How to stay away from damp bottoms and cold backs

When it comes to backyard garden workwear, I could never be described as classy. So you will not come across me artfully sporting a straw sombrero and swathed in silk scarves although snipping roses, or rocking a pair of knee-size tweed knickerbockers and laced leather-based boots à la people famously attractive, sepia-tinted photos of classy ladies gardeners taken by the late Valerie Finnis.  

That said, I do like my backyard clothing to be effectively suit for intent. This means a warm, gentle, snug, water-proof, windproof coat with deep, generous pockets. It also usually means challenging but light-weight, breathable back garden boots that maintain my feet cosy and dry, a winter season hat that keeps my head and ears warm, and backyard gloves (when I keep in mind to put on them) that are gentle, sturdy, heat and watertight, moreover tons of other breathable levels of outfits to continue to keep me toasty. Get these issues proper and I can comfortably get the job done prolonged hrs outdoors on all but the coldest and/or wettest of times, anything that is so essential at this quite hectic but meteorologically-challenging time of the gardening 12 months. 

A swift get in touch with all-around to some gardening buddies disclosed some of the beneficial strategies in which we can shield ourselves from the worst of the features when challenging at perform in our gardens or allotments.


Perfectly-acknowledged backyard garden maker, plantsperson, broadcaster and natty dresser Jimi Blake of Hunting Brook gardens ( in west Wicklow, suggests he wouldn’t be without his thermal lengthy-johns.  

Very long-johns. Really? “Absolutely. I generally have on a really superior-high-quality pair underneath my garments when I’m doing work outdoor at this time of calendar year alongside with two lengthy-sleeved thermal tops. It would make a enormous change and is something that I’d constantly endorse to my students. It is so vital when you are doing the job extensive several hours outdoor in cold weather.” Other backyard garden necessities on his checklist contain a light-weight, wind-resistant bodywarmer/sleeveless jacket by Regatta, “which offers me one more thermal layer without having restricting movement” and a “really superior fleece by Revolution”. When he typically prefers a sturdy pair of watertight mountaineering boots, “I’m imagining of investing in a pair of Hunter wellies for these incredibly mucky jobs.”

Jimi Blake of Hunting Brook Gardens believes Hunter wellies would be a wise investment
Jimi Blake of Searching Brook Gardens believes Hunter wellies would be a sensible financial commitment

For Ita Patton, an additional gardener mate who works in the Countrywide Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, the Cofra and Jolly ranges of footwear are her two go-to manufacturers. “I’m seeking for boots that are strong, extended-wearing and waterproof but breathable and light-weight.” As a total-time gardener who inevitably spends a great deal of time on her ft, she provides some other incredibly valuable recommendations on how to keep snug and relaxed. “I generally use these liquid-gel boot inserts for additional cushioning and make guaranteed to moisturise my feet every single early morning, anything that my chiropodist originally recommended and which, weird as it seems, truly does make a difference.” 

Just like Blake, she also stresses the great importance of putting on loads of lightweight levels to continue to be snug and dry and specifically likes the Regatta selection for its garden jackets. “I also couldn’t be without having my Mascot function trousers, which are truly tough-donning, have lots of aspect pockets to conveniently stash points like secateurs, pencils and plant labels as perfectly as in-built pockets for knee-pads, excellent for when I’m executing a good deal of weeding or planting.” In widespread with most significant gardeners, Patton also likes the Showa range of back garden gloves, specifically the light-weight Showa Floreo 370, obtainable from, “which are sturdy adequate to protect my hands with no lowering mobility”.

Rolls-Royce of gardening

Recognised for her attractive workwear, the Cork gardener, nursery operator and galanthophile Hester Forde ( swears by the British-produced Genus manufacturer, which she describes as “the Rolls-Royce of gardening garments. Just good. Head-to-toe, it’s what I generally dress in when I’m doing work outside.”

Developed by Sue O’Neil, a passionate gardener primarily based in the Cotswolds who “hates wet knees, damp bottoms and a chilly back”, this significant-efficiency assortment provides quite a few variations of gardening trousers which includes a water-proof and insulated model for all those chilliest of days. “I live in them,” laughs Forde, who has the water resistant version and the three-period edition. “Every solitary small design depth has been so thoroughly viewed as from the lifted waistline band to secure your again to the very little buttons at the base of the legs, the water-proof padded knees and the generous volume of pockets for points like your mobile phone, seed etc.” 

She’s also a enormous fan of this brand’s assortment of foundation levels (leggings and tops), which are created utilizing a merino-blend material that wicks away sweat to maintain you dry and warm and which is temperature-regulating, comfortable and non-itchy with twin-layer knees for more toughness and heat. Forde also remarkably recommends Genus’s gardening gilet and its gardening jersey, both of which she claims are smart ample for ordinary daywear. “It’s certainly not the most inexpensive range out there but it’s exceptionally significant good quality and impressively extensive long lasting. I’m however wearing Genus trousers that search every little bit as good as the working day I purchased them a ten years back.” 

Even though Genus doesn’t make its personal gardening gloves, it does inventory the Swedish brand name Ejendals’s award-winning super-lightweight, water-resistant gloves, as well as thermal silk glove-liners so good they can be worn underneath typical gardening gloves. Some other accessories to set on the wish checklist involve Genus’s gardening socks, neck heaters and showerproof gardening hats, while it also stocks the Australian model Blundstone’s 510 boot, a light-weight, durable, hardwearing gardening classic. Backyard garden footwear, having said that, is the just one factor that Forde prefers to source in other places. “After making an attempt out numerous unique brands, my go-to gardening footwear is a pair of hiking boots created by Lowa. It took a long, extensive time – significantly as well long – to discover the great pair of gardening boots but I enjoy these.”

This Week in the Back garden

This is a superior time of the yr to plant pot-grown trees, shrubs, climbers and roses as very long as the soil is not frozen or sodden. There is also even now just enough time to plant these as bare-root specimens, but make certain to do this as soon as probable. The bare-root period will incredibly shortly be coming to an end as temperatures and light level increase, encouraging winter-dormant crops to commence back into active progress.

As soon as the dainty flowers of snowdrops have faded, this is the greatest time of 12 months to divide and transfer extremely substantial, established clumps even though they’re nevertheless “in the green” rather than later in the calendar year when the bulbous plants have absent into summer time dormancy. Use a yard fork to gently dig up these large clumps and then independent them into modest clumps of 3-6 bulbs prior to replanting these quickly into their new position in the back garden or allotment, spacing them no much less than 15-20cm apart and finishing off with a light watering.

Dates For Your Diary

Wednesday March 16th (7.30pm-9pm): A presentation by the organic and natural gardener, Kitty Scully, wherever she’ll be introducing her current filmed job interview with Joy Larkcom, the legendary west Cork-primarily based backyard author and vegetable gardener, see

Sunday, March 13th, Killruddery Dwelling & Gardens, Bray, Co Wicklow: Increase Your Possess Minimize Flowers, a one particular-working day palms-on workshop with the flower-farmer-florist and The Irish Times gardening writer Fionnuala Fallon (@theirishflowerfarmer) on expanding and arranging your very own minimize bouquets seasonally and sustainably, € 160, lunch and refreshments bundled, see

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