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9 Dec 2021

The best Christmas gifts for gardeners

Find out what you should buy your green-fingered friends and family this festive season
Boy giving a girl a large Christmas gift

Christmas is just around the corner. But if you're stumped on what to get a gardener who has everything, we've compiled 11 of the best gardening gifts to help you choose.

From bird watching and sowing seeds to preparing borders and entertaining we've got something for all types of garden-lovers. Plus, our experts have tested all the products we've recommended so you can be confident you're buying a quality gift.

Make more of your garden - get our free gardening newsletter for top tips from our experts

1. Secateurs

Good secateurs are an essential part of any gardening toolkit. A well-designed pair will have sharp blades and comfortable handles that allow you to keep continually pruning without getting a painful hand.

You should look for a pair with a comfortable catch position - our experts preferred secateurs with catches on the side or end of the handles. And if you're buying for a left-handed gardener look for a pair specifically designed for them.

Our gardening team in East Sussex tested ten pairs over eight weeks - see which ones were rated as the best secateurs.

2. Gardening gloves

Even the gardeners that like to feel the soil in their hands still need a quality set of gardening gloves for certain jobs. No one wants to pull out nettles or prune spiny shrubs without some protection, and on cold and damp days gloves can really save your hands from the elements.

But it's important to choose the right type. We've tested pairs of sturdy, leather gloves designed for tougher jobs such as pruning thorny shrubs. But we've also got recommendations for lightweight, tighter-fitting garden gloves for gardeners who spend more time on finer tasks such as sowing seeds or deadheading.

The best garden gloves - find out which pairs impressed our experts.

3. Wildlife camera

Whether it's the local fox family getting up to mischief or a timid hedgehog enjoying a feed, a wildlife camera is the best way to make sure your buddy doesn't miss a thing.

Programmed to take still pictures or video when movement is detected, wildlife cameras can capture charming pictures of the local species. But buy a shoddy camera and you could be left looking at an out-of-focus image - or nothing at all if the camera can't detect anything.

See which of the best wildlife cameras aced our tests.

4. Garden spade

Digging spade resting against a wheelbarrow filled

A good quality garden spade should make light work of digging and cultivating your garden. Mostly used to prepare beds and borders, to move soil and compost and to plant perennials, shrubs and trees. But they can also be useful for slicing through roots when removing shrubs and trees.

Spades come in all shapes, sizes and materials. But according to our garden experts opting for a wooden handle is better than plastic, due to the overall comfort and durability.

See which digging spade came out on top in our round-up of the best garden spades.

5. Bird nest box

Bird watching is a popular pastime and encouraging birds into your garden can add colour and life to your outdoor space. Some birds can also help your garden by eating common garden pests like snails and aphids.

A bird nest box will not only offer small birds a place to shelter but it will also give your loved one the pleasure of watching over them.

Buy the perfect gift this year by choosing one our best bird nest boxes.

6. Garden fork

Gardener pushing a garden fork into a bed of soil

A fork is particularly useful for gardens with heavy clay or compacted soil. But you'll need to consider the height of your giftee before choosing the perfect tool.

If the fork's shaft is too short for the gardener's height, it can put extra strain on their back, turning a relaxing gardening session into a painful chore.

You could also consider a fork with a longer or angled shaft so your giftee doesn't need to bend as much.

For more buying advice and our top recommendations see our guide to the best garden forks.

7. Garden kneeler

A garden kneeler next to a bed of plants

Gardening might be a form of relaxation for the mind but it's often tough on joints, especially if you have to kneel for any length of time.

A decent kneeler will protect a gardener from ache-inducing cold and damp ground, mud-caked knees, and bruises or injuries from uneven surfaces, stones and prickles.

We've tested different kneeler mats, kneeler seats and knee pads to help you choose the right one for your friend. See our top garden kneeler picks.

8. Plants or seeds

If your green-fingered friend is already kitted out with their favourite tools, then you could just keep it simple and buy them a new plant or some seeds to sow.

But instead of heading to your nearest garden centre, try looking online instead. It's not only convenient but you'll often find varieties that aren't available at garden centres and you can shop from companies that specialise in a particular kind of plant.

See the best places to buy seeds and plants online.

9. Squirrel proof bird feeder

Birds eating from a feeder in snowy weather

Squirrels love to raid bird feeders in search of nuts and seeds and often break them in the process. So if you're buying for family or friends who love to feed birds a squirrel proof feeder could be the perfect gift.

Based on our tests, we would recommend avoiding feeders with plastic fittings as squirrels can gnaw through them swiftly and try to pick a simple feeder with few nooks and crannies that will be easy to clean and won't harbour diseases that could affect birds.

Best squirrel proof bird feeders - we tested 12 different feeders, see which ones were rated the best.

10. Firepit

Gardening shouldn't be all work and no play, but as the weather gets colder it's not as comfortable or enjoyable to sit and enjoy your outdoor space.

Investing in a fire pit will not only keep your loved one warm but it can also spruce up a patio or provide a new way to cook dinner.

From fire pit tables to portable campfires, we pick out some of the most popular fire pits and give useful buying advice.

11. Which? gardening subscription

Which? Gardening magazines

It's the gift that keeps on giving. For £4.99 a month your giftee will get ten issues a year packed with seasonal advice about what to do and when and test results for different plant varieties, gardening techniques and products.

Plus, members also get free gardening advice from our experts by email any day of the month.

Sign up to Which? gardening today.

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