THE MODERN MINT BLOG
Struggling to find a gift that is actually decent, for the gardener or garden lover in your life?
Here are some ideas that, I hope, tap into what a gardener really will appreciate… rather than the tut you might get in M & S (I’m looking with angry, disappointed eyes at you, M & S copper plated trowel that you can purchase for not much money that looks good but lasts for no time and is a pile of dog mess to use…. to put it lightly….)
- Our tools – snips, secateurs, Diggy Diggy trowel, slug-repellant trowel, shears. Okay, okay – now we’ve got that over with. We sell stuff we stand by, that we use in the garden. We’re done now ok? You can carry on down the list and find something else that we don’t have a hand in on this website.
- Boots – got to have a good pair of boots in the garden. We wear these from Portuguese Treasures. The working boot. Soles are recycled from old car tyres. This wonderful nod towards recycling something useful to lower the carbon footprint is offset somewhat by the plane journey they send the boots on to reach you in the UK. But it is a start…. and the boots will last you.
- Books – Henk Gerritsen wrote ‘Essay On Gardening’ and it is a masterpiece. Tough to get hold of though, admittedly. We also love this one by Barn The Spoon, or this book about ‘Late Summer Flowers’ by the wonderful nurserywoman Marina Christopher. You can also try ‘Feral’ by George Monbiot.
- Rapanui shirts – organic cotton. Sustainable fashion is good for the planet, these shirts are thick and well-made. Perfect for the garden.
- Trees For Life – give the gift of a future.
- Truffle Hunting In Dorset – this one is a little bit special! Truffle hunting with dogs, here in the UK. Bit more expensive, but hey, make a weekend of it!
- Organic wine – we recommend… drinking. =)
- Riverford Organic Vegetable Box – if you don’t have time or space to grow all your own vegetables, then get a delivery every week. We love Riverford and we know that by eating organic food, we are also supporting a landscape that enhances life.
- Trip to a brilliant nursery – like this one, Marchant’s Hardy Plants, perhaps in the New Year when you can enjoy their Snowdrop Day.
- Bokashi – oh? You don’t know Bokashi? Me either, at least, I’ve never tried it yet. But I do know people who love to Bokashi their food waste and it all looks good. You basically pickle your leftover dinner and unused vegetables, then chuck it on the garden where it helps improve the soil. Something that will be massive in years to come. We hope.
So there you go, ten ideas for Christmas presents for the gardener in your life. (And as a bonus, try this if you know a beekeeper…. Hive Tool for Beekeepers.)
Making a new topiary out of the large, dull facade of a Taxus blob… My work was to change it up from a ‘jelly drop’ shape and give it texture, open it out and let the light through, and make it a sculptural feature in the background of the garden in summer… yet a major part of the garden in winter. A few more years before it becomes something special, but there was far more leaf and growth inside the plant than I thought and so it will not take too long for it to gain in character and become …
Two weeks ago I was invited to teach topiary at the garden of Griselda Kerr, the author of The Apprehensive Gardener. I love teaching and sharing skills, but I was placed on the spot in the afternoon and asked to show how I would make a new topiary from an existing shrub. So below is a speeded-up video of me creating a cloud-pruned topiary from an old boxwood tree. I particularly love the ending when the class get involved….! See the video here. One hour was all it took, and though it needed a little tidying-up, it was made by …
Charlotte Molesworth, my topiary mentor, and I are running our popular topiary workshop again in 2022. You can email me for details – or go here for information, your ticket and to find out about dates. Book A Spot On A Topiary Workshop, September 2022