Stuck for gift ideas for the gardener in your life?


All I want for Christmas is a steaming pile of manure, though I’m always happy to be given seed. Brown Envelope Seeds in West Cork does a Christmas card packed with seed. I like their ‘Peas on Earth’, and their gift boxes, too. I have ordered a Baby’s First Dinner Box for a friend who brings her newborn to the allotment. I’d love to find a Tomato Rainbow Box under our tree. I am also taken with Piccolo seeds, packaged like posh chocolate bars, a fine gift for any kitchen gardener. Or a sweet pea selection from Roger Parsons. I have a hankering for his Spencer or Old-Fashioned mixes.

Earlier this year, we lost our Implementations copper trowel, though I’m still hoping to discover it buried with the beetroot. A straight replacement of a shiny Castor trowel would make me happy on Christmas morning. I am almost addicted to their dibber and my short-handled Phoenix hoe.

A good folding knife is essential (as is twine). I sometimes ache for a Niwaki blade, or their sexy secateurs, though Opinel is more in my price range. Smart gardening gloves are good for pruning roses and brambles, though I’m happy with my hands muddy for other work.

I have again bought myself Lia Leendertz’s annual Almanac, packed with lore and astronomy, a reminder of the farmers’ almanacs of my childhood. This was the first year I used the Maria Thun Sowing and Planting Calendar only as an app, but I would recommend the hard copy if you are new to it. Perhaps buy it from the Biodynamic Association as they need your money more than Amazon.

This week I’ll be dropping off Danish Christmas beers on some neighbouring plots. I’ll drink one or two with Howard and wish him – and you – a merry Christmas.

Allan Jenkins’s Plot 29 (4th Estate, £9.99) is out now. Order it for £8.49 from guardianbookshop.com

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