When it's hot and humid out there, with little time to spare, the last thing we feel like doing is battling traffic or navigating crowded shopping malls. A garden centre is just the place to escape the stress, a healthy refreshing environment that calms frazzled minds, and where there is a gift for just about anyone.
Gardeners are easy people to buy for. We can always use another pair of secateurs or a shiny new hand tool to replace the ones we loose in the garden. And we love to go plant shopping, so a garden voucher is always gleefully received. For the non-gardener in your life – a shiny new shovel or a beginners gardening book might be just the thing to get them started. Any gift that inspires healthy outdoor activity has got to be good.
Plants for outside A tree, shrub or flowering plant makes a lovely gift that goes on giving. If you are not sure where in the garden they will plant it, present it in a pot so that it can be placed on a patio, deck or outdoor table. Ask at you garden centre for drought tolerant plants that last well in pots.
Vege gardener’s survival kit Plant covers, stakes and obelisks, garden twine, labels, plant ties and mini cloches are the kinds of things a keen vege garden can never have too many of. Add a gift card (click here) so they can choose their own seedlings when they are ready to plant.
|Tools The range of garden tools goes far beyond the basic spade and fork. There are styles for those who love trendy colours, stainless steel classics with solid oak handles. Ergonomically designed weeding and cutting tools are comfortable to use and help prevent strain injuries.
|Plants for inside At this time of year especially, plants that give a fresh burst of colour indoors are always a joy to receive. Orchids are the epitome of elegance and very long flowering. Low cost kalanchoes and gerberas come in gorgeous bright colours and you can personalise your gift by slipping it into a decorative pot. Baby houseplants, so cheap and so cute, make a wonderful gift for a child or anyone who loves to nurture plants and watch them grow.
|Gloves Gardening gloves are not just for keeping our nails clean. They protect us from plants that cause nasty skin rashes, and soil borne hazards like legionnaires disease (click here for more about this). For rose gardeners, look for tough prickle resistant gloves. If they are the kind of gardener that prefers to go bare handed, how about a gift pack of hand cream, soap and nailbrush.
|Garden art Sculptures, ornaments, statues and water features come in a range of sizes and prices. Perusing the artworks on display among the plants in a garden centre makes it easier to choose something that’s right for the garden you have in mind.
|Watering essentials At this time of year anything that helps make watering easier or more economic is a good idea. Hose attachments and mini sprinklers make excellent ‘stocking fillers’ or small gifts for grandparents. A water timer is ideal for busy or forgetful souls.
|Seeds The simple inexpensive gift that grows, a packet of seeds comes complete with instructions and a pretty picture of what’s to come. You may like to add a mini greenhouse or a pack of seed raising mix and a pot. And maybe a watering can. Seeds ideal for sowing after Christmas include marigolds, beans, sunflowers, lettuce, zinnias, salvia, herbs and cosmos.
|Books Keen gardeners always have space for a new inspirational gardening book and every kiwi needs a copy of the iconic Yates Garden Guide. New Zealand's bestselling and most trusted gardening guide, revised and updated, the 79th edition is a must-have for keen beginners and green thumbs alike.
|The gift of time If you are short on cash but enjoy spending time outdoors, how about giving a day’s help in the garden.
Hydrangea Tuxedo Red in a pot makes a perfect gift and can be planted in the garden too.
Moth Orchid - a very special Christmas gift for indoors
Ornaments, big or small, are a treasured addition to gardens.
Yates Garden Guide 79th edition