I've just written my Christmas wish list. If you have a keen gardener in your life, it may well give you some inspiration for their perfect Christmas present!
Sharpening tool – if you look after your tools, your tools will look after you. Keeping your secateurs sharp is key to efficient pruning and to stop gardeners getting tennis elbow, from too much straining. A handheld sharpening tool is a practical , small and handy gift that would be perfect as a stocking filler.
A rose, named for someone or somewhere special – I’ve always fancied the job of being an imaginative plant-namer! Roses, in particular, have some beautiful names including place names. Browse the David Austin and Peter Beale websites for inspiration: you are bound to find a rose whose name has special meaning. Some of my favourites are Olivia Rose Austin, Hot Chocolate and Scarborough Fair.
Wilding by Isabella Tree – this book is astounding. It tells the story of the Knepp Estate in West Sussex. Over the last decade they have let the farmland go – literally go – to see what it might return to. It is a fascinating read, and once you’ve finished it, you will want to go and visit: it is not too far away!
Metalbird UK – their beautifully handcrafted bird silhouettes are a gorgeous addition to any garden. From robins and wrens (my favourite), to owls and woodpeckers, these would make a very special gift.
Hand cream – I love the gardener’s hand creams from O’Keefe’s or Crabtree & Evelyn. Completely different packaging on each, appealing to two varieties of gardener!
RHS membership – RHS Wisley is on our doorstep and is an inspirational garden to visit all year round. Treat your special gardener to annual membership, and they can take a guest for free when visiting.
A really thick kneeling pad – I’m very much a kneeling gardener. Mainly for weeding, but also for planting, I find kneeling much easier on my back. A really thick kneeling pad makes this work much more comfy.
Bird feeders and supplies – I’m always keen to encourage birds in to the garden for me to watch, but also to help with pests. Practical or decorative, whatever you choose will be warmly received, I'm sure.
Wildlife camera trap – carrying on with the wildlife theme…Many a gardener and keen naturalist would love to see the nocturnal wildlife that lives in their garden. A camera trap records night footage you can review the next day, to discover what goes on in the dark in your garden.
Veg cookbook: Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall – the perfect cookbook for a veg grower: delicious dishes which are deceptively simple.
I hope that gives you some ideas. (I’m also hoping my family might be reading this too!) Have a fantastic Christmas and here’s to a blooming good 2022!
Renée is also known as The Girl who Gardens. She is a gardener, designer and botanical artist, who is looking forward to the Christmas break and some time snuggled up on the sofa with a good book, while planning next year's changes to her own garden.
You can read more about her work at www.thegirlwhogardens.co.uk