Yes, yes, I know it’s still officially summer and way too soon to be thinking about Christmas, but I always think gardening-based goodies make great festive presents as they can be saved for spring and rediscovered when all those other presents have lost their sheen. My ultimate child present is membership of the Secret Seed Society. For Â£30, the recipient will receive five ‘story packs’ comprising a garden-themed tale starring characters such as Carla Carrot and Rudi Radish, organic seeds and growing instructions and a recipe through the letterbox over the course of a year.
Another lovely pressie is this wooden apple crate complete with a choice of seeds – Scrummy Healthy Veg, Happy Herbs or Flower Bunch. Get it personalised for a really thoughtful birthday or christening offering. Â£22, Plantabox.
Trugs are a fabulous invention and this one by Sting in the Tail is packed full of green-fingered usefulness: apron, gloves, twine, pencil, plant label and seedtape. All you need to start your own vegetable patch like Mr McGregor – there’s even a little rabbit soap. Â£21.95, The Little Baby Company.
Every budding (sorry!) gardener needs a wheelbarrow and this Vilac one is just the right size and the colourways are so cool – chic red and black or cheeky yellow and green. Â£34.99, Thumbelina Toys.
If you already have a dedicated gardener on your hands, then it’s well worth investing in Moulin Roty’s divine Le Jardinier set – a fork, trowel, assorted seeds, miniature watering can and three plant pots with dried soil, all packaged up in a Â super-cute suitcase. Â£55, Couverture.
Seeds are essential, of course, but why plant boring old cress, when you can grow Monster (snapdragon, asparagus fern and that weird plant that moves when you touch it) and Bug-eating (venus flytrap and pitcher) plants? The packs include shapes to cut out for your markers, too. Â£12.75, Lilac Coast at Not on the High Street.
Seeds can prove a little fiddly, however, so you might want to experiment with the new wave of plantable seed-impregnated papers that are doing the rounds. I’m loving this Wild Herbs plantable record (they also do Petal Power and a comic book version. Â£8, The Balcony Gardener.
Matchstick gardens have been around for a while (we had them as one of the favours at our wedding in 2006), but are still majorly cool and make genius party bag treats or stocking fillers. Â£1.50 a book, Omlet.
It can be difficult to get little ones to wear gloves, but it does help prevent scratches and cuts and does make cleaning up easier. These groovy Gruffalo gloves should prove a winner. Â£3.99, The Gruffalo Shop.
And for the mini horticulturalist who has everything? How about a make-your-own scarecrow kit? Yes, you can design and create your very own bird scarer from coffee sacks, a broom handle and bamboo canes. Just add a hat and a little imagination! Â£28, Hen & Hammock. And if you’d rather encourage than frighten away the birds and beasties, stay tuned forÂ my post on the best buys to encourage wildlife to your garden.