Santa’s tips for Christmas gifts – NIGEL COLBORN shares the best presents for gardeners
- Nigel Colborn has selected the best presents for gardeners this year
- From RHS memberships, the UK-based garden expert has found the best gifts
- Including daily inspiration, miracle grow kits and bodywarmers for the winter
How’s Christmas shopping going? If you’re stuck for ideas, here are some suggestions for the gardener in your life.
Let’s start at the top. Sun, rain or snow, every gardener needs protection from the elements. I bought my Tilley in 1995 and have worn it in every continent except Antarctica.
Days out: Annual RHS membership includes entry to lovely Hyde Hall in Chelmsford, Essex
Indestructible, broad-brimmed and lightweight, it fends off rain, snow, sun and bird droppings. An original, T1 unisex hat like mine is still available and perfect for all-round use.
- From £56 at uk.tilley.com and good outdoors shops.
Try the ancient art of growing scaled-down trees. All Things Bonsai offer kits, each with a small, mature tree and ceramic pot. They are expensive, but what you buy has taken years to develop.
- Kits cost from £35 upwards at allthingsbonsai.co.uk.
The Victorinox Explorer Swiss army knife has 16 features including a magnifying glass for spotting tiny pests such as red spider. A cheaper alternative, the Camper, has 13 functions.
- £46 for the Explorer; £23 for the Camper, victorinox.com/uk.
TURN ON THE HEAT
Two Wests’ Quadruple Propagator comes with four plant trays and clear tops. A thermostat-controlled, electric heating pad keeps your cuttings or seedlings at the required temperature. An ideal gift for producing home-grown plants.
- £179 plus £5.99 delivery, twowests.co.uk.
All Things Bonsai offer kits, each with a small, mature tree and ceramic pot
JOIN THE CLUB
Royal Horticultural Society membership would make a fabulous gift. Enjoy access to five magnificent gardens, an informative monthly magazine, priority access to RHS flower shows and so much more.
- Individual membership costs £53 per year, or £78.75 for a couple, rhs.org.uk.
HOE, HOE, HOE
The Japanese Razor Hand Hoe from The Worm That Turned has a sharp, angled blade for single-handed use. You can weed rapidly and efficiently between plants. A left-hand version is also available.
- £25.95 from worm.co.uk.
I bought a Brother PT-D210VP Desktop Labelling Machine, which I use for marking treasured plants. The Qwerty keyboard makes it easy to type and print weather-proof, adhesive labels. Stick them on to metal tabs and they’ll last for years.
- £59.99, brother.co.uk.
Beautifully illustrated, The RHS’s A Plant For Every Day Of The Year by Philip Clayton features 365 gorgeous plants.
- £20 from shop. rhs.org.uk.
GROW A MIRACLE
‘Grow something new from seed’: that’s the motto of Chiltern Seeds, Britain’s most interesting supplier. As well as exotics and sought-after garden varieties, they stock wildflower seeds and mixes for pollinators.
When gardening in winter, your arms must be free, but your body needs protection from the cold. That’s why sleeveless body warmers are invaluable.
My choices are: the Bronte Quilted Bodywarmer, at £17.99; and the more substantial, Bronte Derby Tweed Field Waistcoat, reduced to £48.95.
- Visit hollandscountry clothing.co.uk.