From Sarah's garden to yours
If you have a gardener in your life, buying gifts can be the easiest thing in the world as anything remotely horticultural could fit the bill. However, if you are a non-gardener buying for a gardener this can be a space that is difficult to navigate as there are so many options.
The first thing to consider is what kind of gardener they are. Are they an enthusiastic beginner with a particular interest or a passionate gardener with many years of experience under their belt? Are they predominantly an edible gardener or are flowers more their thing? Perhaps they like to have a nice garden, but time is not on their side, so they get someone in to help. Then there are the niche gardeners with a penchant for specialist things like cactus or particular houseplants. As all gardeners are different, it can be tricky to choose the right gift.
Unless you know for sure that the gardener needs something from the basic range such as a rake, spade or a hose, then it is likely they already have these tools. An upgrade to a set of quality tools would almost certainly be welcome, especially if the existing trusty favourites have worked hard and are worn or even broken.
Your gardener will appreciate items that are ergonomic and comfortable to use, or offer certain benefits such as saving time and/or effort, or can do a specific task. A weed puller can save bending over to remove dandelions and other weeds and is also fun to use. A lawn spreader has several uses in the garden from spreading seeds to spreading fertiliser and makes a messy task a lot more pleasant. There are handheld or push options to suit the size of the coverage area your gardener is working with.
A good quality pair of secateurs is an upgrade most gardeners would be happy to receive, as secateurs are frequently used. The right pair of secateurs becomes a true friend in the garden, and many models have adjustable handles to suit the hand size of the gardener.
A lot of time is spent watering the garden and anything that can make this easier or more efficient would be welcomed. There are a wide range of irrigation timers and computerised watering controls available that can give the gift of precious time, while having the added benefit of ensuring the garden is watered regularly, efficiently and reliably, at a time of day when the garden can benefit from it the most. There is something for every budget and technological preference - from a mechanical timer set by turning a dial to a Bluetooth-connected water computer managed with an app on a smartphone that provides advice and information while simultaneously controlling your watering.
A good quality hose spray gun with multiple settings can make a fabulous gift if your gardener has a basic nozzle, and there are options for gentle watering, cleaning and multi-purpose spraying.
If your gardener struggles with hoses that kink or they tend to leave them lying around the garden, a retractable hose reel is a great idea and can be a subtle way of improving the health and safety in the garden for everyone! Alternatively, a hose trolley can help manoeuvre the hose around the garden, while providing a tidy and compact storage system that also benefits the hose.
If your gardener is going away for the holidays you can give the gift of peace of mind with a solar-powered AquaBloom solar-powered micro-irrigation kit that can water a small garden or containers for a set time from a bucket of water. No power or tap required.
If you are looking for smaller inexpensive items, you can’t go past seeds. There are so many varieties of seeds available there should be something for everyone. Check on the back of the seed packet and it should tell you when to sow the seeds. For seeds to be used soon after Christmas, look for options that can be started in summer or at the very latest, in early autumn.
If you want to make up a set, then add in some nice pots, maybe some seed raising mix and a soft sprayer for gentle seedling watering for a really lovely gift.
A gift always appreciated by most gardeners is something specifically for them. A nice gardener’s soap to really clean hands and an effective moisturiser are almost essential items. And a bath soak to ease weary muscles after a big day in the garden would go down a treat.
Other care items include a quality hat, and a large, sustainably made water bottle to keep the gardener protected from the sun and well hydrated.
Good quality gloves are also a welcome idea, and there are many styles available to suit different types of gardening activities eg: rose gloves for puncture protection, waterproof palm gloves for working in wet soils, and extra-long, strong gloves with more grip for working with shrubs and dense or bushy plants.
Something to read
Like cook books, there are so many gardening books to choose from and something for every area of interest. If your gardener is just starting out consider a practical, trusted how-to title that covers all the basics. If in doubt, you generally can’t go wrong with a well-written book that has plenty of beautiful images - most gardeners appreciate something to inspire them!
A local gardening magazine subscription makes a great gift that keeps on giving, and provides timely, relevant seasonal advice, information, ideas and reminders through the year.
While it is a nice idea to give a plant and this should always be considered, there is always the risk of choosing something that isn’t suitable for the recipient’s particular garden or situation. For enduring beauty in the garden, consider a functional garden decoration, statue or sculpture. A water feature or gentle wind chime can add sound to the garden, while providing the added benefit of masking sounds from outside the garden, like traffic noise. A bird feeder or insect hotel can improve the beneficial wildlife in the garden and would always be appreciated.
If you really want to impress, you can give a robotic lawnmower. This generous gift takes the chore out of mowing. It not only frees up the recipient’s time and effort for other things, but produces a healthy lawn that looks fabulous all of the time, as the mower silently and gently takes care of the grass every day. A modern and environmentally conscious choice too.
And if all else fails and you simply cannot decide, go to your nearest garden centre and get a gift card. Your gardener can then choose exactly what they most want or need. This is safe territory, and you can’t go wrong.
At the end of the day, gardeners are the nicest people and will be happy to receive your thoughtful gift with thanks and appreciation. Happy gift shopping!