Go Organic: Christmas gifts for gardenersBy James Ashford
December 02, 2011
The Sunday supplements are full of gardening gift guides which can only mean Christmas is just around the corner.
I’m always entertained by the ideas on offer from the posher papers.
Presumably someone buys imitation lead planters at £83 a pop but quite how that’s value for money for a fibreglass tub eludes me.
I was also amused by the recycled leather, yes, recycled leather apron for £60. And the sheepskin-lined Wellingtons for a mere £160.
If you’re feeling playful you could plump for an English oak swing for £365. I bought my first car for less.
I suppose part of the problem stems from gardeners themselves. We tend to re-use, repair and recycle just about everything and anything until it has fallen to bits or rotted away. Which means there isn’t very much we really need.
And that makes us quite hard to buy Christmas presents for.
But you don’t need to spend a fortune to gladden a gardener’s heart.
Often it is the little things that are the most useful.
Twine is always welcome. It is just string really but softer and nicer to use.
You can buy it for as little as £3.50 a roll or for around £6 in a tin which keeps it nice and dry.
Like most gardeners I wouldn’t dream of spending £3 on a ball of string but I’m very happy to find one in my Christmas stocking. If you get it from Nutscene (www.nutscene.com) you’re also buying a traditional produce made in the UK.
Some years ago my son (bless him) bought me an Opinel pocketknife (www.opinel.com).
It travels to the allotment with me every time I go and is a real gem.
Made from beech with a carbon steel blade it is cheap, simple and elegant. You can pick them up for around £7.
And the gift that is always at the top of my Christmas list is a year’s membership of Garden Organic (www.gardenorganic.org.uk).
They are Europe’s largest organic gardening organisation.
Members get a quarterly magazine, a dedicated helpline and 10 per cent off most items in the Organic Gardening Catalogue.