Practical gift-giving for the gardener

  • Seed sowing: a fun way for kids to learn about nature in a touchy-feely way (Photograph supplied)

    Seed sowing: a fun way for kids to learn about nature in a touchy-feely way (Photograph supplied)

What’s in your Christmas stocking?

So, it’s that time of year again. Presents, I like to think, are personal, but when it comes to the garden, function and practicality are more appreciated.

Below, some useful, practical items that will spur the user into a dynamic burst of activity!

For stay-at-home mums, consider items that could encourage children to assist during “playtime” in the garden.

Seed sowing is a fun way for kids to learn about nature in a touchy-feely way.

Once seeds are germinated, they can then be planted into small pots, which kids love. A small pair of wellingtons would really be a big hit for any child, especially on a wet day!

For the seniors in the household, functional, practical tools or equipment will be appreciated with time, especially if of good quality and lasting ability.

The old-fashioned ‘wheelbarrow’ still has a useful function as a vehicle for carrying a miscellany of items from leaves to tools to fertiliser.

If there is an absolute need to use a blower, which I do not, consider buying a combo blower/vacuum, which allows you to collect the leaves after they have been spread hither and yon.

Excluding blowers and weed whackers — my pet hates — the most popular tools in the garden are secateurs, loppers, small chainsaws and telescopic pruners.

All the aforementioned are used regularly for important tasks and should last if of a good quality, contingent on them being maintained.

Spreaders are great for applying granular fertiliser and herbicides to lawns; always wash out after use. For large lawns use the broadcast spreader while smaller lawns are best tackled with a drop spreader.

Both types are calibrated for usage, which is usually shown in pounds per thousand square feet.

Do read the calibration instructions as to the type of fertiliser used, as they may not always be compatible. Lawn sprinklers and wands with rose ends for watering are also very useful.

The old-fashioned trug is very useful for carrying flowers or veggies back to the house. Also of great use are various styles of jute bags and sacks for carrying and holding small tools or small plants.

Wooden furniture, such as bench and rocking chairs, made of white cedar is very attractive and also functional; bamboo torches can add light to a patio and also keep insects away.

Especially attractive when trying to enhance a garden are collections of ornaments such as ducks, turtles and fountains. These could also be used with the white cedar furniture to make a statement.

If attractive containers are your thing, many shapes and sizes are available. To assist in moving them once planted, consider purchasing a small trolley for the task; a lot easier than moving by hand.

For interesting long-lived plants, consider the numerous varieties and species of Bermuda roses which offer beautiful blooms and fragrances.

They can be found in bush form, climbers and ramblers. In today’s world of health-conscious living, a fruit tree would not go amiss, but most require protected areas from wind and salt spray.

Whatever you give as a gift, be it a plant, tools or equipment, hopefully it will be appreciated for the task for which it was given.

Enjoy your festive season and look forward to next year’s garden calendar.

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Published Dec 19, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 19, 2018 at 7:34 am)

Practical gift-giving for the gardener

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