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Expert Reviews Garden Awards 2021: The best of everything

We help you choose the absolute best products for your gardening escapades

The chances are that you’ve become very familiar with your garden over the past year or so. We’ve all spent so much time confined to our homes that an increase in the popularity of gardening was inevitable: even if you were just staring out at the lawn from a makeshift home office, your garden was always destined to catch your attention. 

There’s no shortage of ways to tame the grassy wilderness beyond your back door, but to do it properly, you’re going to need the correct equipment. With such an extraordinary variety of gardening tools and machinery on offer, however, choosing the right gear for you can be immensely difficult, whether you’re a professional landscaper or a gardening newbie. 

That’s where Expert Reviews comes in. Every year, we put countless garden products through their paces: from lawn mowers to secateurs, leaf blowers to chainsaws, we’ve tried and tested it all to provide impartial buying advice to our readers. Good garden equipment should see you through many years of horticultural exploits, which is why we believe it’s crucial to make the right buying decision. 

With this in mind, we’d like to welcome you to our first-ever Garden Awards. To help you make a confident, informed purchase, this article will reveal the absolute best products in a host of garden-related categories, crowning both an overall winner and a runner-up in each one. 

Welcome to the Expert Reviews Garden Awards 2021.

Expert Reviews Garden Awards 2021

Best pressure washer

Winner | Karcher K4 Power Control | £200

Karcher dominated in the pressure washer category this year, with two fantastic new additions to their range scooping up both awards. The Karcher K4 Power Control claims the crown by offering a unique range of features to suit all possible use cases: the Power Control Gun and Power Control Vario lance both have adjustable nozzles, meaning you can tighten or relax the spray with a twist. Both tools can be slotted neatly onto the body of the Power Control in an effort to save you lugging a few different products around.

The 1,800W motor pumps out 420L of water per hour, which is more than enough oomph to tackle pretty much anything the average user can throw at it. This is a phenomenal all-round washer for your car, driveway or patio. 

Highly commended | Karcher K5 Premium Smart Control Home | £450

Just missing out on the top spot is the more powerful Karcher K5 Premium Smart Control Home. The standout feature here is Bluetooth connectivity: pair the K5 with your smartphone, and you can use the Karcher app to tell it what you plan on cleaning. It’ll adjust the pressure and tell you when to twist the adjustable spray nozzle as you work.  

Best lawn mower

Winner | Bosch Universal Rotak 36-550 | £389

Bosch’s cordless mowers have now reached the stage where you can lose the cable without any serious compromise. The Rotak 36-550 is bursting at the seams with features designed to make your life easier, from the one-press blade height adjustment button built into the ergonomic handle to the comfortably wide 38cm cutting deck. This mower runs for around 30 minutes on a single charge, and packs enough of a punch to cope with larger, more rugged lawns – the blade will even pick up and pulverise any fallen leaves. It’s even kind on your ears, courtesy of Bosch’s ProSilence motor technology.

Highly commended | Flymo Easistore 340R Li | £236

For the spatially challenged gardeners out there, the Flymo Easistore 340R Li is a worthy choice. Fold in the handle and you can stand this capable cordless mower on its head in a cramped corner of your shed/garage or wheel it around like a carry-on suitcase – at just 13kg, it’s incredibly trim. 

Best grass trimmer

Winner | Bosch AdvancedGrassCut 36 | From £120

Rounding out Bosch’s fantastic run at this year’s Garden Awards is the AdvancedGrassCut 36, a seriously powerful grass trimmer built for the wildest gardens. While trimmers of this sort tend to be a petrol-fuelled hassle, the good news is that the AdvancedGrassCut 36 is cordless and battery operated, something of a rarity for a product with a 30cm cutting width and as much power as a petrol model. Although it’s weighty, the adjustable pole and moveable handle help prevent undue back strain and keep you trimming for the duration of the AdvancedGrassCut 36’s 40-minute battery life.

Highly commended | Black + Decker GL7033GB | £64

Designed for heavier workloads, the GL7033GB, this oldie-but-goldie grass trimmer packs in a hefty 700W motor and a head with a 33cm cutting width – that’s wider than some small lawn mowers. It comes with a thicker 2mm line for attacking tougher brambles, thistles and other garden menaces, and even sports an edging wheel for a cleaner trim.

Best garden hose

Winner | Karcher HR4.525 Hose Reel and PrimoFlex Hose | £55

Karcher HR4.525 hose reel

Karcher’s HR4.525 is a simple, reliable garden hose that will suit pretty much everyone regardless of their requirements. The 25m PrimoFlex hose uses a durable five-layer, kink-resistant design with a weather-resistant, UV-resistant top layer, and comes wrapped around a light, compact hose reel that can be mounted to a wall. The manual handle is comfortable to grip and easy to wind. 

That’s all there really is to it, but then again, hose pipes aren’t known for their broad feature set. If you need a durable hose to last you several summers of car washing and plant watering, this is the one for you.

Highly Commended | Gardena AquaRoll M Easy Metal | £99

It’s not cheap, but Gardena’s ComfortFLEX hose is incredibly sturdy, and the same goes for its AquaRoll M Metal hose trolly, with its metal reel, fold-out support, chunky wheels and push-down handle. It’s ready for the roughest watering duties.

Best patio cleaner

Winner | Jeyes 4-in-1 Patio Power | £16

Jeyes’ remarkably strong patio cleaning fluid is as simple as it gets. Just pour the solution onto the affected area and allow it to dry. Within three days it will have worked its magic, removing algae, mould, dirt and mildew. You can also team it up with a pressure washer to treat the mould and algae while you blast off any grime. It’s effective on patios, driveways, fences and decking, too, so the one bottle covers all your needs. Patio Power gave consistently strong results for us on all but the filthiest of outdoor surfaces.

The formula is preventative, meaning you should need to use it less frequently after the initial clean. It might not be glamorous, but if you have a patio or driveway in dire need of a clean, Jeyes has produced a brilliant solution.

Highly commended | Patio Magic: Green Mould and Algae | £13

For a driveway or patio that’s green with algae, Patio Magic’s cleaning fluid proved to be the most effective combatant. It takes a little while to show (up to four days) but the results are well worth the wait. It also breaks down harmlessly in the soil after use. 

Best secateurs

Winner | Fiskars P94 | £24

On the surface, the Fiskars P94 secateurs are inconspicuous. The ergonomic handles are made from a lightweight, sturdy plastic, while the replaceable blades are a steel alloy designed to stay sharp. Neither one reveals much about the P94’s hidden talents. 

But these simple secateurs can multiply the force applied by your grip threefold, reducing the strain on your wrist more effectively than many other products and allowing you to chop through stems up to 20mm in diameter with relative ease. And with a free clip-on holster and built-in safety catch, you needn’t worry about all that brute strength causing any harm.

Highly commended | Gardena 8798 Comfort Ratchet Secateurs | £44

Not many secateurs can cope with stems up to 25mm in diameter, but the Gardena 8798 manage it. They’re the toughest, most powerful secateurs we’ve ever tested – so confident is Gardena of its product’s credentials that each one comes with a 25-year warranty. 

Best hedge trimmer

Winner | Karcher HGE 18-50 | £150

If you’re planning to take on some seriously unruly garden hedges, the Karcher HGE 18-50 is up to any challenge. The 50cm blade can handle anything up to 22cm in diameter, and anecdotally our tester had a tough time finding an item of shrubbery the HGE couldn’t pulverise. It’s certainly on the weighty side, but the cordless design and rotatable blade help take some of the strain out of tackling the hard-to-reach corners of your hedgerow. 

With an 18V battery that runs for around an hour before needing a charge, you can be sure that the Karcher HE 18-50 will go the distance no matter how wild your garden may be. 

Highly commended | Bosch AHS 55-20Li | £129

Like the Karcher above, the Bosch AHS 55-20Li is powerful enough to take on more than just the small shrubbery bordering your front lawn. The extra 5cm on the blade helps with taller, wider hedges, while the 20cm max cutting width means it can handle anything bar the toughest and woodiest foliage. 

Best weed killer

Winner | Resolva 24H ready to use | £17

Like patio cleaner, weed killer is a crucial tool in any gardener’s arsenal. Resolva’s Ready to Use formula is the most lethal and least destructive weed killer we’ve tried: promising results in 24 hours, this selective weed killer targets the source of the problem without destroying other plant life. It even dissolves into the soil once its task is complete. 

As a result, you can use Resolva’s weed killer on your patio or driveway without worrying too much about nearby beds and borders, while it comes with a pump and adjustable spray nozzle for simple application wherever your weed problem persists. A thoroughly deserving winner.

Highly commended | Roundup Naturals | £19

Roundup’s Naturals weed killer ditches glyphosate in favour of a naturally occurring active ingredient, so you can use it on a flower bed or border without any fears of doing long-term damage. You’ll also see the first results within just three hours, which is remarkable. 

Best garden vacuum

Winner | Flymo PowerVac 3000 | £75

If you enjoy spending a little and gaining a lot (and who doesn’t), the Flymo PowerVac 3000 is the garden vacuum for you. It packs 45L of detritus into its bag by shredding and compressing the leaves as it works, and can also act as a leaf blower, scattering leaves with a 3,000W motor capable of pushing air out at 310km/h. It’s powered by a 10m cable, so you won’t have to worry about tiring the battery out with all that leaf blowing, mulching and vacuuming. 

Robustly built and painless to use, the PowerVac 3000 is a worthy winner at this year’s Garden Awards.

Highly commended | Bosch UniversalGardenTidy | £86

Bosch’s UniversalGardenTidy is another multi-talented garden vacuum. Like the Flymo, it doubles as a very proficient leaf blower and mulcher, albeit a slightly less powerful one; it still packs a punch, however, and it’s well-designed and solidly built to boot.

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