Go Organic: Christmas gifts for gardenersBy James Ashford
December 17, 2012
Buying Christmas presents for gardeners is never easy. They tend to be frugal souls and often have most of the things they need.
There are plenty of gadgets and gizmos on offer in garden centres but most of them are about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
So I thought I’d try and help by coming up with a few suggestions in case you’re stuck for ideas.
A year’s membership of Garden Organic is something of a bargain at £30 (£24 for concessions).
Europe’s biggest organic gardening organisation provides a wealth of information and advice for novice and experienced growers and you get 10 per cent off most goods in the Organic Gardening Catalogue.
Every gardener needs a pair of secateurs. There are lots on the market but none better than the ones made by Felco. These Swiss-made snippers cost around £40 but are a joy to use and will last a lifetime if you look after them. My parents bought me a pair about 15 years ago and they are as good as new. You can also buy replacement parts for them should you ever need to.
The No. 2 model is the best all-rounder. The No. 6 is good for people with smaller hands.
Still in the cutting department but considerably cheaper is a pocket knife.
Gardeners always need a good sharp knife and while there are some beautiful and very expensive alternatives the one I recommend is made by Opinel.
This classic French pocket knife is elegant, simple and effective. The carbon-steel blade is easy to sharpen and a revolving collar keeps it safely locked in position. The No. 6 model is just about the right size for most gardeners and their pockets and you can buy one for around £7.
Gardeners always need bits of string for tying in plants and there is nothing better for the job than jute twine.
Nutscene still make their jute in Dundee. You can buy it in traditional spools and it’s in rather nice tins which stop it getting tangled. I couldn’t bring myself to spend £7 on tin of twine but I’d be delighted if I find one in my stocking on Christmas Day.