Nine of the best:Christmas gifts for gardeners

From insect hotels to botanical candles, here are five great present ideas for gardeners.

Snug as a bug in a classical temple
Inspired by the classical temples in the stumpery at Highgrove House, the Insect Hotel, a handcrafted luxe lodging painted a tasteful sage green and with a copper roof, is designed to give solitary bees and pollinators a sojourn in grand comfort. The Bird Nesting Box is of a similar style and size at 21.5cm. Both cost £79.95. Last orders for Christmas by midday December 21.

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Sow seeds of beauty
For a gardener who loves to sow and grow, Sarah Raven’s Sow Your Own Cut Flowers gift set contains eight seed packets, 24 seedling markers and 60 mini coir pots, all in a gift box, £24.95. Last orders for Christmas by December 19.

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Cushion comfort
A good kneeler (below, left) is as essential as a sharp pair of secateurs. The comfortable, wipe-clean Kneelo, printed with a Rosa chinensis illustration from the RHS Lindley Library, has memory foam technology to cushion knees against sharp stones and paving, £19.95. Last orders on December 22.

Darling dahlias
A pretty gift tube (below, right) from Sarah Raven contains a green stained glass vase and a packet of Zinnia Giant Dahlia Mix seeds with instructions, £12.95. Last orders for Christmas by December 19.

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Botanical candles
Evoke the scents of the great outdoors with candles made from botanical concoctions, created by London’s foremost forager and mixologist, Lottie “The Cocktail Gardener” Muir. Choose from zesty Bloody Rosemary, smoky Woodland Martini, floral Chelsea Fringe Collins and the relaxing green notes of Good Calmer. Each limited-edition, natural wax candle has a burn time of 45 hours and costs £30. Check amazon.co.uk/delivery for last Christmas order dates.

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The winter garden
No matter if the earth is frozen, green fingers can still get grubby with 35 container projects to brighten doorways, balconies, windowsills and the patio table through the coldest months. In The Winter Garden, Emma Hardy gives step-by-step instructions for making a table-top conifer forest, a berry garden in a bucket, an enamel tub flower tower and a container clematis with a pussy willow bower, as well as making decorative displays with seasonal edibles such as Swiss chard, salad burnet and sorrel. 

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The Winter Garden (CICO Books) is £14.99, but you can buy it for £10.99, including p&p, by calling 01256 302699 and quoting code EC5. Last orders by December 21.

Paradise and Plenty
The gilded ironwork gates of the Rothschild family's garden, Eythrope in Buckinghamshire, are flung open to the public for the first time in Mary Keen's Paradise and Plenty, a title which aptly sums up a world beyond most gardeners' dreams. More than a spectacular picture book, it details the traditional techniques for planting, training, pruning and propagating used by head gardener Sue Dickinson and her team, that can also be employed by those of us with more modest plots. 

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Paradise and Plenty (Pimpernel Books) is £50, but you can buy it for £40, including p&p, by calling 01206 255777 and quoting code PARADISEHP15. Last pre-Christmas orders by December 14.

Kew's teas, tonics and tipples
From a rose sherbet popular in the Ottoman Empire to Mrs Beeton's gooseberry wine, and from Yauatcha's Chilli Martini cocktail to The Gin Garden's Paradise Martini, Kew's Teas, Tonics And Tipples is a celebration of botanical drinks and the plants used to make them, along with fascinating tales of their discovery, history and culture. This is also the book that will teach you how you can make wine from beetroot, champagne from rhubarb, and an Old Fashioned from garden poppies. 

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Kew's Teas, Tonics And Tipples (RBG Kew) costs £18, but you can buy it for £15, including p&p, by calling 020 8332 3123 and quoting code THANKEW2016. Last orders by December 16.

Carol Klein: Making A Garden
"Nature is the best of teachers," declares TV's popular plantswoman Carol Klein, and in her latest book, Making A Garden, she explains how to take inspiration from what works in the wild and apply it to similar conditions on your own patch. The shady corner of an urban plot, for instance, mimics woodland, while a windswept city rooftop replicates an exposed hillside. In her inimitable style, Klein showcases diverse gardens, including her own, and the plants that flourish in these locations. 

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Carol Klein: Making A Garden (Mitchell Beazley) costs £25, but you can buy it for £17.50, including p&p, by calling 01903 828503 and quoting the code MB635. Last orders by December 14.

 


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