Gardeners Christmas gifts
PUBLISHED: 15:05 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:36 20 February 2013
Have you an avid gardening friend or relation you are looking to buy something special for this Christmas? Philippa Pearson has been searching for perfect gifts for gardeners: they're ideal for treating yourself, too!
Van Hage at Chenies has a fabulous selection of pink themed gifts, great for female gardeners. I love the Burgeon and Ball pink indoor galvanised watering can, a great gift with the matching hand tool set. Other pink gardening tools include topiary shears and pocket pruners. For pampering after a day in the garden, Cath Kidson's toiletries include a rose and carnation shower gel and soap; Heyland and Whittle have fragrant Bed of Roses soap. But for a unique fun gift, seek out the plastic pink pig watering can, complete with gold wings!
A heater for a greenhouse is a very welcome present and the Parasene Superwarm 4 heater from Wyevale, with centres throughout Hertfordshire and at www.wyevale.co.uk, is ideal for small greenhouses. Keep warm outside with their large traditional Mexican Chimenea Mazatla which includes a cover, lid and stand. There's a gorgeous range of outdoor lighting in the Luxa range: the Twiggy Vase Lamp would look good all year round outside.
If space is tight for growing your own vegetables the potato barrel will fit on balconies and patios, needing just five seed potatoes for a good crop. Durable gloves are a must and Town and Country have a huge selection including thorn resistant and water resistant ones.
Make a note
A lovely book to jot down notes about your garden is a well received gift. The Royal Horticultural Society has a fantastic gift range on-line at www.rhsshop.co.uk and I particularly like the RHS Allotment Notebook and RHS Grow Your Own Veg Journal. Each has dedicated pages to record information such as crop rotations, planning your plot and practical advice about buying seed, sowing, planting, harvesting and storage. The RHS Clematis Recipe Scrapbook has index tabs and plastic sleeves, also useful for keeping seeds and magazine cuttings.
Lovely stocking fillers are the RHS mini magnets, beautifully illustrated with botanical images from the RHS Lindley Library. Jigsaws are great fun and the RHS collection has four designs: I really like the antique seed catalogue covers and the vegetable prints montage.
I always love receiving plants at Christmas and Aylett Nurseries at St Albans grow their own Poinsettias, available in various colours from traditional red to white and orange. There's also an extensive range of orchids and these exotic plants flower for months. Why wear standard green wellies in the garden when you can have them in bright, funky colours or flowery patterns? Available in adult and children's sizes, Hunters Wellington Boots are practical, durable and bring a touch of glamour to the garden. As the winter weather descends, time for some armchair gardening. There's a good range of gardening DVDs including 'How to Grow Vegetables', 'How to Encourage Wildlife in the Garden', 'Secrets Behind England's Finest Gardens' and 'Four Seasons at the National Trust Gardens'.
Set and match
Homebase has a range of gift packs ideal for gardeners at stores in Hertfordshire and online at www.homebase.co.uk. In the Head Gardener range the basket gift set comes with tools, tool belt, notebook and covered mug; the Head Gardener tool bag also doubles as stool. In the Laura Ashley range, there's a pretty Erin Pink gardener's apron and matching wellies while the Lotty range has a useful seed box, watering can and printed wellies. I also like their range of bird feeders and boxes, including the whimsical Bird Caf nesting box.
Attracting beneficial animals to your garden helps to keep pests down. The National Trust has a bee log, butterfly feeder, hedgehog feeding bowl and house, bat house and a bird box wildlife camera kit. Other great gifts available from NT properties in Hertfordshire open with shops or from www.shop.nationaltrust.org.uk include: a useful gardener's multi-tool, cast iron door knockers in the shape of a boot or spade, gardens of the National Trust book and calendar and NT muscle and joint gel. Music For Tired Gardeners, a relaxing cd, is perfect for chilling out after a long day in the garden.
Notcutts at St Albans has lovely snug thermal hats and socks in the Alan Titchmarsh Collection, which also includes portable radios and mugs with a lid so your cuppa stays warm outside. Tools are always welcome by gardeners: try a gift pack with pruners, hand fork, trowel and tool belt.