There’s only a week to go until the big day so I guess I’d better make a start to the Christmas shopping!
Only kidding – but despite my best intentions to get the gifts for the family bought in plenty of time, I’ve somehow still managed to leave it all until the last minute.
So I cannot lie, I do still have a couple of gifts yet to buy.
If you’re in the same boat as me and needing some last minute inspiration, have you ever considered a gardening gift for a friend or loved one?
A new tool, perhaps a book on growing veg, or how about a few of you chipping in together to a get a compost bin for the green-fingered member of the family.
It may feel the wrong time of year to be buying such a gift but I can assure you it’ll go down a treat.
Now, before I go any further I would like to make it clear to you and my editor that I’m not taking advantage of my position here to announce a wish list of mine, however…..
What is it we say in Scotland? It’s not the fact we can’t go outside because it’s raining or it’s cold, we just don’t have the correct clothes on!
Those crisp, clear mornings
I’m looking outside the window at a cold, crisp morning with beautiful clear-blue skies just cracking for getting outside and cutting down a bit of herbaceous or turning the compost heap.
The chilly weather might be enough to put some folk off but at this time of year we need to take advantage of these days to get jobs done, a nice warm hat and a thermal pair of gardening gloves is all we need to get started with regular sips of tea from our insulated mugs to keep us going.
As far as I know insulated biscuits have yet to be invented so maybe you could sweet-talk the indoor gardener to supply a wee bacon roll for your efforts too.
There’s lots of reasons why I’ve fallen in love with gardening but one in particular being that there’s usually more than the one way to reach the same goal.
And that’s why I enjoy talking to fellow gardeners so much, there’s always something new to learn from each other.
‘Garden and let garden’ is what I say but if I can, I’ll urge you all to do so more sustainable next year.
Actually, there’s a great book…
A great source of useful knowledge on this subject, one I often refer to, is ‘Plastic Free Gardening’ by Fiona Thackeray.
She brilliantly covers many aspects of gardening explaining what the problems are and then giving us simple, practical solutions.
I thoroughly recommend this book as a starting point as us gardeners lead the way in showing the world how we all must be caring for the planet better in the future.
Tools such as hoes, rakes, spades and forks can either make a nice wee gift individually or as part of a set for a new gardener.
You get some lovely-looking as well as practical tools today.
I go for stainless steel options these days finding them strong and reliable.
Plus for me gardening on clay soil the mud doesn’t stick so much to them, making life a lot easier when on the job and cleaning them after.
I’d keep the receipt though as us gardeners can be a fussy lot.
Size does matter
To be fair we do come in all shapes and sizes and with the likes of a hoe they are made with ‘one size fits all’ in mind and sometimes I find the angle of the head is just not quite right for my ‘Hen Broon’ frame.
This is a key tool in the shed for me and needs to fit right.
You can whizz around the garden beds keeping the weeds at bay with a weekly light hoe of the soil but you’ll end up with a sair back if you don’t pick the right one.
Another essential hand tool I’d say is a good pair of secateurs and you can get a nice lightweight holder for them too that clips on to your trousers.
Secateurs are vital
No matter what I’m doing in the garden I like to have my secateurs clipped on to me.
The amount of times you walk past a job needing done that gets forgotten – but if you’ve got them with you, the job can get done instantly.
These along with loppers and pruning saws are all nice little gifts any gardener would love receiving.
And don ‘t forget the plants
Poinsettia is a plant that I think we all have in our homes at this time of year and has now become a festive favourite.
Grown for its Santa-suit coloured bracts, that also come in shades of pink and white, it will always have a special meaning to me.
My gran used to like getting one for her birthday, which was on Christmas Eve.
Right, I’m off to the garden centre to get my shopping Christmas shopping done.