This Christmas give the gift of gardening

Dobies Veg Seed Hamper	
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[dropcap type =”circle”]I[/dropcap]f you struggle every year to answer the question “What would you like for Christmas?” you may want to show this article to your nearest and dearest to give them some ideas. Equally, if you really don’t want to be buying yet another garden centre voucher for someone, then look no further. I’m going to share with you my suggestions for gardening related Christmas gifts.
At the top of my list as the best garden related present ever, it has to be the homemade hamper. It doesn’t matter what type of gardening you’re into as you can tailor it to suit different styles, and there are many tools, equipment and supplies that any gardener would be glad to receive. I did this earlier in the year as a present for my Father-in-law and he absolutely loved it!
My advice (unfortunately from personal experience) would be to buy the ‘hamper’ after the contents, otherwise you end up squeezing and squashing your gifts into it to make them fit. I used a small storage basket, so that it could be reused to store all those small loose items that end up on the floor of the potting shed (labels, support rings etc). You could also decorate a cardboard box with recyclable wrapping paper (both of which can then be shredded and added to the compost bin).
So, what consumables do gardener’s regularly have to replace? I added two liquid feeds, one for vegetables and flowering plants, and the other for ericaceous (acid loving) plants. These are not too expensive to buy for the hamper, but when you’re using them up several times throughout the growing season, a gardener would welcome you including these.
I also popped in a reel of Jute twine, a packet of plant labels and a permanent marker (I’m always losing mine), a couple of packets of seeds, and a pair of mini snippers (these are fantastic for deadheading plants with small flower heads such as Pansies and Violas, and I would be lost without mine).
Another very useful present would be a gardening journal. These are invaluable for planning the ground layout for next season’s planting (especially vegetables), keeping a record of what you have planted and when, and keeping a seed inventory. An alternative to this would be a 2019 diary for recording planting and harvesting dates, but make sure it has a gardening related theme on the cover to make it just that extra bit special.
If you would like to give (or receive) a gardening gift that will last a full 12 months, why not consider a subscription to a gardening magazine, or an annual membership to the Royal Horticultural Society? My husband very kindly subscribed me to Gardener’s World magazine for my birthday this year, and I really look forward to it arriving in the post each month. My membership with the RHS this year has enabled me to have some lovely days out visiting both the RHS Garden at Wisley and a number of their partner gardens.
Although there is the temptation these days to go first to the internet for advice and information, I absolutely love reading from a book and have such a collection that it would be challenging for someone to buy me another without running the risk of duplication or near similar subjects. When it comes to buying gardening books, look for the unusual. I have an excellent reference guide to practical Latin, which explains the meanings behind many botanical names, and is highly recommended to give to someone who wants to learn more about their hobby.
Gardener’s World Live, Blenheim Palace Flower Show, Chelsea Flower Show! Tickets are already on sale for 2019 for these gardening related events. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting these (and many more) and can honestly say they make a great day out and would make a fantastic Christmas present!
Finally, I would like to thank you for following my blog over the past few months, and look forward to seeing you again in January with plenty to talk about as we approach the start of the growing season. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year! Now…..I just need to print this off, and leave it somewhere for my husband to see……………

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