Top 10 presents for gardeners
Obviously we spend all year working with gardening products and talking to thousands of keen gardeners who visit each year. So here is a proper list of present experiences and gift ideas for the garden that real gardeners will love.
Using this guide: there are lots of links to the relevant pages throughout this blog. If you click on the product name they will open in a new page so you can still return to the guide by clicking on the tab at the top of your browser.
New to us this year is this fantastic propagator which has given us easy new plants FREE all year. This domestic misting propagator fills the gap between fiddling around with plastic bags on pots and the commercial propagating units. We have loved using this, so much so that we have bought another, larger version and highly recommend it.
Plants have rooted in our propagator in less than two weeks.
Gloves you can work with all day in the garden and still have clean hands that haven’t been stung. They fit very closely, somewhere between surgical and washing up gloves so you can still feel what you are doing and we use them every day.
This is top of my Christmas presents for gardeners list. A whopper of a book containing all you need to know about the plants in your garden and the ones you plan to buy. Easy to navigate, this is an indispensable reference guide that lists over 15,000 plants and is suitable for all levels of gardeners and horticulturalists. Makes great reading over the winter!
One of our most popular mail order gifts. Six packets of seeds in their own tin with labels, a pencil and helpful hints to help you get the most out of your sweet peas. Comes beautifully wrapped.
Something a bit different for someone who loves gardening but perhaps is renting, moving or has all the kit! Join our botanical art course this spring focussing on snowdrops. We ran a similar workshop in the autumn with the same tutor and it was brilliantly received by the people on the course, so here is one specifically about snowdrops.
If you are thinking of sending flowers by post in late winter, our snowdrops by post make a fantastic (and very good value) alternative and they last a lifetime. Beautifully wrapped they come with information on getting the best out of your snowdrops including planting out in the garden after they have finished flowering.
We are members of the Historic Houses Association despite the fact that most our house has been pulled down! The Association has over 1600 properties and their season ticket allows you to visit over 300 of them for free. The magazine also offers trips to houses that are almost never open and most have gardens that are maintained by the owners so you can find some brilliant, sometimes eccentric, places to visit throughout the UK.
For larger gardens, or if you are looking to give a gift to last a lifetime, how about a whole meadow? Gee Farnsworth is a garden designer friend who has established several meadows using specially designed turf and lots of bulbs! The pleasure of this present grows with each year as the flowers change. Gee is happy to talk you through the process before you commit. Below are a couple of pictures showing meadows maturing over time.
David Austin has been breeding roses for over half a century. His first rose Rosa ‘Constance Spry’ was introduced in 1961 and is still well worth growing. His roses are so recognisable that they are often called English Roses. Try Golden Celebration for an anniversary, or the dependable Gertrude Jekyll for a beautiful, good garden rose. Rosa ‘Mayflower’ is outstanding as a group plant in informal settings and ‘The Generous Gardener’ is simply beautiful. She will climb to about 2 metres.
An unusual rose garden in our rose meadow where we combine David Austin Roses with wildflowers. I included the image below so that you can see our custom made support for a new climbing rose on the right hand side.
We get asked about our rose supports a lot. Ours were made for us but Agriframes supply good value, solid steel structures ranging from fruit cages to a single stake. Obelisks from their Somerset range are particularly suitable for supporting roses but this umbrella form (also from the somerset range) is the type you need to provide a cascade of flowers and should create a similar effect to the climbing roses in our meadows.