Unfortunately I haven't got another gardener to buy for, but here's what I'd buy if I knew a dedicated digger in need of a gift:
1. Quality hand tools Pictured left are my own favourite hand tools. Sometimes I accidentally throw them on the compost heap, but they always come back to me. My hand fork is by Wolf. Although a little heavier than some, it has a lovely, confident strength in the hand and wasn't expensive.
Why do I emphasise quality? Take a look at the secateurs below.
free gift with some irises I ordered this summer. I took one look at them and knew they were not built for the duration, but thought they might be useful if I left them (under cover) on our supper terrace, handy for snipping the sweet peas growing there.
About 3 weeks later (just as the rust was beginning to accumulate in spite of the fact they'd never had a sniff of rain and were well WD40d) my eye was caught by an ad for these same secateurs, boasting the marvels of their stainless steel blades and user-friendly handles. Not to mention the year's guarantee that was offered. If they hadn't been free ...
My Felco No. 2 secateurs on the right are about 20 years old (and that might be conservative). Four weeks ago they suffered a minor breakdown and had to spend a brief period in a rehabilitation centre. 'You don't know what you've got till it's gone' is all I can say ... it just goes to prove that sometimes the oldies are not only more efficient, they can also be better looking!
It has a week to view, which means I have plenty of space to jot down all the jobs for that week. And then there's room at the back for planning notes - many gardening diaries are just too small, with not enough room for scribbling.
It came with a separate organiser for 2014 (pictured open, above the diary). The layout is much as for the diary itself, with two days to view. There's room for me to jot down the temperature readings I take every day, as well as weather notes. It also gives me sunset/sunrise times and a recipe or health tip every couple of days. Best of all (as you can see from the picture, I hope), there's a monthly planner for my veggie plot, based on cultivating a set number of narrow beds. Very useful for someone like me who is a bit of a veggie novice.
The only drawback is that I have a suspicion the binding will be shot by June. Spiral binding is probably best, particularly for a gardener's diary, which is a bit of a workhorse amongst diaries. Since my own diary comes from France, it's difficult for me to recommend, but when I lived in Britain I always bought the RHS Desk Diary for the generous scribble room and the beautiful pictures. (I never liked the shiny paper they printed on, but perhaps that has changed?) For an organiser, rather than a diary, I'd say the spiral-bound Humorous Gardener's Organiser looks like fun.
What are your favourite gifts for a gardener? And do you know what I can get for a man who doesn't have much and doesn't seem to want anything more?