My gardening Valentine – Garden view
In the run-up to Valentine’s Day someone always asks me what they should buy for the gardener in their life.
It’s a tricky question to answer. Many people think we must like cut flowers, but actually I’m not keen and most gardeners I know aren’t either. We have gardens full of the things after all, and we tend to prefer our plants living and breathing in their natural environment, rather than imported from abroad and wrapped in cellophane.
Unless you know a bit about gardening, and the tastes of your own particular gardener you’re probably best-off avoiding plants too. The non-green-fingered venture into dangerous territory when they try to buy plants because there are so many variables. Will it suit the soil? Is it too invasive? Will it poison the gardener’s dog…or children…eek?
It’s a thorny issue (pardon the pun) so here is my go-to gift list guaranteed to make you the Valentine hero of your gardening amour.
Don’t buy a sweatshirt which declares ‘head-gardener. They are naff, and most gardeners prefer old, comfy clothes which do the job better. However, if you present your gardener with a tough tunic or gardening apron, which is thorn-proof, and which has lots of deep pockets to house secateurs and trowels, they will love you forever.
Then there are wellies. Who knew wellies could be romantic? But gardening folk drool over wellies the way Supermodels drool over Jimmy Choos. And there’s so much wellie-choice now. We all prefer something with a thick sole but there are bright and colourful wellies and traditional ones. For the ultimate in warmth and breathability I can recommend a proper Gore-Tex pair…sheer luxury. Mine remain the favourite Valentine gift my husband ever bought me. He knows how to romance a woman!
“For the ultimate in warmth and breathability I can recommend a proper Gore-Tex pair…sheer luxury.”
A proper long-necked watering can, with a brass rose will also earn you Valentine brownie points. Bigger isn’t necessarily better though unless your Valentine boasts big biceps! Watering cans are heavy when full. I find 3-4 litres is about the right size.
A bunch of long-stemmed red roses will set you back at least £40 and they might last a few days. For a similar price you can buy the gardener in your life Felco secateurs (with Valentine red handles) and they’ll last forever. I know which I’d prefer.
Garden trugs are so practical. Most gardeners I know would be delighted to receive one. The trug is a great gift but even better when filled with a few gardening goodies such as packets of seed, water retaining granules, plant food etc. You could add some hand tools too, such as a trowel and a fork. Make sure they are stainless steel and have long handles for ease of use.
And insulated mug or a good flask will always warm the heart of your Valentine because hot drinks don’t remain hot for long outside, even on a warm day.
Finally, don’t forget gardening vouchers. Often us gardeners spot the perfect plant or gardening accessory when we’re strapped for cash, so vouchers are a perfect gift to save for a rainy day…and gardeners love rainy days, Valentine’s or not.
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