There are those who believe that ‘real’ gardeners don’t wear gloves.
And maybe if you have handwashing facilities nearby, or you’re particularly dextrous when it comes to getting physical with nettles, prickles or thorns, you might well be one of these ‘real’ gardeners.
But given the peripatetic nature of what we do, it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll be able to wash your hands properly when it’s lunch time, and your client might not be too keen on letting you wash your grubby mitts in their sink.
But even if you don’t mind a defining line of dirt under your fingernails, there are more hazards than a sandwich garnished with compost associated with bare knuckle gardening.
Particularly if you’re not the only animal that frequents the garden.
Let’s throw in a few long words for you to Google next time it’s raining.
‘Sporotrichosis’ is a good one to start with, commonly known as ‘Rose Gardener’s Disease’.
Then there’s ‘Legionellosis’- a form of Legionella from standing or stagnant water.
One you may be more familiar with is ‘Tetanus’ – often picked up through scratches and cuts, maybe from gardening knives or thorns.
Then a smaller, but just as nasty word – ‘Sepsis’. There have sadly been fatalities arising from simple actions such as getting a splinter from a hand tool or a head being scratched while gardening.
But enough of the scaremongering, you want to be able to feel the soil, right?
Well general work gloves don’t *have* to be thick, or for that matter expensive. You can often get a decent pair for a couple of quid from your favourite DIY store or that place where screws are fixed.
A good pair of leathery gloves is useful for prickly customers such as brambles or berberis.
And when you’re mixing up a drop of liquid fertiliser or filling the mower with petrol, a box of nitrile gloves is also a worthwhile investment.
Don’t forget to wash your hands.