On the perfect Christmas gifts for the green thumbs in your life
We’ve all got them. There’s always at least one in every family and sometimes there are quite a few as they tend to cluster. They are easy to spot, they seem to constantly have dirt under their finger nails no matter how much they scrub their hands, you always seem to see them with a leafy background like they possess a verdant aura and there is the slight whiff of good earth that follows them where ever the go. They are the family gardeners. Trust me, if you are buying a Christmas present for a gardener it should be functional, inspirational or a plant.
Presents that have a function are usually my favourites, things like hand tools, propagation equipment and safety gear, even compost bins and worm farms.
If you are choosing a tool as a present it is best to take into account the physical attributes and abilities of the gardener it is intended for. Nana is unlikely to be swinging a block buster and delicate floral snips are probably going to be pretty useless in Uncle Harold the blacksmith’s giant hands. Many useful tools such as diggers, wheelbarrows and leather gloves are now available in small sizes, not just jokey toys but sturdy items for those tiny green thumbs.
Like all of us, gardeners love to be inspired and there is a seemingly endless flow of books on every garden related topic. So much literature has been written on the subject, both practical and aspirational and a book makes a mighty fine present for people of any age. If you are after a gift that lasts well after the Christmas lights have been taken down then
One word of advice on plants [to give as gifts] though, going for smaller growing plants is best
there are magazine subscriptions, club memberships, tours and short courses in a huge range of horticultural pursuits.
I do realise I am very biased, but in my opinion a plant is the most well rounded gift you can give. It can be classy, beautiful, useful and if it’s something like an apple tree, it is the ultimate example of a gift that keeps on giving. I really do dread to think of the amount of times an essential Christmas gift has been brought at a very patient nursery at 4.55pm on Christmas Eve.
One word of advice on plants though, going for smaller growing plants is best. There’s always a space for potted colour or a small shrub but unless the receiver has acreage, a blue gum is probably going to be too much for a standard back yard.
Indoor plants are having a resurgence in popularity and it’s something that will brighten a room and can be enjoyed every day.
Making or growing your own is even better. Last year some of the sweetest things the girls got were succulents planted in retro mugs, gifted from cousins and still growing strong on a stone wall in the back garden. A plait of home grown garlic is always gratefully received and bay leaf wreathes, apricot jam from the previous summers fruit and slender bottles of raspberry infused vodka are quite sought after in many circles. Hand decorated packets of open pollinated seeds and vouchers for future labour are not to be dismissed, as someone’s time and care is surely at a premium these days.
Giving freely and with the right intention, mindful that the gift is something that will be genuinely needed or appreciated is the essence of gift giving and remember, a gift can be anything, whether it be time, effort or a bag of manure.