Last minute Christmas Present Ideas for Gardeners

I am always so pleased to be asked for my opinions on anything garden-related. After working in horticulture for 25 years, it is very nice to be asked by magazines, newspapers and the BBC. This week I was on the radio again, giving recommendations for Christmas present ideas. Have a listen in to BBC Radio Down to Earth programme to hear my suggestions. Here’s a link http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05n7fh1 The programme starts at 9 minutes 10 on the timeline.

I’m practically living in these RHS Gold Leaf Gloves. They are so comfortable to use, and beautiful too. Here’s the link for more information at RHS shops. I absolutely love them. They are so practical – and pretty. British made, quality material, they have a padded palm, and little tabs to get them on and off easily. Well designed and well priced.

There are three designs, iris, rose and poppy, based on artwork from the RHS Lindley Library.

Mike Salotti – Brooksby College lecturer and DTE team member recommends Adopt a Vine Scheme as a great present idea for wine lovers. Here’s the details for the Hanwell Scheme. Hanwell Estate

My second suggestion is handmade soap from Cooks Lane Herbs, a Leicestershire company run by Sian and Richard. All natural ingredients, not tested on animals, and the packaging is recyclable. The scent is fabulous. They can be purchased mail order, or locally from farmers markets. Here’s the website link for Cooks Lane Herbs .

My third suggestion is an Urbalive worm composter from Wiggly wigglers .

Can be used in the greenhouse, garden shed, potting shed or kitchen even. The resulting liquid feed will be diluted down and used all around the garden next spring and summer. A great way to compost kitchen waste, and make free compost.

I wrote about my trial composter Here.

My fourth suggestion is Making Winter by Emma Mitchell, a creative guide for surviving the winter months, published by Michael O’Mara books. A delight from cover to cover. The photography is a mood-lifter to start with. I could just sit looking at the beautiful pictures to be honest. There’s crafts, cooking and activities to while away the winter months and survive cold, grey rainy days.

Recipes include Plum, Orange and Ginger Blondies. Delicious!

There’s knitting and crochet scarves to create.

A feast for the senses. Click on the Link to read read more about the book.

There are more great ideas on the rest of the hour-long programme. There’s suggestions for garden lighting, seeds, weather stations and bird feeders. Have a listen and let me know what you think of our ideas.

23 thoughts on “Last minute Christmas Present Ideas for Gardeners

  1. I have looked at both the wormery and the book since you mentioned them before, Karen, and have considered them as presents for myself at some stage…:) Thank you for bringing them to my attention

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    • Thank you Cathy. All going well with the wormery so far. Only one slight setback when I left the lid off a little bit and they all escaped. It was quite a job to get them back in. They were all over the greenhouse floor. In the end I got a paintbrush and carefully scooped them up. But they didn’t want to be rescued. Hope you are having a good weekend. x

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      • Fun times – reminds me of the maggots that escaped from the kitchen compost caddy…took ages to collect them and they wriggle so fast! Must have missed some as a few weeks later we had several days of odd flies just appearing – not very active though as they just headed for the window and I let them out

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    • Thank you Mike. Hope you’ve had a good weekend. Wet here today. I’ve been out Alison (papaver) to Calke Abbey. Thankfully the roads are not frozen today. I can cope with rain, but not snow. Have a good week xx

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  2. Karen today on Sunday the 17th I listened to your radio program on the BBC “Down of Earht” and it was great for me. The presenter has told you what you did with that basket with flowers. You have answered that you were carrying a cake and a floral arrangement. When everyone has tried your “cake” they did not believe that they had “ingredients from your garden”. They loved it because they talked eating! I have laughed a lot. Then you talked about Christmas gifts, and I did not know almost anything: only that you wanted to give things from the garden and others did not see it appropriate for these dates; and from a book by a writer who talked about trees? Where I have learned a lot and I have laughed a lot has been in the round of questions: “music, Christmas tree, food, crakers, beautiful flower of December, …..” In “belle flower of December” you have answered “heleboro”. I loved the program and I had a great time. As for your post of Christmas gifts it is magnificent and the photos of the greenhouse marvellous. The gloves are of quality and precious for their floral designs. The handmade soap made from natural ingredients and herbs is not expensive and is a very nice gift. The Vermicomposter is a great and very useful gift: it gives you your own compost of worm and liquid to fertilize the plants that you keep in a bottle with a stopper in the fridge that lasts about 6 weeks. The book “Making Winter” by Emm Mitchell seems wonderful to spend the winter with him and not bore you. Karen gives fond memories to your Mother. Layers of clothes like I do. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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    • Thank you Margarita. I’m not good at quizzes as I can’t think fast enough. I wasn’t expecting the quiz so I was like a dazzled rabbit in headlights! I am so glad you laughed. It’s a fun programme to be involved with. Thanks again for listening, reading and for taking the time to comment. I’m truly grateful. Love karen xx

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    • Ah, what we were laughing about was the fir cone from my garden that I made into bird feeders by adding melted fat and bird seeds, and adding a little string to hang it up. And Derek said it looked like a dead mouse!!!! That was the present from the garden. It’s confusing because you can’t see what we are talking about. xx

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    • Hi Dorris. Oh dear, I wonder what went wrong. It’s a pain to have to register, but it then remembers you each time you switch on. So it’s painful to start with, but then a dream after that. I’m listening to gardening programmes all around the country. So interesting to hear all the different ways of gardening. Please send me a screen shot of what it says and I’ll try to help you. My e mail is k.gimson@btinternet.com. Thanks for trying. Don’t give up 🙂 x

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  3. I’m very taken with your Wiggly Wigglers composter – I’m wondering now whether I could squeeze one of those onto my balcony! (On the other hand, the thought of escaping worms isn’t very appealing!) A lovely selection of gifts, Karen. PS. I would have bought Emma’s book but I’m already familiar with the crafts in there; instead I treated myself to a couple of Barbara Segall’s herb and garden books from Amazon. 🙂 xx

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    • Hi Caro, well, I approve of anything by Barbara Segall. A fabulous writer who takes you to the heart of every subject and makes you feel as if she’s in the room with you giving advice. A rare quality for writers. The worms are behaving themselves now. It was entirely my fault and not theirs. I left the lid slightly ajar, and they all escaped into a nice warm greenhouse full of compost and plants! I corralled them back in – and they have never escaped again. I made sure I put a duvet over the top to keep them cosy in there. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch. See you next year xx

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