GARDENING: Chelsea Flower Show time

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IT’S not all about the plants – The Chelsea Flower Show’s a vehicle for the horticultural industry to reveal its new products too.

The RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year competition will be awarded to one the 17 best innovations unveiled at the show.

They’re a mixed bag, ranging from a seed cube for £2.95 to a sculpture the price of a fancy car – the winner will be awarded on Tuesday.

The show takes place from Tuesday-Saturday at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London. See my full report next week.

RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year 2014 shortlist:

•Tendamesh, www.agralan.co.uk. A lightweight mesh to protect tender crops against insects. Price: RRP £9.99

•MiniMax, www.biggreenegg.com. Portable barbecue designed for balconies and small gardens. Price tbc.

•Isio Shape and Edge Shear, www.bosch.com. Cordless shrub and grass shears. Prices: Isio Shape and Edge £64.99, Isio Sprayer Attachment £19.99, Isio Telescopic Handle £29.99.

•Stainless Long Handled Bulb Planter, www.burgonandball.com. Stainless steel head with FSC certified ash handle. Price: RRP £29.95.

•The Bite, www.davidharber.co.uk. A copper sphere with three curved, stainless steel bites taken out of it. Prices: copper and mirror-polished stainless steel, £21,000 including delivery and installation; mirror-polished stainless steel and a contrasting muted stainless, £13,500.

•A la Carte Bar Stool, www.gazeburvill.com. Outdoor bar stool in sustainably forested oak. Price: £720.

•Soane Mouth of Truth Mask, www.haddonstone.com/en-gb. The mask features an open mouth with flowing hair and can be used either as a wall fountain or plaque. Price: approx £295.

•Stormproof Vegetable Cage, www.harrodhorticultural.com. Featuring Frame Saver Clips to withstand hurricanes and snow. Price: kits from £49.

•Pico Reel, www.hozelock.com. Designed for watering small spaces, ready to use with fittings and spray gun. Price: RRP £29.99.

•Seed Cube, www.mr-fothergills.co.uk. Each cube contains hardy annuals sufficient to cover up to 10sq m. Price: £2.95 or two for £5.

•Rainwater Terrace, www.perennial.org.uk. Integrated growing system that collects rainwater. Prices: £129 to £179.

•Plant Prop, www.plantsupports.co.uk. Holds plants against a wall without the need for screws and wires. Price: £10 for a pack of three.

•The Heart Back, www.sittingspiritually.co.uk. Arts & Crafts movement-influenced two, three and four seater bench, swing seat, or Rockabye. Prices: from £1,510 to £5,014.

•Napoli Solar Garden Light, www.solartechnology.co.uk. Impressive 2.4m downward light pool and upward soft accent light. Price: £24.99.

•Sculptured Spherical Fire Pit, www.thefirepitcompany.co.uk. Hand-sculptured spherical fire pit, featuring silhouettes of English wildlife. Price: on application.

•Twool Rope, www.twool.co.uk. British wool alternative to imported jute. Prices: from £3.50 to £21.

•Kadai Planter, www.wilstone.com. Recycled planter made from hand-cut wrought-iron plates riveted together. Prices: from £159 to £2017.

FOR more on these topics, plus cook what you grow, traditional recipes, North East information, environmental news and more, log on to www.mandycanudigit.co.uk (now smartphone friendly), follow me on Twitter @MandyCanUDigIt or you can like me on Facebook at Mandycanudigit