As shops are already adorned with baubles, tinsel, fairy lights and mistletoe in preparation for the Christmas rush, come in from the garden for a few minutes to consider what your gardening friends and family might like under the tree this festive season.
Every year, garden centres turn themselves into sparkling grottos, offering all sorts of gifts ranging from practical tools to aromatic room fragrances, seeds in beautiful packaging, deluxe outdoor clothing, bird boxes, hedgehogs houses and other gardening paraphernalia.
So, what’s new? The gardener who needs somewhere to put his secateurs and other small tools while he’s working should check out Burgon & Ball’s new Poc-kit utility belt, a comfortable belt with waterproof neoprene pockets, which will house small tools such as a pocket knife and plant labels, and has its own twine dispensing eyelet. Available in a range of colours, £14.95, www.burgonandball.com
Those who want to house larger tools, such as forks and trowels, may prefer a full-size gardening apron. Bag a bargain with the Esschert Design short textile Garden Apron, which is full of pockets and pouches for your tools. Currently priced at £7.20, www.amazon.co.uk
If you are a Havaiana flip-flop fan in the summer, you may want to take a look at the bright and beautiful rain boots those Brazilian maestros have come up with in firework brights or classic winter shades, ranging from black to super pink, in full length or mid-calf. Perfect for the garden and so comfortable. Prices start at £45, from www.havaianas-store.com
For the gardener who likes all-in-one gizmos, a really useful MultiTool Garden from Wilkinson Sword may be just the job. Made from black anodised aluminium and stainless steel, it boasts 14 different functions, including pruner, a knife, spanners, screwdriver, a saw, can opener, bottle opener and a file. Not only does it have a solution for all outdoor situations, it is also small enough to fit in your pocket. £17.99, www.wilkinsonsword-tools.co.uk
There are so many bird boxes on the market, but if you want a stylish version for your loved one, the Posh Bird Box is beautifully hand-crafted with eye catching scalloped edges. Handmade from high-quality redwood timber, the cedar shingle roofs are removable and easy to clean. The boxes are available in a range of colours - standard colours £35, or bespoke colours for £50 inc p&p, www.theposhshedcompany.co.uk
Personalised items often go down well with gardeners, from flora and fauna calendars to aprons, shed signs and mugs. Personalised wooden boxes to house gardening bits and pieces are available (from £24.99) from www.gettingpersonal.com, while Christmas dinner and home-grown veg could be served from silver-plated vintage vegetable serving spoons with a quirky engraving on the spoon. £27.99, www.ijustloveit.co.uk
Alternatively, create your own hamper of gardening goodies, including unusual plant labels and seeds, decorative seed tins (I like The Perfect for Pollinators Flower Collection and Award Winning Vegetable Collection comprising 10 packets of Johnsons seeds in a high quality reusable tin, £14.99, www.johnsons-seeds.com), colourful gardening twine and pretty notebooks. Add some pampering items and you’re on to a winner for her.
These might include a luxurious Gardener’s Hand Healer Duo from Le Couvent Des Minimes (£15, www.lecouventdesminimes.com), which comprises Ultra Cleansing Gel and Smoothing Moisturising Lotion with essence of lemon and geranium.
Alternatively, if your pal likes to languish in a hot bath at the end of a long day’s gardening, the ultimate in luxury is Jo Malone and this year’s Christmas range is wrapped in mistletoe green. The Bath & Body Collection, of Orange Blossom Body Creme, Blackberry & Bay Bath Soap and Lime, Basil & Mandarin Shower Oil will keep the scent of the garden wafting long after the sun has gone down. £48, for stockists visit www.jomalone.co.uk
Of course, the most ardent gardeners will make their own jams and chutneys from home-grown produce, but what they may not be able to make themselves is a festive Spiced Apple & Cocoa Nib Chutney from Hotel Chocolat, featuring top-quality roasted cocoa nibs, Granny Smith apples, grapes, cinnamon, ginger with a dash of rum and brandy. £5, for stockists, visit www.hotelchocolat.com
With the craze in adult colouring, you could slip in Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden Journal, in which the recipient can write notes on flora and fauna, as well as colour in 72 garden-based illustrations. £12.95, published by Laurence King on November 16, www.waterstones.com
Providing a good Christmas for gardeners could prove an easier job than you thought.