Christmas gifts for gardeners
PUBLISHED: 10:24 13 December 2016 | UPDATED: 16:43 29 December 2016
With the help of gardeners in Herts and beyond, Philippa Pearson sought out great gardening gifts for horticulturally-minded friends and family this Christmas
Hatfield House Gift Shop
Janis Keach, director of Hatfield House Gift Shop in the lovely Stable Yard shopping area in the grounds of the stately home, says of her choice of goodies for gardeners this Christmas, ‘These items are attractive, rustic, and do the job with gusto. And are all beautifully made in England.’
The trendy-looking Recycled Leather Pouch from Sting in The Tail (£10.50) includes a small dibber, pencil, six plant labels and a small pair of scissors. The pouch fits neatly on a belt through the loop on the back and there’s plenty of room to store other essential gardening pieces in the pockets.
It’s great to have different coloured twine for using in the garden and Sophie Conran’s Burgon & Ball traditional striped twine in Cherry Red and Baby Blue (£7.99) are ideal for tying up flowers and herbs, as well as wrapping up homemade cakes and gifts, securing jam jar covers and much more.
For those with a passion for recycling, Creamore Mill Paper Pot Press (£11.50) is perfect for creating new pots out of old newspaper. While young gardeners will love the easy to grow vegetable seeds from Sting in The Tail’s Mr McGregor’s Garden collection (£4.50).
Garden Divas in Ickleford is headed-up by mother and daughter team Gilly Brown and Katie Nicholl who have a super online store for fabulous gardening gifts including gloves, shoes, tools and accessories for keen gardeners of all ages and abilities.
Some of Gilly’s favourite Christmas gift items include Burgon & Ball’s Flora and Fauna Tool Set (£19.95). This collection of gardening tools and sundries uses iconic imagery from the RHS Lindley Library and combines sturdy and practical tools with elegant designs. ‘It’s nice to have a tool gift set that includes a trowel and a pair of secateurs,’ says Gilly, ‘the two tools you seem to grab most when doing a spot of quick gardening.’
Gilly has raised vegetable beds at home and recommends the short-handled Weed Slice (£19.95) as an excellent piece of gardening equipment for smaller areas. She also tips Foxgloves Grip Gardening Gloves in Festive Red (also available in four other colours, £19.95 - a fabulous luxury glove for female gardeners. ‘Many of customers love these,’ she says, ‘they’re a real treat!’
Adam Wigglesworth and his team at family-run Ayletts Nurseries near St Albans selected poinsettias as a thoughtful British-grown gift. Ayletts is one of the very few nurseries in the UK that grows its own poinsettias and they are available in a variety of sizes and colours from traditional red through to creamy white.
Sophie Allport’s Robin and Mistletoe fine bone china mug is also a favourite with the team - a perfect winter-themed mug for gardeners.
Hate wrapping? There’s a gift wrap service at the nursery.
Seeds make lovely presents for gardeners and there’s so much choice available these days for unusual vegetable and flower varieties.
Sarah Raven’s Really Good Cut Flower Seed Collection (£32.95) has 13 different easy-to-grow seed varieties - all perfect for cut flowers and presented in a pretty tin, while the 15 different varieties in her Year Round Vegetable Seed Collection tin (£41.95) will produce harvests from early spring to late autumn.
Sarah has picked her favourite tomatoes with good flavour, grown and trialled for years, for salads, sauces and soups in her Best Tomato and Basil Seed collection tin (£14.50), which also contains recipes.
For a thoughtful gift that can be given all-year, I love the Sarah Raven Seed Gift Cards which have a packet of cut flower seeds, selected from a choice, on a blank-inside card with a beautiful image by top garden photographer Jonathan Buckley (£5.50).
A gift-wrapping service is available.
Seeds of Italy
For the avid vegetable growers in your life gather some unusual seed packets together for a gift from the oldest family-run seed company in the world, Franchi’s. Its Seeds of Italy (from £1.79 a packet) offer an exceptional choice and range of regional Italian seed varieties, all of which perform brilliantly in the UK. Franchi is passionate about the provenance of its seeds and the range is outstanding. There are dozens of tomato seed available and the best range of peas and beans I’ve ever come across, as well as an inspiring range of lettuce and salad leaves.