Do Look Ethel! *

People who know me well will be surprised to find me sporting a pair of gardening gloves because they know I love feeling the soil with my fingers when I'm working in the garden. Besides, having extra large hands for a laydeee, means my previous encounters with gloves have been far from satisfactory.

So, when Dominic at Quality Garden Tools offered me a pair of his beloved Ethel gloves to review a few weeks ago, I told him straight away that I was very happy to, but he'd be facing quite a challenge in converting me to his cause.

Well, Dominic can breathe a sigh of relief, because I'm totally smitten with them. I liked the simple measuring gauge he used to make sure the right pair was selected for me. I love their snug fit, so that I can still feel what's going on in the soil, plus the longer cuff so my wrists are also protected. The tougher material on the palm and fingers meant I could get to grips with pruning roses at home, and the always painful job of cutting back the autumn raspberry canes on my allotment with nary a scratch or getting the annoying splinter-like bits of cane in my fingers. All this and they're washable too!

This is the first pair of gloves ever** which I've used for a second time (and third, fourth... etc). Not only that, they're prominently at the top of my gardening bag now, rather than being left to sulk in the shed.

* = with apologies to Ray Stevens and his catch phrase Don't look Ethel!

** = believe me I've not only tried quite a few pairs, I've also soldiered on with pruning roses or cutting back raspberries or brambles without them, despite bleeding profusely from several lacerations, because I dislike gardening gloves that much


  1. I do love my Ethels. I think that - up to a point - you get what you pay for with gardening gloves. One is always tempted to economise and buy a cheap pair, but if they don't fit properly, you never wear them.

  2. they look great and practical, you may have converted me too!

  3. I share your hatred of gloves (and large hands) but you might have just persuaded me to give these a go.

  4. I am a garden glove hater too and have small hands so my problem is usually they are too big and the ends of the fingers fold over!

    I like the look of those though, and am wondering if they would double up as driving gloves for when I am out on the horse and cart. They certainly look more flexible and breathable than the leather ones I currently wear, although purists would frown on me for the colour!

  5. My wife wears gloves in the garden, my have to give her a pair for Easter!

  6. Funny, I dislike garden gloves, too but I've made a resolution to wear them this year. Finally found a new pair I can work in, although I must confess I use them mostly for digging and not so much for weeding (still haven't gotten used to that.)
    Happy gardening!

  7. Not only in a pair of gloves, but smart looking ones at that!

  8. Great test (as ever) VP. I know Dominic will be delighted with this review - he is nothing if not discerning when it comes to ladies gloves!
    Zoë - you may want to try a pair of Ethel size small as these are a glove size 6 (not sure if many people know their glove size any more!) and because of their snug fit often suit ladies with smaller hands.

  9. I love gardening gloves (I have longish nails and hate the feel of soil getting stuck under them) and I'm always on the look-out for decent quality pairs.

  10. I've tried Ethels, too, and liked them. And I think of my gran when I wear them. She was an Ethel. Wonder if that name will ever come back into fashion.

  11. Good gloves are really essential kit for gardening so it's good to find a make that you like.
    I start off plotting with gloves on but invariably they soon get discarded! Flighty xx

  12. What a joy to find a pair of gloves that fit perfectly! I too have large laydee hands. I found a perfect pair at Chelsea last year.

  13. Victoria - that's what I've learned from this test

    Eight by Six & Rachel - let me know how you get on!

    Zoe - I think they'd be perfect. There's lots of other designs, so there's bound to be one acceptable to the purists!

    Clint - sounds good!

    Folk City - welcome!

    Petoskystone - aren't they just :)

    TFG - thanks for answering Zoe :)

    SVG - sounds like these are for you

    Helen - quite a few of those names like Ethel are coming back into fashion over here, so you never know...

    Flighty - I wonder if I'll be doing that...

    Matron - good to see you! Are you going to Chelsea this year?

  14. I have tiny hands and struggle to find gloves that fit and don't have an inch of emptyness at the end of each finger!
    Do they do them in tiny?!

  15. NG - there's small, which looked teeny tiny to me!

  16. I too wasn't a fan of gardening gloves but was smitten with Ethel Gloves the first time I wore them. Mr Chiots got me a pair for Christmas and I haven't been without a pair since. I shouted my love of Ethel from the rooftops to so many people that eventually Ethel hired me.

    So glad you loved the Ethel Gloves and thanks so much for spreading the love with your readers!

  17. Chiot's Run - what a great story! It's good to hear of your success :)


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