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

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. 

Teaming with Fungi: The organic grower’s guide to mycorrhizae
Author: Jeff Lowenfels
Publisher: Timber Press
ISBN: 978-1-60469-729-2

Through his book Teaming with Fungi, author Jeff Lowenfels, aims to dispel the myths associated with fungi; this book informs and educates readers about fungi and their fascinating relationship with plants.  80-95% of all plants form symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi.  These relationships are incredibly beneficial to plants, so it makes sense for gardeners, horticulturists, and those working in forestry, agriculture, plant propagation, or indeed any career or hobby based around plants, to learn and understand more about mycorrhizal fungi species and the true nature of their relationship with plants. 

Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition
Author: Jeff Lowenfels
Publisher: Timber Press
ISBN: 978-1-60469-314-0

Teaming with Nutrients is the second book in a series of three books written by Jeff Lowenfels, for the publisher Timber Press.  Each book is focused on a different area of plant science; the other books being, Teaming with Microbes (written by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis) and Teaming with Fungi

Teaming with Microbes, the Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web  
Authors: Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis
Publisher: Timber Press
ISBN: 978-1-60469-113-9

In their book, Teaming with Microbes, authors, Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis, highlight the importance of a healthy soil food web, describing the benefits a fully operational and functioning soil food web has on plants.  Healthy soil is teeming with life! 

Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers
Authors: George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham
Photographs: Andrea Jones
Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 978-1-60469-288-4

The first edition of the reference book, Essential Pruning Techniques was written by George E. Brown (1917-1980).  George was the assistant curator at Kew and a founding member of the Arboricultural Association.  The original book was published in 1972; for over forty years this book was the go-to reference for pruning. 

Daffodil: The remarkable story of the world’s most popular spring flower
Author: Noel Kingsbury
Photographer: Jo Whitworth
Publisher: Timber Press
ISBN: 978-1-60469-318-8

Daffodils are one of the most recognisable, most popular, and most widely revered flowers.  If you love daffodils and want to hear their story, then may I suggest a lovely book, Daffodil, which was written by Noel Kingsbury, and is illustrated with beautiful pictures taken by photographer, Jo Whitworth.

Gifts for Gardeners

I treasure the joy I experience when I find the perfect gift for a special person.  I hope to share this joy with you, by sharing the best products that I have tried and tested this year, to help you find superb presents for your loved ones this Christmas.

Gardening Society Membership

There are many great local gardening societies who meet regularly across Surrey.   

The Chinese Kitchen Garden: growing techniques and family recipes from a classic cuisine
By Wendy Kiang-Spray
Published by Timber Press
ISBN: 978-1-60469-677-6

If you’re making a list and checking it twice…..of all the interesting and exciting vegetables and crops that you hope to grow next year, then you might be interested to read The Chinese Kitchen Garden, a charming book, written by Wendy Kiang-Spray.

Gardening for Butterflies: How you can attract and protect beautiful, beneficial insects
The Xerces Society
ISBN: 978-1-60469-598-4

Published by Timber Press

I live in the UK.  I very much enjoyed reading Gardening for Butterflies, I found it very interesting to read about the butterfly species that live in America, their preferred nectar and larval host plants, and the challenges that these butterflies are facing.  

Gifts for Gardeners

Giving a gift is such a special thing to do, if you’re buying a present that you’ve seen online or in the shops, it’s not easy to tell how useful, wonderful or lasting the gift will be in reality, when you haven’t tried it yourself.  With this in mind, I have sought out some super gift ideas, which I have reviewed and tested, so that you can hopefully find the perfect presents for your friends and family this Christmas.

The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood
By Kathryn Aalto
ISBN: 978-1-60469-599-1
Published by Timber Press

Winnie-the-Pooh holds a special place in most of our hearts; the ‘silly old bear’ and his band of friends brought their own special, heart-warming charm to many of our childhoods, thanks to the stories of their adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood, written by A.A.

The Indestructible Houseplant – 200 beautiful plants that everyone can grow
by Tovah Martin, photographs by Kindra Clineff
ISBN: 978-1-60469-501-4
Published by Timber Press

Tovah Martin describes her house as alternating between chilly and stuffy, not sufficiently bright, and cramped. While this might not be a feel you’d be rushing to try to recreate in your own home, it provides Tovah with the necessary challenging conditions required to grow and thoroughly test out houseplants for their resilience and staying power; this together with Tovah’s knowledge and experience equip her perfectly to write this comprehensive and informative book about the varieties of houseplants that are (almost) indestructible.

Book review – Small-Space Vegetable Gardens: Growing Great Edibles in Containers, Raised Beds, and Small Plots by Andrea Bellamy
Published by Timber Press
ISBN 978-1-60469-547-2

Andrea Bellamy, the author of Small-Space Vegetable Gardens, wrote this book to create a helpful resource and inspiration for new gardeners; it’s the book she wished she had read as a beginner gardener. I love this sentiment and Andrea’s desire to encourage others to garden and grow food, in the smallest of spaces.