Christmas Gifts for Gardeners 2019

Christmas Gifts for Gardeners 2019

Christmas time is such a special time of year.  It’s a time for meeting up, celebrating, and showing our thanks and appreciation to those around us.

Here are my tried and tested recommended Christmas gifts for gardeners.

Make the promise of a day out together, to visit a snowdrop or daffodil garden

Love and friendship are priceless gifts.  Why not gift the promise of a day out together in a magnificent snowdrop garden, in January or February?  You’ll find a calendar of snowdrop garden openings here.  If you’d prefer to buy some snowdrops, here’s my list of reputable snowdrop suppliers.

Looking for a super day out later in the season?  Here’s my calendar of daffodil garden openings and events.  I’ve made a list of daffodil gardens, too.  Plus I’ve written an article about some of the most beautiful spring gardens in Surrey.

Join a Gardening Club!

A great way to make new friends is to join a gardening club; many great local gardening clubs meet regularly in towns and villages across Surrey.   Membership of a gardening club would make a lovely gift, you could help to introduce the recipient of your gift to a lovely new group of friends and widen their gardening knowledge in the process.  If you’re looking for a society near you, or close to a friend or relation, visit www.surreyhorticulturalfederation.org where you’ll find details of local horticultural societies and information about their meetings and events.

BBC TV Presenter Adam Frost’s talk at the Surrey Horticultural Federation Spring Talk has been POSTPONED

The Surrey Horticultural Federation have POSTPONED their Spring Talk with BBC TV Presenter Adam Frost, from Gardeners’ World, which was due to take place at 7.30pm, on Thursday 26th March 2020, at Normandy Village Hall, Manor Fruit Farm, Glaziers Lane, Normandy, Guildford, GU3 2DE.  Adam will be telling us all about his life, from his childhood, to how he worked his way up to becoming an award-winning Garden Designer and TV Presenter.  Please note: this event will not be going ahead.  Ticket prices: £7.50 for members of affiliated societies, £10 for non-members.  Please enclose a stamped envelope, marked with your address, together with a cheque made payable to Surrey Horticultural Federation and post to SHF Secretary, Redleaf Nursery, Green Lane, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 2AP.

The WOLF-Garten Straight Spade

The WOLF-Garden Straight Spade has been especially designed for light, sandy or silty soils. This long handled spade is ideal for taller gardeners.

The WOLF-Garten Straight Spade has been designed especially for use on sandy soil.  This tall spade measures 123cm (4ft) tall; it features a long handle that’s designed to reduce back strain.  My husband has been delighted with this spade, he has found it more comfortable and easier to use than any of the other spades we have bought, it’s perfectly suited to taller gardeners and comes with the reassurance of a ten-year guarantee.  You can read my full review of the WOLF-Garten Straight Spade, here.

The WOLF-Garten Straight Spade measures 123cm (4ft) tall.

Improve your pond or create a new wildlife pond

This year, I’ve been trialling a number of products from Oase in my wildlife pond.
I’m trialling the Oase AquaMax Eco Premium 10000 Pump, Oase Filtral 9000 UVC Pond Filter, Oase AquaSkim 20, and the Oase Y-DB 1.5″ Y-Distributor.

This spade has been put to good use, as together with Andy Charles, from Andrew Charles Landscapes, we created a new wildlife pond in our garden this year.  I’ve been testing a number of pond products from Oase, including the Oase AquaMax Eco Premium Pump, which pumps the water for our waterfall and the Oase 1.5” Y-Distributor, which adjusts and directs the flow of water.  I’ve used the Oase AquaSkim 20 to collect leaves or debris from the pond water and the Oase Filtral Pond Filter, which keeps the water clear; this product has an ultra-violet light that helps to reduce algae.  If you’d like to take a photographic tour of my new pond and find out how effective these Oase products are, please click here.

The Burgon & Ball Container Root and Transplanting Knife

The new Burgon & Ball Container Root & Transplanting Knife comes with a ten year guarantee.

The Burgon & Ball Container Root and Transplanting Knife is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society; it comes with a ten-year guarantee.  This multi-use tool is part trowel, part knife.  It’s designed especially for container gardening and is useful in helping to free plants from their pots when it comes to re-potting and also works well for planting bulbs and perennials.  You can read my full review of the Burgon & Ball Container Root and Transplanting Knife, here.

The Burgon & Ball Container Root & Transplanting Knife has one smooth edge and one serrated edge, making it especially useful for loosening plants from their planters.

Plant Conservation: Why it Matters and How it Works

Plant Conservation Why it Matters and How it Works is written by Timothy Walker, and published by Timber Press.

If you’re looking for a new book to read over the winter months, may I recommend Plant Conservation: Why it Matters and How it Works by Timothy Walker.  Plant conservation is essential; we rely on plants for every aspect of our lives.  If you’re interested in discovering what we as individuals can do to help plant conservation, this book offers many useful ideas and suggestions.  The publisher is Timber Press, ISBN: 978-1-60469-260-0.  You can read my review of Plant Conservation: Why it Matters and How it Works, here.

Buy the best garden twine!

These are the top performing, strongest and most resilient twines from my Twine Trial. These twines are all from Nutscene. Left to right: Nutscene Natural Jute 5-ply Twine, Nutscene Classic Jute Fillis 3-ply Twine, Nutscene Heritage 5-ply Tine, and Nutscene Greentwist Garden Twine.

During my Tomato Trial, I unintentionally used an inferior twine that kept snapping, sending my plants crashing to the floor; it was incredibly frustrating!  I was determined not to experience the same mishap again.  So, this year, I decided to run a Twine Trial to find durable, robust twines that are capable of supporting tomatoes, cucumbers, and other tall heavy plants.  The strongest and most resilient twines I tested were all from Nutscene.  An iconic British brand; Nutscene claim to have invented twine.  The company still use the original machinery that they installed in 1922.  Nutscene twine is biodegradable and composed from sustainable materials.  This is a vegan product, it’s made from plants, for plants.  You can read my Twine Trial Report, here.

Seeds

I took this photograph on the 30th August. This picture shows Tomato ‘Honeycomb’, a delicious intensely flavoured cherry tomato and a plum tomato called Tomato ‘Purple Ukraine’.

The smallest gifts are often the best.  Seeds make a fantastic gift, they’re light and easy to post.  The best tasting tomato I grew in my Tomato Trial was a cherry tomato called ‘Honeycomb’, from Burpee.  This sweet and intensely flavoured tomato was again the best tasting tomato I grew this year, it’s an improvement on ‘Sungold’; I’d recommend it.

Dalefoot Composts Peat Free Compost

Dalefoot Composts have launched a new compost – Dalefoot Wool Compost for tomatoes – a peat free compost made from natural organic ingredients including wool and bracken. I’ve been testing this compost this year, this is a water retentive compost that contains all the nutrients tomatoes need for healthy growth. There’s no need to use any additional fertiliser, just water when the compost becomes dry.

I grow my tomato plants in Dalefoot Composts Wool Compost for Tomatoes.  This brand new, peat-free organic compost contains all the nutrients your plants need, so you don’t need to apply any feed or fertiliser, just water your plants in dry weather.  You’ll find lots of information on how to grow tomatoes, here.

Share the love of gardening!

Christmas is the traditionally thought of as the season of goodwill.  Friendship and times shared together are priceless.  Why not volunteer to help in a friend or relation’s garden, at a school, or in a local garden?  Gardening is wonderfully uplifting, it’s magical to share the experience and the joy.

May all your gardening hopes and dreams come true in 2020.  Merry Christmas!

A snowman made from twine! Merry Christmas!

This article was first published in the December 2019 edition of Vantage Point Magazine.

Other articles that may interest you……………

To see a calendar of specialist plant fairs, plant sales and plant and seed swaps, please click here.

To see a calendar of snowdrop garden openings and snowdrop talks and events, please click here.

To see my 2018 gift ideas, please click here.

To see my 2017 gift ideas, please click here.

To see my 2016 gift ideas, please click here.

To see my 2015 gift ideas, please click here.

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