Seed of an idea
Stuck for inspiration regarding a Christmas gift for the green-fingered person(s) in your life? Read on, read on . . .
Gifts for the gardener
Gifts under €25
Enjoy even more figgy pudding with Ficus ‘Two-Timer’, a fig tree that crops not just once but twice in the same year (€19.95, mrmiddleton.com); The Cutting Globe, a knacky new Irish-designed product which allows gardeners to propagate plants by air-layering them (from €5, thecuttingglobe.com); A paper potter to cleverly recycle old newspapers into biodegradable pots (€14.95-€19.95, dyg.ie); A variety of seasonal, mossy pots filled with scented hyacinths, cyclamen and amaryllis, from The Garden at Powerscourt Townhouse Centre (from €18.95, thegardenpowerscourt.ie); A Zippo handwarmer, for chilly spring mornings on the allotment (£13.65, see amazon.co.uk); A calendar beautifully illustrated with west Cork artist Sonia Caldwell’s watercolours of healing plants (€12.50, kilcoestudios.com) or The Irish Kitchen Garden Gardening Calendar 2014, designed by horticulturist Lynne O’ Keefe-Lascar, and filled with useful monthly tips (€8.50, theirishkitchengarden.com); Vintage containers recycled as pots and planted up by horticulturist Niamh Browne of the Dublin Garden Boutique (from €18, see facebook.com/Dublin-Garden-Boutique), Burgon & Ball Kneelo knee pads to take the pain out of weeding (€19.95, thesecretgardener.com); A gift set containing Showa Floreo gardening gloves, hand soaps and hand cream (€23.85, ballymaloeshop.ie); A Christmas Stuffing herb pot, from the Courtyard Gardener at Formality (from €20, facebook.com/the courtyardgardener); A traditional seed tray tamper made from FSC oak (€14.95, thesecretgardener.com); A ‘boot jack’ to help prise off those muddy wellies (€14.95, dyg.ie); The Dib Dab, a handy dibber tool that includes a mini ‘diblet’ and prongs to mark out the perfect seed drill (€12.95), or a pot brush to give the inside of terracotta pots a good scrub-down (€14.95), (both from quickcrop.ie); The award-winning ‘Born in Sweden’ birdfeeder, which can be mounted onto a window pane (€20, formalityonline.com); Emma Bridgewater’s limited-edition bird-themed mugs (€21, birdwatchireland.ie); Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’, a new semi-evergreen daphne that produces its deeply scented flowers continuously from early spring right through to autumn (€18, Altamont Plant Sales, altamontplants.com)
Gifts from €25-€50
One of Cork-based Brown Envelope Seeds ‘Purple Veg’ gift boxes, which includes seed of nine different purple vegetables, all exceptionally rich in anthocyanins – the plant compounds associated with a range of health benefits (€25, brownenvelopeseeds.com); Famous French cutlery company Opinel’s three-piece gift set of folding garden knives, (£39.95,
amazon.co.uk); The sculptural Seedpod birdfeeder, made in west Cork and hand-turned from native Irish oak (€29.95, quercus.ie) A one-year subscription to The Irish Garden magazine, Ireland’s best-selling gardening monthly (from €25, mediateam.ie); One of Waterford-based Irish Handmade Glass Company’s delicately beautiful glass vases, to show off those lovely home-grown flowers (Summer Days Bud vase, €39.95, theirishhandmadeglasscompany.com); A Cloonkeen Atelier handmade scented candle to bring the smells of the garden – blackcurrant, mint, gooseberry, moss, roses- indoors (€32.95, cloonkeenatelier.com); A natty garden flask (€24.95, thegardenpowerscourt.ie); A wind-up, mechanical singing bird, a quirky gift for those days when it’s just too wet/cold to venture outdoors (€25.95, dyg.ie); dOne of Hafod Grange’s dandelion seed-head paperweights from Dublin florist Appassionata (€45, appassionata.ie); A boules set, always good fun on a hot summer’s day (€29.95, dyg.ie); A gift-boxed flower press, to preserve garden memories (€34.95, quickcrop.ie); Magnolia ‘Leonard Messel, a beautiful, lime-tolerant small tree that produces star-shaped pink flowers on bare branches in mid-spring (€26.95, mrmiddleton.com); Any of the Dutch-made Sneeboer range of handmade tools (fruithillfarm.com); One-year membership of the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland (from €10-€40, rhsi.ie), The Irish Garden Plant Society (€15.50- €30, irishgardenplantsociety.com) Grow It Yourself (from €25, giyinternational.org) or supporter of Irish Seed Savers Association (from €50, irishseedsavers.ie).