Seed of an idea

Stuck for inspiration regarding a Christmas gift for the green-fingered person(s) in your life? Read on, read on . . .

Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 01:00

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).


Gifts from €50-€100
A ticket to the world’s most famous garden show, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (20th-24th May, 2014, £23-£68 rhs.org.uk); A year’s subscription to the Rolls Royce of gardening magazines, Gardens Illustrated (£49.99, buysubscriptions.com); Lightweight, breathable, warm, comfortable with a neoprene shell construction that’s 100 per cent waterproof and self-insulating, Muck Boots aren’t your average wellies (from €52, whitesagri.ie, also wellies.ie); A ticket to Strip: Exposing Layers & Meaning in 21st Century Garden Design, the Garden and Landscape Design Association’s 2014 seminar (February 8th, 2014) whose speakers will include award-winning designer Oliver Schurmann, landscape architect Feargus McGarvey, sculptor/topiary expert Jake Hobson, and garden historian/author/critic Tim
Richardson (€40 students/€55 members/€65 public, glda.ie); A ‘Born In Sweden’ sleekly contemporary watering can in white, black or zingy orange (€70, formalityonline.com); A gift voucher from Mount Venus, one of the country’s very best specialist nurseries
(mountvenusnursery.com).


Gifts from €100-€500
One of the 100 specially commissioned, botanically-inspired fine art prints from the Graphic Studio touring exhibition A Natural Selection, now showing in Greenacres Gallery in Wexford (€100 unframed, €140 framed, anaturalselectiongsd.com and graphicstudiodublin.com); A hand-forged copper spade from Fruithill Farm (€109-€132, fruithillfarm.com); The Kadai fire pit/barbecue on legs, perfect for cooking produce from the garden (€195) or the Cross Beam Fruit Press (€295) to make your own apple juice (both from quickcrop.ie); A made-to-order, adult-sized wooden rope swing, with a hand-carved inscription (from £149, sittingspiritually.co.uk); A course that helps you to make your own fire brazier, which is taken under the guidance of artists and blacksmiths Calnan & Anhoj (€220, calnan-anhoj.ie); Opticron Oregon waterproof binoculars to study garden wildlife (€125, birdwatchireland.ie).

Over €500
A tour of the gardens of Tuscany with Dermot O’ Neil (from €879) or the gardens of Lake Como with Frances MacDonald (from €899, see traveldepartment.ie); A Plants Person’s Course with Jimi Blake of Hunting Brook Gardens (10 days, one day per month, from February 23rd, 2014, €888, with 20 per cent discount for members of RHSI, GLDA, ALCI and garden.ie, see huntingbrook.com); A smart glasshouse to keep plants snugly protected from the elements (from about €800, polydome.ie); A bespoke garden gazebo or summerhouse from Dublin-based Victorian Garden Buildings (from €2,972 excluding installation costs, victoriangardenbuildings.com); A garden shed that is so chic you wouldn’t mind turning it into your very own secret hideout (€8,500 for the Newport, one of the Hoard range available from Formality, see formalityonline.com)


Prices don’t include p&p. A round-up of the year’s best gardening books will follow later this month.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.