What CAN you buy for the gardener in your life? Don’t fret – local flower farmer Charlotte Tombs has the answer!
It’s my best Christmas gift guide for the gardener in your life – or maybe just a list of things to add to your own wish list!
These are all my personal, tried-and-trusted, most useful items, and I have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone.
I’m often asked what my absolute favourite garden tool is and hands down, no hesitation or thought, it’s my Hori Hori knife!
A Hori Hori knife is a Japanese digging, weeding, bulb planter and all round brilliant hand tool. I love mine and often give one as a present. I even use it to clean out the chickens. I bought mine from Niwaki, a Dorset-based company near Shaftesbury (they do have a great website for online ordering).
My other favourite tool is my gold spade – a Valentine’s present from my husband (listen, it actually IS romantic. He knows me well). Never mind the fact that it’s gold, this brilliant little spade is small, super-sharp and incredibly lightweight. It makes digging tasks an absolute pleasure. Again it’s available from Niwaki and I can see they have added a shovel and a square spade to the gold range … those have promptly been added to my own Christmas list.
Don’t cut corners
Essential garden snips are next on my list – and Burgon and Ball sell a FloraBrite range – terrific snips with fluorescent coloured handles. No, of course they’re not a thing of beauty, but when you put them down you can find them again! Why do they insist on making them with green handles that just camouflage in?
Also by Burgon is a seedling widger – a long, scooped metal tool which is great for potting on seedlings. Yes, I know a butter knife does the same thing but the family is never terribly happy about the knives being used in the garden, for some reason.
Another perennially perfect gardener’s gift is a good penknife. Opinel knives are my favourite brand, and you could always get the blade or handle engraved so that it becomes a really lovely personal gift.
The other things
Next on my list are my Carhartt overalls, or dungarees as we Brits call them. These are an absolute game changer; they keep the small of your back warm (apologies, I’m in danger of sounding like my grandmother), plus they have loads of pockets, so you get to do the great pat-yourself-down pocket dance!
(ETA – top insider tip. If you have a handy friend or relative in the US, have them buy for you there and bring/ship them to you. Even with shipping, Carhartt are a LOT cheaper in America! – Ed)
Garden twine is another must-have that is always gratefully received by any gardener. Nutscene make great quality, ethical twine and it’s pretty too; they have some lovely sets which make a basically dull object into a great gift.
If your gardener sows a lot of seeds and space is tight for germination then a Ladbrooke’s soil blocker is a really useful gadget – you can get 40 seeds to one takeaway plastic tub, plus the lid makes a mini greenhouse.
A slightly less garden-y option, but wireless headphones have been an absolute lifesaver for me, enabling one to listen to audiobooks (cough or a favourite podcast such as The BV one) as I potter endlessly (*BV HQ can highly recommend these Sony ones).
A decent pair of gardening gloves is essential, of course, and I swear by Showa Floreo 370; they are washable, you can still feel and pick things up with them and they are surprisingly hard wearing.
Lastly, I don’t have one (yet!) but I do really want a bucket barrow (bucketbarrow.co.uk). It’s a frankly brilliant wheelbarrow with four integrated buckets – absolutely perfect for me on my rather awkward site.
Now with that lot you should be able to tackle anything! Here’s to dreaming of next year’s triumphs – the rule is that we can forget about the disasters this year. I’ve learned over the years that its only ever you who actually remembers them.