Review by Rachel Cassey-Holland
I must admit that I have never been successfully green fingered to date but this year I had already decided to make up a lot of containers for my patio with a mixture of flowers, small trees and shrubs, so I was delighted to be offered the chance to review some garden tools to help me keep on top of my project.
The first thing that struck me about the tools when I read up about them is that they are endorsed by the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society), which, to me, means they are the real deal! I was really curious to see what I would receive, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The package arrived very quickly and contained three tools – a RHS-Endorsed Container Scoop, a RHS-Endorsed Container Weeder and a RHS-Endorsed Container Root and Transplanting Knife. Upon opening the parcel, I was aware immediately of the excellent quality of the tools. They are firm and weighty without being too heavy and I was under absolutely no illusion about their quality. Each tool has a solid wooden handle and is extremely strong and sturdy. The hardwood handles are smooth and kind to your hand and each tool has a strong leather strap attached to the end with which to hang it up when not in use. The metal part is covered in what is described as a “long lasting powder coated finish”, which also looks very high quality and rust resistant. The tools are certainly not flimsy either and are super easy to keep clean. Whilst I am not an active and aggressive gardener I have played with these tools and attempted to manipulate and bend them myself and they don’t budge at all. In any case the tools each come with a 10-year guarantee, which is amazing, but I am already confident that these tools will long outlast that guarantee.
To review each item further I will list them separately but suffice to say each tool comes with a label as well as a bright red sticker which lists each item’s use and unique selling points, which is so handy for people like me who have little or no idea what they are looking at!
RHS-Endorsed Container Scoop
This is my favourite of the three tools I received and is basically a massive, extremely high-quality scoop which has already made my life an awful lot easier when repotting some strawberry plants! This is the tool you need when you are repotting plants and transferring compost from a bag or from one pot to another. The size of the scoop allows you to fill it with at least double the amount of compost than you could normally fit onto a standard trowel, but it also has a large “collar” between the scoop and the handle which means that you have no (or virtually no if you get over excited like me!) spillage. This is the best news for people like me who have slightly shaky hands and usually make an awful mess when repotting plants. This will also be a huge timesaver if you have a lot of plants to repot because the size of the scoop means you are cutting out the number of times you need to transfer compost.
RHS-Endorsed Container Weeder
This tool was also a very timely arrival for me because a few of my pots have already filled up with weeds, which I have been pulling out by hand so far. Again, this weeder tool has the same sturdy and comfortable handle with the coated metal part. It is compact, sturdy and very easy to use. The blade at the very end is angled inwards which means that you don’t accidentally damage plants (or yourself) when using it and also means that you can use it in a number of different ways depending on the angle you hold it at. With this one tool I have been able to scrape off surface moss from one pot as well as use it to dig up weeds and to turn over the compost in my other pots. It’s a really clever design and not something I have ever seen before. The way the blade is angled and positioned also seems so much safer than other tools I have seen, so if one of my children accidentally grabbed it, I would feel really confident that they would not get hurt by it.
RHS-Endorsed Container Root and Transplanting Knife
The final tool I have tried is the Container Root and Transplanting Knife. This is a really clever tool because it is multi-faceted. One of the long sides of the tool is an angled blade much like the blade on the Container Weeder, so I followed the directions on the label and used this side to slide around the pot of my strawberry plant to release it without harming the plant. On the opposite side of the blade is a serrated edge, which I have not yet used but the label states that it is to cut through roots if necessary. Again, the blade and the serrated edge are seriously well made yet seem very safe and do not cause harm if you pick it up in your hand. Right at the end of the tool is a notch which allows for pulling up roots (really handy when pulling up those pesky weeds with very strong roots!) and the entire tool allows you to dig a hole deep enough to repot a plant into with a very handy guide marker in inches so you can see exactly how deep you are digging / potting. Whoever designed this thought of absolutely everything and is a genius in my opinion!
So, I thought, these tools are excellent which means they have to cost an absolute fortune. I was wrong! The Container Root and Transplanting Knife retails at approx. £16.99, the Container Weeder at approx. £11.99 and the Container Scoop at approx. £14.99. For such serious quality and ingenious products, I think this is an absolute steal and the affordability makes them even more appealing than the inventiveness and good-looking design. These products really do make life and work in the garden so much easier and I shall most definitely be buying some of these for my father, who is incredibly green fingered but suffers with arthritis, for his birthday. Thank you so much for the opportunity to try out these fantastic tools.
All tools in the new RHS-endorsed container gardening collection are crafted in steel with FSC-certified wooden handles. Prices range from £11.99 to £16.99, and for peace of mind, all tools come with a ten-year guarantee.
For more information or to buy visit www.burgonandball.com.