Gifts for gardeners

Sunday, 06 December 2015

A gardening book is a welcome gift

This is the time of year when we see lists and ads everywhere in newspapers and magazine of Christmas gift suggestions for various types of people. Gardeners aren't often mentioned yet many of us would secretly like to receive something related to our passion rather than another pair of socks or a soap. Here are some of my suggestions!

A metal trowel cast in one piece will be very durable

1. A good garden tool. High-quality secateurs are worth the money. If its parts can be replaced then it is worth paying the initial extra cost. Good secateurs can be sharpened (through some nurseries, for example) and should be looked after: clean and oil them regularly and don't leave them lying around in the yard (as I confess I often do). Another excellent tool is a metal trowel cast in one piece (pictured above). I have broken so many trowels over the years: this one appears indestructible.

My vintage watering can; a recent birthday gift from my daughter

2. A metal watering can. Plastic watering cans are hardly aesthetically pleasing, and they eventually become brittle and break. Vintage metal watering cans add nostalgic charm to the garden. It is possible to buy new metal ones if you can't find an old one.

3. A subscription to the Foundation & Friends of the Royal Botanic Garden. As well as supporting this very worthwhile organisation, there are many benefits. Recipients will receive a quarterly magazine telling them what is going on the NSW Botanic Garden, with lots of opportunities to attend talks, outings and even overseas trips. There is also the chance to become a volunteer in the Gardens, and discounts apply on plants purchased from the Friends' nurseries and entry to events!

Cow manure is welcomed by most gardeners

4. Bags of cow manure. I know I am not alone in being excited about the prospect of being given a few bags of cow manure as a gift. True gardeners know that this will improve their soil by increasing the organic matter, and make their plants grow much better.

5. Good-quality gardening gloves. Whilst I often make do with rubber washing-up gloves for gardening, it is far better to wear something that can breathe and which will be durable. Long-sleeved gloves are excellent for pruning roses and other scratchy plants; another gift idea.

A compost aerator is very useful for speeding up decomposition

6. A compost aerator. This nifty gadget is useful for turning composting material in covered domes, where it is not easy to get a spade in. It is rather like a giant corkscrew, which is wound into the compost then pulled up, introducing air and mixing the components. This hastens decomposition.

7. A gardening book. My absolute favourite day of the year is Boxing Day, where I like nothing more than to curl up on the couch with a new gardening book, a plate of leftovers at my side. We can learn so much by reading about other gardens and gardeners. The recently released book about Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden could be a great gift for a Sydneysider interested in gardening. Not only does it tell us all about one of Sydney's hidden gems, it covers some of the history of our harbour city and the story of one of our most well-known artists, Brett Whiteley. The book - along with many other gardening titles - is available from here.

8. Gardening clothes. It is possible to buy stylish bespoke gardening clothes from some online sources. I'd rather like a shirt emblazoned with the logo 'Head Gardener' one day. Meanwhile, I make do with shabby old business shirts and cotton trousers!

9. A good hat for gardening. Protecting our skin from the sun is vital whilst gardening. A good hat that filters out all or most of the sun's rays, stays on the head during gardening exertions, and looks OK, could be a welcome gift.

Flowers sent to me on Christmas Eve 2014

10. Flowers. Whilst it may seem like 'coals to Newcastle' to give a gardener flowers, one of my nicest gifts last Christmas was a beautiful floral arrangement in red, white and green, delivered to me on Christmas Eve.

Reader Comments

  • By Trish 2330 Monday, 07 December 2015

    Some great gift ideas here, many thanks, Trish Thanks, Trish. Seasons greetings. Deirdre

  • By Sue T. 2566 Monday, 07 December 2015

    Every year my local nursery, Tim"s Garden centre sells gift vouchers valued at fifty dollars at only forty dollars. Great value. I often buy some for myself. I"m sure some other nurseries would have gift vouchers too. They are easier to wrap than sugar cane mulch or a wheelbarrow. Sue Ditto the cow manure! Hve a great Christmas, Sue. Deirdre

  • By Sue 2073 Monday, 07 December 2015

    On my 60th birthday I was given a bag of ZooDoo by a friend who volunteered at Taronga. Perhaps if I had it now it would keep away the rabbits that are eating my plants. The lions and tigers might confuse them. Thank you Deidre for your blogs over the year. I hope you have a happy and "growing" Christmas. Sue Have never tried ZooDoo but sounds fab! Best wishes for Christmas. Deirdre

  • By Gil 2037 Monday, 07 December 2015

    Many thanks for the mention, Deirdre. Florilegium also has gift vouchers. All best wishes for the festive season, Gil

  • By DAVID 2068 Monday, 07 December 2015

    I hope Santa brings me a bag of organic reindeer poo. Merry Christmas. Happy Christmas. Reindeer manure could be fab. Deirdre

  • By Leigh 2107 Tuesday, 08 December 2015

    Merry Christmas Deirdre, to you and your family. I have enjoyed your blogs so much and am grateful to you for sharing your wisdom [my salvias are now flourishing!] I"d also like to wish all those who follow iGarden a safe and happy Christmas and a wonderful gardening year in 2016. Thanks so much for your feedback, Leigh. Have a great Christmas. Deirdre

  • By Jackie 2903 Tuesday, 08 December 2015

    In the past i have bought subscriptions to magazines. A Christmas gift that lasts all year. A great idea, Jackie. Deirdre

  • By john 2261 Saturday, 12 December 2015

    Thanks Deidre. I can now tell my wife that cow manure IS A gift!( I suggested it to her for me, it was met with a frown) Merry Christmas. Thanks, John; glad someone else agrees with that suggestion! Deirdre

  • By Tracey 2158 Friday, 25 December 2015

    Merry Christmas Deirdre and thank you for your blogs this year. I really enjoy reading them and always learn something. Many friends say I"m hard to buy for which I find difficult to believe because anything for the garden is happily received. I agree that a bag or two of cow manure is a great gift! Best wishes to you and your readers for a happy year of gardening in 2016 Tracey. Thanks so much, Tracey. All the best for 2016. Deirdre

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