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Practical Presents

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Dec 22, 2015

Practical PresentsAround this time of the year I always seem to be met with very similar questions from customers here in CountryLife. 'What can I buy [insert loved ones name] for Christmas?' This question is often asked by a keen gardener who is looking for something for a friend or family member who is only starting to tend to their own garden. As it is the season for giving these questions seem to increase in frequency the closer we get to Christmas. Only a few days ago I was asked this question by parents who were looking to buy something for their daughter who had just moved into her first house.

My first suggestion, no matter the time of the year, is always a pair of good quality ceramic pots and plants to fill them with. I feel with this present you are giving them something that they will have for years to come. I always suggest filling the pot with a reliable strong plant such as a bay tree or other shrub. By doing this you are giving the person a plant that is easy to care for and one which even a newbie gardener will feel comfortable looking after.

By gifting a present like this I always feel that you are giving a gift that the person can adapt and utilise as they see fit. In the coming months they can incorporate spring bulbs or summer bedding plants and it may be the first step in a person dipping their toe into the world of gardening.

For me the gift of a plant always creates a special connection with the person that gives it. Every time you see it you will be reminded of the person that gave it to you. Growing up whenever family friends would give me plants I was constantly reminded of that person when I walked past it or cared for it. Often the plant would quickly become known as Mary's Plant or Joe's Plant as an acknowledgment of the person who gifted it to me.

Tools are always welcome in my booksEven when it comes to buying presents for avid gardeners my advice follows the same line of thinking. Practical gifts are often the best and most well received. I don't know of any gardener who would turn down a practical present that can be used in the garden.

Tools are always welcome in my books. Even if the person has a spade or fork already a second good quality one is never wasted. The same goes for secateurs and clippers a good quality durable set will always be welcomed with open arms.

Even less expensive presents such as a good pair of gardening gloves, seeds or even a kneeling pad would be very practical gifts to give to the gardener in your life.

Still not sure?

If you are still not sure of what to get someone for Christmas but want to get them something for the garden you can never go wrong with a gift voucher. With a gift voucher the stress of picking the right present is taken away and you are allowing the person to purchase something that they really want or need in the garden. I know I would never say no to a gift voucher that would allow me to buy the plants I've wanted.

Written by Malachy

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at: hello@countrylife.ie

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

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