Clothes and skin cream are far removed from potting out your begonias, or digging a trench for a line of potatoes. But the clothes you wear are important for your protection in the garden. Here are six simple but effective solutions to various gardening hazards…
1. Starting from the top, you need to protect your head. Body heat escapes through the head and in the cold weather a warm hat should be worn. Knit yourself a ‘gardening crazy’ hat or buy a simple woollen hat on the high street.
And in the summer, even more attention should be paid to the head. The sun’s rays are not only hot but they actually burn you. We all know this but how easy it is to forget when you want to soak up the sun after months of grey or cold weather. Invest in a cool sunhat. Not only will it help protect you from sunstroke, it will also protect against the drying out of your hair and skin.
2. Keep one old comfortable jacket or short coat, preferably with fairly large pockets, especially for the garden. When you’re working, you won’t need to worry about dirty marks. Leave them there, it’s all part of the gardener’s designer uniform!
3. Suitable trousers.. again keep a couple of old pairs especially for gardening. Wear heavy duty jeans for heavy duty work. A good waterproof pair are handy in damp climates. In fact, in damp climates, a whole waterproof gardening suit is invaluable. There is always planting to do in the rain, and a waterproof hat, jacket and trousers tucked in a pair of boots will keep you nice and dry!
4. Protect your hands. For light work, potting on or pinching out tomato plants, a disposable plastic pair of gloves or a pair of kitchen rubber gloves will be enough. For heavier work – pruning roses, weeding thistles and nettles, wear heavy duty gardening gloves, or your hands will suffer.
5. Watch those toes! Invest in a pair of steel toe capped boots and wear them! If you’re pottering in the greenhouse or doing a little weeding, a simple pair of wellington boots will do, or even sandals if the weather allows. But as soon as you pick up a large tool, your steel toe-caps should be worn. If you’re not used to them, these boots can feel heavy and cumbersome at first, but stick with it. If you’re doing heavy work, you need heavy boots.
6. And last but certainly not least, you must protect your skin. Moisturise all exposed body parts whenever you are woking in the garden, rain or shine. Working outside will give you a nice healthy glow, but the wind and sun will dry your skin given half a chance.
So there we have it, not a fashion designer’s dream, but these 6 garden fashion tips will make life a lot more comfortable, and safer, for the average home gardener. Happy gardening!