Friday, October 30, 2009


Now let me make this clear...I am no gardener. Something to do with having little patience and a fear of creepy crawlies I would say. So with that understood, I have little awareness of the essential products used by the green thumb brigade. An article in Britain's Country Living Magazine caught my eye about Nutscene Twine and I just had to delve deeper. This is a small private business that has cornered a niche in the market and kept it's roots firmly planted in hand made.

Nutscene began it's history in 1922, with Robertson Ireland of Dundee patenting it's first Green Twist twine made from jute, used as gardening string.

The original Green Twist twine.

Present day, Green Twist

At the turn of the 20th Century Dundee was the jute capital of the world. The raw fibres arrived from India and were then woven into ropes, sailcloth and carpets. The current Managing Director, Shona Young explains the name, "It's real name was "not seen" twine, because it was designed to blend in with the foliage. But on the patent application it had to have an original name, so they changed it to Nutscene". These days, the jute is grown, spun and dyed in India and arrives in giant balls at the factory in Kingsmuir, Scotland. The small family of workers turn them into smaller spools and balls using the same 1901 American winding machines that originally did the job in the 1920s.

There is a distinct air of cottage industry to this product, with just 20 ladies and gents working to meet the high demand for this product which is used everywhere from the gardens of Buckingham Palace , the Chelsea Flower Show and domestic gardens all over the world. By looking back into their history and rediscovering vintage adverts used by Nutscene from the 1930s to grace their packaging, and creating vibrant coloured versions of the original twine, they have invigorated the market for this classic and practical product. The 'Tin O' Twine' is their ingenious and practical answer to keeping the coloured twine dry whilst ensuring it stays untangled while being used.

In 1999, Nutscene developed their range of gifts for gardeners. Hessian aprons, handy wooden twine stands, the Snippet Twine Dolly (finalist in the Biggart Baillie Innovation Awards 2008) and much more. I love the simplicity of their creations and the heritage that they represent.

Hessian Half Apron

Hessian Full Apron

The Snippet Twine Dolly, cuts the twine without the need for scissors, leaving the gardener with a free hand whilst tying up plants.

Now where's my trowel?


  1. crushed helgs. had to RT that one...

  2. Nice, thought you would like that one!

  3. very interesting. great that someone can earn a living selling things they love, no matter how much of a niche market it is.


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