Christmas Gifts for Gardeners
In this column I share my favourite gift ideas with you, these are the best products that I have personally tried and tested this year, as part of my quest to help you find quality presents for your loved ones this Christmas!
Vegepod is an award-winning container gardening system that is really quite marvellous! This raised bed system has universal appeal, you don’t need access to the soil, so if you’re gardening on concrete but ache to grow vegetables, this is for you. Vegepod is ideal for gardeners with back problems, as it eliminates the need to stoop or bend, while disabled gardeners can actually garden sitting in their wheelchair, facing forward, without the need to twist around. Vegepod’s design benefits everyone, which is wonderful! The Vegepod is self-watering, while the cover protects your plants from pests and light frosts. If you’re renting or likely to move home, you can take your Vegepod with you. I got my Vegepod this summer, I am so looking forward to gardening in my Vegepod in 2019! You can see more pictures and find out more information in my review of the Vegepod.
Terrariums and bottle gardens
If you’re looking for a gift for an indoor gardener, you like to read my article about choosing easy to grow, free flowering orchids, or you might be interested to see my BiOrbAir terrariums and my indoor gardens.
Here’s a link to information about the features of the BiOrbAir terrarium, a specialised automated terrarium from Oase. For the past four or five years I have been trialling plants inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, here’s a link to the first part of my Miniature Orchid Trial, here’s a link to my White Orchid Trial, and here’s a link to the first instalment of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Here’s a link to the easiest BiOrbAir terrarium that I have planted up, this terrarium only needs to be tended to every three weeks – just top up the water – more info here.
This year I have installed a custom-built terrarium from RainforestVivs – my Rainforest Terrarium – I am thrilled with it! In this article I explain the thinking behind my design for my Rainforest Terrarium.
While, this article shows how well the equipment inside my Rainforest Terrarium performed over the eleven months following installation.
This article shows the growth and development of the Aerangis, Amesiella, and Angraecum orchids inside this Rainforest Terrarium, over the first eleven months following their introduction.
If you’re thinking about making a terrarium or bottle garden as a gift for a friend, neighbour, or relation, here’s my step-by-step guide to creating a bottle garden. Here’s a link to my planting list for terrariums, vivariums, and bottle gardens, to help you if you’re thinking of setting up your own indoor garden.
Whether you garden indoors or outdoors, you might be interested to read how I track the temperature, light, and humidity levels inside my home, inside my terrariums, my glasshouse, and outdoors.
When Trug Maker Kevin Skinner heard that I had included his No. 7 Trug in my 2015 recommended Christmas gifts, he kindly offered to make me a complimentary trug of my choice. I love growing cut flowers, so I chose the Trug Makers Daffodil Trug. Over the past three years, this rather lovely trug has helped to harvest cut flowers, fruit, vegetables, and herbs, I love it! If you’d like to read my review of the Trug Makers Daffodil Trug, please click here.
If you’re looking for a special gift for a tea-total friend or relation, you may be interested to hear about Seedlip, a range of distilled non-alcoholic spirits, which contain no sugar, sweetener, or calories. Seedlip is suitable for the following diets: vegetarian, vegan, coeliac, and diabetic. Seedlip is free from most allergens, including: gluten, wheat, oat, barley, spelt, kamut, peanuts, soybeans, milk, lactose, eggs, crustaceans, fish, nuts, celery, mustard, lupin, and sesame. You can find out more about Seedlip non-alcoholic distilled spirits, in my review here.
Membership of a local gardening club or horticultural society
I am proud to be a member of a number of Surrey horticultural societies. Membership of a horticultural society is a great gift idea, you could help to introduce your gift recipient to a lovely new group of friends and widen their gardening knowledge in the process. There are many great local gardening societies who meet regularly across Surrey, if you’re looking for a society that meets near you, or a friend or relation, visit www.surreyhorticulturalfederation.org for information about local horticultural societies and their talks and events.
The Surrey Horticultural Federation are hosting a special afternoon talk with Gardeners’ World presenter Nick Bailey. Nick will be giving his new talk entitled, ‘Revive your Garden’, at 2.30pm, on Sunday 10th March 2019, at Normandy Village Hall, Manor Fruit Farm, Glaziers Lane, Normandy, GU3 2DE. Tickets are limited and available in advance. Ticket prices: £7.50 for members of affiliated societies, £10 for non-members, any unsold tickets will all be £10 on the door. Please enclose a stamped envelope, marked with your address, with a cheque payable to Surrey Horticultural Federation and post to SHF Secretary, Redleaf Nursery, Green Lane, Tilford, Farnham, GU10 2AP.
Tickets to Barry Newman’s talk on Growing Vegetables, Fruit, and Herbs in Containers for the National Vegetable Society
The National Vegetable Society are hosting a very special evening with Vegetable Expert Barry Newman. Barry Newman will give a talk entitled ‘Growing in Containers’ providing advice for all aspects of growing vegetables, fruit, and herbs in containers, covering growing mediums, varieties, and cultural instructions, at 8pm, on Wednesday 13th March 2018, at East Horsley Village Hall, Kingston Avenue, East Horsley, Leatherhead, KT24 8QT. Entrance is free for NVS members. Tickets are £1 for members of affiliated societies, £2 for RHS students, and £5 for all other visitors. Please post an SAE (stamped envelope, marked with your address), together with a cheque for your tickets, made payable to the National Vegetable Society Surrey District Association to NVS Treasurer, 1 Oakfields, West Byfleet, Surrey, KT14 6RZ.
Dalefoot Composts produce a range of peat free, wool based composts that require less watering than regular composts. Dalefoot Composts have won my Compost Trials for the past five years in a row, so I can highly recommend them! Dalefoot Compost is delivered to homes across the UK, making it a super gift for a friend or relation who is unable to collect bags of compost from the garden centre themselves. If you’d like to see my Compost Trial Reports, you’ll find them all here.
I’ve read some interesting and informative books this year, including three books by Jeff Lowenfels, that would make an excellent choice for anyone wishing to learn more about plant science and horticulture:
- Teaming with Microbes (co-authored with Wayne Lewis, ISBN:978-1-60469-113-9). Read my review of Teaming with Microbes here.
- Teaming with Nutrients (ISBN:978-1-60469-314-0). Read my Review of Teaming with Nutrients here.
- Teaming with Fungi (ISBN:978-1-60469-729-2). Read my Review of Teaming with Fungi here.
While Tony Kirkham and George E Brown’s excellent book, Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers (ISBN:978-1-60469-288-4) is an outstanding resource with beautiful photographs by Andrea Jones – you can read my review here. All four books are published by Timber Press.
Garden membership makes a super gift, you’ll find a list of Surrey, Hampshire, and West Sussex Gardens which offer membership here. Plant Heritage hold regular meetings and talks for their members in Cobham. While membership of Plantlife contributes to a plant conservation charity that works to protect wild flowers and the British countryside.
The restoration of Kew Garden’s Temperate House was completed this year, so this glasshouse – the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world, it’s twice the size of Kew’s Palm House – is now open to the public every day of the year apart from the 24th and 25th December. If you’d like to read about the restoration of the Temperate House, please click here.
Presents are lovely, but true friendship and time spent together are priceless. I hope that you’ll enjoy a magical Christmas, may all your gardening dreams come true in 2019! Merry Christmas to you all. xx
This article was first published in the December 2018 edition of Vantage Point Magazine.
Other articles that may interest you……………………
To see a list of all of my gift ideas and product reviews, please click here.
To read my recommended list of 2017 Gifts for Gardeners, please click here.
To read my recommended list of 2016 Gifts for Gardeners, please click here.
To read my recommended list of 2015 Gifts for Gardeners, please click here.
Articles with calendars of days out in snowdrop, daffodil and other gardens
To see a calendar of snowdrop garden openings, please click here.
To see a calendar of daffodil garden openings, daffodil shows and competitions, please click here.
You may be interested in some of the trials I have conducted.
Compost Trial Reports
To see all of my Compost Trials, please click here.
To read advice on planting up containers, please click here.
Scented Daffodil Trial Reports
To see the results of my third Scented Daffodil Trial, please click here.
To read the results of my Scented Daffodil Container Trial, please click here.
To read the results of my Scented Daffodil Trial, please click here.
Slug and Snail Trials
To see the results of my Slug and Snail Trial and discover the best methods of protecting your plants from slugs and snails, please click here.
To read about using nematodes to protect your plants from slugs and snails, please click here.
Sweet Pea Trial Reports
To read the results of my third Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.
To read the results of my second Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.
To read the results of my first Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.
Terrarium, Vivarium, and Orchidarium Trials
To see how my Orchidarium was created, please click here.
To see the design of my Rainforest Terrarium, please click here.
To read the first part of my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To read the first part of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To read the first part of my Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To see a planting list of ferns, orchids, and other plants that are perfectly suited to growing inside terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.
To read about the general care I give to my orchids and terrarium plants, and the general maintenance I give to my BiOrbAir terrariums, please click here.
To read how I track the temperature, humidity, and light conditions inside my terrariums, please click here.
To read about my Tomato Trials, please click here.
To see all of my Vegetable Trials, please click here.