Choose plants as Christmas gifts for gardeners

Christmas gifts for gardeners should definitely include plants.

Plants at their best at Christmas

Christmas roses (Helleborus niger, various named varieties) really do flower at Christmas and into the new year. Not roses, but a beautiful plant for any garden or patio. Add a decorative pot for instant patio sensation. Give them as you bought them, to be planted in a bed, border or container by the lucky recipient.

Christmas gifts for gardeners

Christmas roses flower year after year and become an annual reminder of friendship or family links. In the right place, and if not ‘dead headed’, they can self-seed, but who cares? Lots look good. This pretty variety at Rosemoor RHS Gardens would make a lovely addition to any garden or patio container. Sarah Buchanan.

Christmas Box or Sweet Box (Sarcococca confusa) is a lovely evergreen shrub that starts small and grows gradually to a good size. The scent of the small white flowers is what makes this a special Christmas gift. It grows well in containers, beds or borders.

Plants that are perfect to plant in winter

Deciduous shrubs and trees, fruit trees and roses are best planted between December and March, so while they don’t look their best they are a very sensible Christmas gift for gardeners. You may need to ask the gardeners in your life for suggestions of a tree or shrub that they would like, or if you have a good idea perhaps choose a variety that flowers or fruits at birthdays or other special days, or is a variety with an appropriate name.

Christmas gifts for gardeners

This RHS advice note on choosing plants for special occasions is a good place to start. The RHS image of Malus Brevipes 'Wedding Bouquet' is a stunning example of a special Christmas gift for gardeners.

Plants for the year ahead: DIY style!

Packets of seeds are a cheaper alternative to plants, easy to post or a great addition to Christmas stockings. Choose seeds that your gardening friends might not have tried before – unusual varieties of flowers or veg perhaps – or go with what you know they like best: annual flowers, salad leaves, tomatoes. Make your gift more special (and more useful!) with a secure tin for long term seed storage and a pack of smart outdoor plant labels.

Christmas gifts for gardeners’ health and comfort

Hands and knees

Gardeners are fussy about gloves, but in my experience good ones are always welcome and always needed. The key to a good pair of gardening gloves?
- They must fit snugly (look for sizes on labels – no sizes, don’t buy them).
- They are waterproof or at least damp-proof.
- They are soft and supple to wear and tough wearing in use (look for gloves that mix soft leather with stretchy canvas).
Serious gardeners with scratchy jobs to do might welcome gardening gauntlets that will protect their arms.

Christmas gifts for gardeners

There are masses of gloves to choose from – this ‘Independent’ review might guide your Christmas gift shopping. Sarah Buchanan.

Knee pads or kneelers are a simple Christmas gift for gardeners that protect joints and keeps mud off trousers (and knees).

Damp soil, wet grass, prickly prunings and cold weather make good hand cream a winning Christmas gift for gardeners. Look for ‘specialist’ gardeners’ soaps and creams that offer to clean and feed hard working hands. Try creams that offer ‘hand protection’ as well as treatment for ‘hard working hands’.

Fresh cups of tea in the garden

Too hard to give? Give a mug with a lid! One thing worse than not having a cup of tea while gardening is a cup of tea with insects floating in it!

And the very best of Christmas gifts for gardeners...

A garden seat!
Many gardeners say they never sit down. Give them a special seat or lounger and I am sure they will!

Happy gift shopping for the gardeners in your life!