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Jenni Robertson, Sussex, England

22 June 2017

I bought your garden trousers this summer and absolutely love them. So much so have encouraged all garden friends to get some, so well done on designing such fantastic trousers.

Why gardening is better than the gym

10 June 2017

Gardening is not only good for your soul, it's also a great way to burn off calories in the winter months. For some people, a spot of gardening is their main form of exercise, and the average gardener can burn off 19,000 calories a year!

A spot of weeding

Whilst most people view gardening as a relaxing, leisurely activity, you can actually burn around 300 calories an hour carrying out simple tasks such as planting shrubs or using a wheelbarrow. Even the most basic of gardening activities can be calorie-intensive whilst also helping to keep you supple and flexible, with 30 minutes of weeding burning around 150 calories.

Protect yourself

If you're carrying out more labour-intensive tasks such as using a heavy hedge trimmer, you could burn up to 400 calories an hour, but make sure you take regular breaks. Protective equipment such as gloves and performance gardenwear with proper knee protection will ensure you stay fit and healthy during your gardening workout!

Squeezing in a spot of gardening after work, or spending your Saturday afternoons out in the garden will not only help you to stay fit and healthy, it will also help aid relaxation - yet another reason to brave the cold and go gardening this winter!

Read More Posted in: Blog

Weeding with the hori hori knife

8 June 2017

Weeding is easier with a hori hori knife Weeding is easier with a hori hori knife

It’s coming towards the middle of June and the Genus garden is really beginning to bloom. The downside of all the seasonal growth is the constant battle with weeds. It’s one of the most important jobs for gardeners during spring and early summer. Getting on top of the weeds during this part of the season ensures flowers and veg get off to a good start and perform their best.

Our cottage garden style of planting means that hand weeding is essential, as Monty Don says, by “getting up close and personal” to those wild plants we don’t want in the borders and veg plots. There are many methods of hand weeding, we know that some gardeners prefer to kneel and others to bend, and there are a range of tools to aid weeding tasks.

Weeding was actually one of the gardening tasks that inspired the design of the Genus gardening trousers: integral waterproof kneepads to provide support and comfort whilst down on the ground, and a high cut waist to protect kidneys from the elements whilst bending. As for tools, we have already blogged about the fantastic hori hori knife that one of our American customers introduced to us, and once again we feel we have to extol the virtues of this great gardening tool. We have been using the hori hori during dry spells to hoe around plants, and after rain, to slide down alongside the roots of dandelions and thistles and loosen them low down in the soil. It's also perfectly shaped to get in between the gaps between paving slabs to slice through those annoying little tufts of grass and mini dandelions.

With our gardening clothes and the hori hori making the task of weeding a little more comfortable, we are encouraged to get out there and weed little and often, which really keeps us on top of weed control. We might say that weeding becomes almost a therapeutic experience!

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Fiona Fyshe, Herefordshire, England

6 June 2017

Can I start by saying that nearly ALL my clothes are found in either charity shops or on e-bay so for me to spend £120 on a pair of trousers is quite an exception but I did on the recommendation of a serious gardening friend and don’t regret it at all – I love them. Thank you very much.

Rachel Thomas, Bristol, England

5 June 2017

Just to let you know that I have really enjoyed the new summer trousers. I was a bit worried about the colour and whether or not the trousers would wash clean. I’m happy to say that despite hours on my knees weeding, planting and generally scrabbling about, after four months of heavy wear they look almost as good as when I first bought them. I especially like the way you can leave the knee pads in when you throw the trousers into the machine, and they stay put.

Susie White, Northumberland, England

31 May 2017

The trousers have arrived and I am really impressed! They are so well made and you seem to have thought of absolutely everything.

Christine Harding, Pembrokeshire, Wales

29 May 2017

I would like to thank you for your prompt exchange of goods and for the reimbursement. It’s difficult to know how trustworthy a firm is when you first use it but I will certainly recommend you to others.

Chelsea is here, so give it the chop!

23 May 2017
give plants the Chelsea chop to increase flowers
Give plants the Chelsea chop to increase flowering periods and numbers of blooms
The Chelsea show is now upon us. Fantastic.

The other thing that gardener’s turn their attention to at this time of year as well, is the “Chelsea chop”. We’ll be out in the garden (probably after coming back from Chelsea) and giving a whole host of the herbaceous perennials a good haircut. Called the Chelsea chop because the “pruning” is done at the end of May and start of June, it’s a technique to keep plants bushy and healthy looking, cutting out the need for staking, and extending the flowering season.

There are two different methods. One is to cut the whole plant back by about 1/3 which delays the flowering season, and could give you a better show in autumn. The other is to cut just some parts of the plant back by 1/3, this gives a staggered and extended flowering period. If the timing of the chop is well judged and the weather good, the result can be many more blooms, and stockier stronger plants. Extra water and feeding gives the chopped specimens an extra boost too if you can give it.

It’s summer and autumn perennials which manage the chop. There are some plants which don’t work well, and others which respond very positively, so it’s important to get that right! It takes between 4 to 8 weeks for “recovery”.

Plants that we have had success with in the Genus garden include:

  • Helenium
  • Echinacea purpurea
  • Solidago
  • Aster
  • Lysimachia
  • Aubretia
  • Viola

Perennials which we found to be much more tricky were:

  • Sedum
  • Campanula
  • Some Geranium

Plants that don’t like the chop are those that flower once or have a single flowering stem without side shoots (e.g. irises and Alstroemeria).

Relay flowering comes from managing the single flowering spikes of plants such as foxgloves, lupins and delphiniums. Wait for the first flush of flower to come to an end and then cut back the faded main stems to some low down healthy side buds. This encourages side shoots with more flowers to get away and provide more blooms.

Gardeners love your garden for longer – take the plunge and try the chop!

Read More Posted in: Blog

Jean Smart, Fife, Scotland

16 May 2017

I got my trousers and gilet this morning and I am absolutely delighted with them. They are ace.

Wendy Franklin, Cornwall, England

11 May 2017

Thank you Sue for sending my trousers. Thought I would just let you know that the 12 is fine They really are great clothes.