round horticulture expert. He writes for publications including Garden Answers, Kitchen Garden and Which? Gardening.

We have worked with Martin closely over a number of years and each month he will be choosing a favourite Plant of the Month for us, with tips and advice for planting and growing in the garden.

You can find more about Martin at www.martinfish.com or find him on Twitter!

Diary of an Allotmenteer

Back in June, after a long two year wait, I, along with three friends, became the proud custodian of an allotment. Based at St Anns Allotments in Nottingham, it is grade 2 listed, and part of the oldest and largest area of Victorian detached town gardens in the world, with the plots all still in their original 1830s layout. This give the plots a real charm and quirkiness, with many of them having their original brick buildings still in tact.

When we went to visit the site in order to choose our plot, all four of us instantly fell in love with Plot 80. It was massively overgrown, having been left unattended for a number of years, but had a ‘secret garden’ feel to it, and we could just about make out a couple of trees and a building through the brambles. So we signed up for it and a week later headed to the site for our initial recce.  Upon second viewing it was rather daunting! The weeds seemed higher, the brambles spikier, and the task much more overwhelming.

But, undeterred, we returned, tools in hand, and set about the mammoth jobs of cutting down weeds, slicing through brambles (stopping to eat copious blackberries along the way), pulling up carpet (?!), unearthing a house-worth of bricks, and discovering an entire, fully grown plum tree in the process.

Almost three months on we are now at the point where Plot 80 looks like an allotment, albeit a rather wild one. The next job is to start planning for the following year, and experimenting with different techniques and practices – the first thing to try is green manure. As we chart our progress through every visit, even at this early stage in our journey, it is amazing to see how far we have come, gaining a friend in a sociable robin along the way.

Fay

Follow the progess at Plot 80 on YouTube

From Planning to Planting

We always trying to identify new audiences for our customers, and with gardening there are so many people out there for us to communicate with. Gardeners can be segmented into many different categories – you have the keen gardeners who dedicate hours every day to maintaining their garden to the highest standard; you have homeowners who enjoy dabbling in gardening as a means of improving their house whilst also enjoying trips to the garden centre and seeing what they can bring home to nurture; you have people you see gardening as means to an end and simply want to keep on top of it and keep it tidy; you have grow your own enthusiasts; and you have those in cities where property size is of a premium and gardens are non-existent but who still want to embrace urban gardening.

It’s our job to communicate our clients’ messages with all of these audiences! Each sector requires a different message, a different strategy and a different vehicle. Identifying all this takes quite a lot of planning, and whilst it naturally evolves as we go through the year, this largely shapes up at either the beginning of the year or when we begin working with a new client.

We are thrilled to now be working with Lechuza, and since they appointed us in July we’ve submerged ourselves in all things planting and planning to work out the brand’s key messages and how to convey them.

Lechuza planters remove the need to regularly water plants so are perfect for city dwellers, urban gardeners and dare we say it, millennials. Broadly speaking, these customers are assumed to be short of time but wanting all the results. Enter Lechuza! This audience are a big contributing factor in the 32% growth in the indoor plant market, however they may buy plants but do they know what to do with them and how to look after them? Or are plants becoming a new disposable commodity?

Houseplants can quickly transform how a home feels and can also improve the air quality within the four walls but looking after them isn’t always straightforward. Watering isn’t always as easy as a daily dose; each plant has its own specific requirement and over or under watering can cause damage. The Lechuza system counters this and takes away all the effort!

Discovering all this has had us thinking about indoor plants and the benefits they can have. Our favourite is the Monstera (and not just because it’s called the Swiss Cheese plant!), and we also love the Sansevieria Snake Plant, Begonias and Hibiscus. You also can’t go wrong with a classic bonsai tree!

Monstera
Swiss Cheese Plant

To celebrate all things indoor planting we’ve started a new hashtag. Search for #OfficePlantPower to see some of our favourites, and please do tweet your photos to us!

August Plant of the Month by Martin Fish: Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’

Hydrangea_arborescens

Plant of the Month by Martin Fish

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

Hydrangea_arborescens

A part of my job is answering gardening questions and a couple I’m regularly asked is about choosing a variety of hydrangea and how to prune it.

Fortunately, I can answer both questions in one go because I usually recommend is Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’.

As hydrangeas go this is one of the most reliable flowering types and produces an abundance of large creamy-white heads on a rounded bush from July, all the way through August and well into September. The individual heads can measure up to 25cm (10in) across and on an established shrub you’ll get dozens of flowers. On the plant in my garden I regularly get over 40 heads each summer!

The great thing about ‘Annabelle’ is it will grow just about any where in the garden – in full sun or dappled shade, and when grown in a north-facing border the white blooms really lift the area and brighten it up.

Hydrangea 'Annabelle'

As for pruning, this has got to be one of the easiest hydrangeas to prune. In mid-March it’s simply a case of pruning all the stems down to a couple of inches from ground level. I then feed with a little general-purpose fertiliser and the plant will make strong new stems over the spring and summer. It’s on this new growth that flowers are produced in summer.

Horticultural expert Martin Fish

Martin Fish is a gardening columnist, broadcaster, speaker, RHS judge and all-round horticulture expert. He writes for publications including Garden Answers, Kitchen Garden and Which? Gardening.

We have worked with Martin closely over a number of years and each month he will be choosing a favourite Plant of the Month for us, with tips and advice for planting and growing in the garden.

You can find more about Martin at www.martinfish.com or find him on Twitter!

Why Product Reviews are Important

The importance of great product reviews is simple – people trust the opinions of others more than they trust advertising when choosing which product to buy.

With the majority of our clients in the gardening industry, with practical products such as lawnmowers, sheds and tools, that may require some assembly, maintenance, or may be completely unfamiliar to beginner gardeners, we are strong believers in securing as many product reviews as we can. It helps potential customers know exactly what they’re buying, how it works and importantly, how well it works.

Our clients know it is a worthwhile investment to send journalists products to test for themselves, and then write about it in their publications. We secure honest product reviews for our clients which are then published online and in print.

We also work closely with a large number of gardening, lifestyle and family-focussed influencers and bloggers, who carry out product reviews for us. Many of these bloggers have tens of thousands of followers, all of whom are the prime target audiences for our clients. These followers trust bloggers and see them as the “font of all knowledge” so a review from them truly is a glowing endorsement that can have a noticeable impact upon the sales of a product.

It doesn’t have to be a product review, either. Thanks to the nature of gardening products, many of them are only truly put to the test over a period of time. We’ve set up various trials with different bloggers to report on their experience using the product initially, and how, over time, they have found the product performs. All of this provides the bloggers with great, original content for their blog, which encourages comments and engagement from their audience, and provides us with more valuable coverage for our clients.

If you’d like to discuss how Paskett PR can help your business grow, contact hello@paskett.co.uk or call 01332258335.

Celebrating National Parks Week: 23rd – 29th July

It’s National Parks Week 23rd – 29th July and although there is a total of 15 National Parks across the UK, we must admit to having a soft spot for the one that is on our doorstep – the Peak District.

There are some special events going on throughout the week which you can find here, but if you prefer to go out and explore the area via your own route, we have compiled some of our favourite areas of this beautiful countryside that are a must-see.

Ladybower and Derwent Reservoir and the Derwent Dam

Derwent Dam Peak District

Ladybower and Derwent Resevoir

Looking like something from the set of Game of Thrones, Ladybower and Derwent Reservoir provides a beautifully peaceful setting looking out across the water. It was also used as a practice area for the Dam Busters during World War II. Pop in to the Upper Derwent Visitor Centre, hire a bicycle and explore for yourself!

Curbar Edge

Curbar Edge Peak District

Curbar Edge Peak District

Located about a 15 minute drive from Chatsworth House, Curbar Edge is a rugged gritstone escarpment that looks out over the eastern Derbyshire moors. Climbing to the top is not too tricky and the views from the top are well worth it.

Mam Tor

Mam Tor Peak District

Standing 1700ft (517 metres) tall, Mam Tor, also known as The Shivering Mountain, overlooks the Hope Valley and Castleton village. A beautiful location that offers plenty of popular walking routes.

Peveril Castle

Peveril Castle Peak District

This 11th Century castle stands overlooking the Hope Valley and is surrounded by hills, trees and fields. Visitors can climb up the steps inside the castle and get the best view from the top!

Stanage Edge

Stanage Edge

The longest gritstone edge in the country spanning approximately four miles, and a film location for both Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre, Stanage Edge provides staggering scenery across the moors. A popular destination for hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing if you’re feeling adventurous!

For more information about National Parks Week, visit http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/visiting/national-parks-week.

July Plant of the Month by Martin Fish: Hemerocallis

Plant of the Month by Martin Fish

Horticultural expert Martin Fish

Martin Fish is a gardening columnist, broadcaster, speaker, RHS judge and all-round horticulture expert. He writes for publications including Garden Answers, Kitchen Garden and Which? Gardening.

We have worked with Martin closely over a number of years and each month he will be choosing a favourite Plant of the Month for us, with tips and advice for planting and growing in the garden.

Hemerocallis “Day lilies”

Hemorocallis Day Lily

One of my favourite summer flowering perennials is the “Day lily” or Hemerocallis to give it its proper name! This is a range of herbaceous plants that originate from the forests, river valleys and meadows of Japan, Korea and China that form dense clumps of arching strap-like foliage in summer.

They come in a wide range of colours and as a result of hybridising and breeding, there are some really exciting cultivars with very showy flowers.

What I like so much about them is the fact that they adapt very well to most garden soils and situations. I’ve grown them on wet, sticky clay and free draining sandy loam, semi-shade and full sun and in all these situations they have thrived.

New growth pushes through the soil in spring and flowering starts in late June, but it’s July when they are at their best. The attractive flowers are produced on tall stems and as their name suggests, the individual blooms only last for a day.

Fear not though, as there are plenty of buds to follow to give a continued display in the garden. Come autumn, the plants naturally die down and all the old foliage can be chopped off. They are also very easy to propagate by division and I prefer to do this in early spring when new shoots start to appear.

You can find more about Martin at www.martinfish.com or find him on Twitter!