Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Thursday 17 April 2014

Hardworking gardeners hands need...

After all the gardening and composting and woodcraft I have been doing in the last few weeks my hands are in a terrible state. Fortunately I had a surprise delivery last week in the post - addressed to The Compost Bin ( I love it when that happens!) This time there was a postcode but sometimes I have had stuff get to me with just Compostwoman and Ledbury as the address :)

The parcel rather fortuitously contained some Gardeners Hand Treats to review,  from Heathcote and Ivory.

 This is what they say on their website.


Hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature

English green-fingered gardeners, vitamin-rich vegetable patches and dependable potting sheds have inspired our own home-grown Gardeners produce of creams to nourish and protect dry hard-working hands with a blend of nutritious ingredients, specifically designed for post–gardening, using essential oils and vitamins to tend nail beds after a therapeutic day spent digging, planting and reading the newspaper at the allotment.

For a garden scent, breathe in the juicy notes of red tomatoes and red currants combined with the green freshness of basil and mint on a base of cedarwood and earthy musk.
Free from parabens & sulphates

I really like the packaging, all recycleable card and I would love wrapping paper or even a framed poster with this design on! So very pretty,


According to the website the kit contains

Shea Butter Hand Cream 50ml
Enriched with Shea Butter and Vitamin E to nourish hands and Panthenol to help strengthen nails. Blended with essential oils to leave hands feeling soft and moisturised.

Cleansing Hand Scrub 50ml
Dig deep and lift dirt from hands and nails with this cleansing and exfoliating scrub. Combining essential oils with Shea Butter, Glycerin, Vitamin E and Pro-vitamin B5 to help refine, smooth and soften hands.

Plant Markers (10 pieces) and Crayon
Weather resistant markers ideal for labelling seed trays and plant pots.

I gave the product a hard test - to tidy up my hands after a hard day gardening!

They were very grimy with ingrained dirt and plant juices ( mainly dandilion) and with some very rough skin. I used the scrub which got off the ingrained compost and soil and left my hands clean and soft and then I used the hand cream which left my hands moisturised and sweet smelling. Full marks!

I was a bit less impressed when I tried the crayon and black markers, which look very stylish but don’t work that well as the crayon wipes off the marker rather easily. A minor issue though as I don't think they are the main reason anyone would buy the kit :)

I was intending to email Heathcote and Ivory to thank them and congratulate them about the scrub and hand cream, so I decided to mention my views about the markers. I suggested maybe some wooden markers and a wrapped pencil would work better, be not fossil fuel based and could be composted after use.

I got a positive response back that day, thanking me for my comments and saying my suggestions had been passed on to the develpment team.

So, a nice gift set, and would make a very nice gift for a keen gardener but maybe buy them some other plant markers as well.

I was sent this kit to review. All opinions are my own.

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