by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
This year saw a rearrangement of the display areas are the usual top area close by the river could not be used as it had be rather churned up during the 2012 London Olympics boat races.
However, in my opinion, and that of many others, the fact that one directly entered the show when arriving by river taxi which, as per usual, was provided by French Brothers, the new layout of the show is very good indeed.
This view appears not to have been shared by many of the big companies, such as Toro, Husqvarna and Johnsereds, to name but a few, who were conspicuous by their absence and, as far as I understand, due to the fact that they could not have their usual spaces in the top area by the river.
Stihl took a space in the area just from the entrance from the river taxi side and it was, I would think, very well placed there and others would have been equally well served in the other zones.
The weather was glorious which, unfortunately, seems to have kept many groundsmen and -women and contractors away as they were trying to catch up with work that they could not do during this year's wet season, aka the wettest drought in history.
It was good to see an old face in a new dress, so to speak, in that Rolcut has come back to the British market though its original, should we say, parent, company, namely Original Loewe. I am sure that those of us who used to love good ol' Rolcut will be very much pleased with this.
Original Loewe is 100% Made in Germany and is represented in the UK though its sole agent Quality Garden Tools of Virginia Water in Surrey.
As usual the show gave me an opportunity to see new products and catch up with old friends in the industry and also writer colleagues.
Campey and Trimax both had some new exiting grounds- and turf care equipment on show, as did a number of others, and the display of turf care though a century plus of Olympic Games held in Britain gave a great insight in how things have changed over the decades but also how things might end up again if and when we are, finally, running out of cheap oil.
Trimax now has also, which is good news, begun manufacturing in the UK itself and thus the lead time for products should become smaller.
Their latest additions to the range, such as the new hydrological flail mowers for the John Deere and other kinds of ride on mowers and the Striker, a rotary mower specifically designed for low powered compact tractors will be most welcome by many users.
The Grass Group presented the latest addition to the Trilo vacuum sweepers, the S3, the little brother to the S4 (seen side by side in the photo), aimed for use with compact tractors of 25HP and above, and also the newest version of the InfiniCut pedestrian mower that can run on battery and either Honda or Kohler engine, and which can be interchanged in a very short space of time.
Another product and service that has to be mentioned especially as going green is now definitely the order of the day is the non-poisonous weed control by WeedingTech called Foamstream. While this is, by no means a cheap system it is superior to all other systems as it is not harmful to the environment, can be applied in almost all weathers and operators require no certification, as no poisonous chemicals are being used.
DJ Turfcare used Saltex 2012 to launch Viano MO Bacter in the smaller 7.5 kg pack designed for the domestic gardener wishing to give his lawn the same treatment as for the large greens on gold courses and bowling greens.
And another range of products that caught my interest almost immediately were Portek's bird scaring devices, and this case the kites, Terror Hawk and Terror Eyes, the Crop Gard and the Hawk Eyes, the latter being rotating globes in two different colors to scare away the birds silently, economically and environmentally friendly. The globes are definitely a must for those of us who have allotment gardens and who grow vegetables at home.
Well, this about wraps it up, except to say that it would appear that visitor numbers were rather down this year, at least on the first day. The second day things looked like they were picking up somewhat. But, as I said before, this is probably down to the fact that this were the first good days in a long time and both councils and contractors had to concentrate on the work in hand rather than a visit to a show, I would guess.
In addition to that, with the economy as it is and reduction in funding for councils, there is also very little money available for new products and machinery and thus visitor number also may have been down to that factor.