Showing posts with label winter gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label winter gardening. Show all posts

20 Dec 2017

Ways to keep warm while winter gardening

Hands up all those who garden through the winter?  And how many of those hands are currently getting cold while gardening? Or dog walking, foraging, chopping logs? Indeed any outdoor activity during winter. Personally, I find numb fingers very challenging. Well, my lovelies, I've found a solution in the gloves photographed above.

Like many others, I was always told that if you keep your extremities warm (feet, head, hands), the rest of your body would stay warm too.  In the days of coal fires and cold rooms when I was very young, I remember my grandad wore his woolly hat to bed in winter; his head was almost bald so needed the extra protection! My mum made sure that my siblings and I had warm knitted mittens, thick socks, wool coats and hats on before she shooshed us outside - and it worked, we stayed warm and had rosy cheeks from the fresh seaside air ... even if we looked like the Start-Rite kids.

Much more recently, there was a conversation thread on the Facebook Garden Bloggers group about what gardeners wore to keep warm.  It was generally agreed that layers was the way to go, with thermal vests and tights under t-shirts and trousers, and jumpers or fleeces under protective gardening garb. Woolly hats were recommended, thick socks under gardening boots helpful.  A flask of hot water for tea or coffee, essential. Tea, toast, cake and a warming fire something to look forward to at the end of the day; several mentioned the hypnotic allure of a good bonfire in the garden at this time of year.  It became apparent that many gardeners don't stop in winter but wrap up warm and get on with it. Those fruit trees and shrubs are not going to prune themselves.

As for me, I like to be able to move freely so use a lightweight fleece lined jacket over wool jumper and vest, and that does the trick for me. I'm also lucky to have a pair of very warm wellies. Once I get moving, I heat up very quickly. But my hands sometimes get cold, even with leather gardening gloves to take the edge off.  Recently, I was delighted to spot these thermal gardening gloves on the Briers website then saw that they were out of stock. I phoned to ask if they were getting any more in and was told that they'd restocked the day before and would I like a pair?  Ooh, yes please! I wore them for the first time yesterday in the garden and they exceeded all expectations. I emptied trugs of icy water, dug weeds from soggy soil, lifted cold pots and gathered wet leaves with my hands. My usual gloves would have been wet, cold and my hands the same; with these Ultimate Thermal gloves, my hands were toasty warm, dry and comfortable. Need I say more? (Except perhaps that they're washable.)

My opinion? Essential kit for all winter gardening.

Disclosure: Briers gifted me a pair without asking for a review but they work so well that I wanted everyone to know about them.

Here are the details:
Briers Ultimate Thermal gloves. Now £5.99. Flexible down to -30ÂșC; double insulated with brushed fleece inner liner for added warmth; foam coated palm for added grip. (The coating also makes the fingers and palm water resistant.) Sizes: Medium, Large, Extra Large. (I have small hands; the gloves were slightly loose but not overly so, and worth it for the warmth they gave.)  Washable.

10 Jan 2017

Digging up the past


Hello and Happy New Year!  I'm wondering should I retitle my blog 'The Absent Blogger'?  I've not been around much recently! My 2016 stats show that I started twice the number of posts as were finished and published, leaving lots of good ideas and lovely experiences still sitting in my intray. Hmmm, not good. Writing went on the back burner for a number of reasons, the most recent of which was making the time to clear my parents' home before it was sold just before Christmas.  So why 'digging up the past'? Because I was allowed to dig up several plants to bring back to London as a living reminder of the garden that my mum loved.

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