Gardening Gifts For Christmas 2011

Shops are selling it, TVs are advertising it and radio stations are playing it. There is no escaping the advancing march of Christmas. Each year the pressure is on to find the perfect present, something a little more thoughtful than a selection box and a pair of socks. Fret not, to help you find something special for the gardener in your life, we at Vialii have pulled together our favourite gardening gifts for Christmas 2011 to suit all tastes and budgets…

Garden gifts for Christmas 2011

It’s Christmas!

Recycled deck chairs

So, the grass is mown and the flower beds weeded – it’s time to relax and enjoy your garden. And what better way to do that than on these recycled deckchairs. Made entirely in the UK from recycled sails, the chairs can be personalised with a name or a date too.

£150 from Not on the High Street

Recycled deck chairs

Recycled deck chairs

Wine Glass Holder

Now, this has got to be a favourite of ours – a recycled wine glass holder. Made from recycled plastic it well and truly ticks the green box. Simple to use, just push the spike into the ground and it’s ready to use. So get out the recycled deck chair (see above) and relax with a bottle of wine and now you don’t have to worry about the glass falling over on uneven ground any more. And a bargain at £4.99 for a pack of four from Lakeland.

Wine glass holders

Wine glass holders

Ladies Floral Gauntlets

Gardening gloves need not be boring and utilitarian. These leather and linen gauntlets cover much of the arm allowing you to get stuck into some good old pruning without ripping your arms to shreds. And with this pretty floral design you can be stylish to boot.

£32.90 from EBay

Ladies floral gauntlets

Ladies floral gauntlets

Personalised Crate

There is little as satisfying as growing your own, and with this personalised crate it is the perfect place to grow your choice of annuals, herbs or shrubs. Alternatively the crate could be used as a log store or somewhere to keep all your hand tools organised. There is plenty of space for personalisation and the crate is made from high quality pine.

From £31.99 from Getting Personal

A personalised crate

A personalised crate

Bee Hotel

There has been a lot of publicity in recent times about the reduction in the numbers of the humble bumble. We are always big fans of anything which will encourage wildlife into the garden and this is a great way of helping our friends the bees but ensuring the garden remains stylish at the same time. As well as attracting non aggressive bees such as the Mason bee, other wildlife such as lovely ladybirds will use it as a winter home. Available in a range of colours.

£19.95 from Not on the High Street

Bee hotel

Bee hotel

Personalised Rose

Having a rose named after you has to be the ultimate accolade. Normally the domain of the rich and famous, now you can give this gift to someone you love. Included in the present is seed for the recipient to grow and the opportunity for them to name their rose and get a certificate with its details. Certainly a talking point for the garden.

£9.99 from The Gift Experience

Name a rose

Name a rose

Kettle Watering Can

This alternative to the traditional watering can is so much fun and will bring a smile to your face every time you use it. They are recycled and come in a wide array of funky colours. Yes please Santa!

£9.00 from Hen & Hammock

Kettle watering can

Kettle watering can

Make Your Own Scarecrow

We are big fans of encouraging kids to get involved in gardening and what better way than getting them to help make your very own scarecrow. Whether you have a larger garden with your own veg patch or are lucky enough to have an allotment, this is a fun and practical addition to any plot. The kit includes the basics you need to make your own scarecrow, illustrated instructions and ideas of how you can embellish your scarecrow to make it truly unique.

£28.00 from Hen & Hammock

Make your own scarecrow

Make your own scarecrow

Seedboms

Grow your own kits have been doing the rounds for some time now but these “bombs” caught our eye. The quirky holders are filled with local, recycled, organic material and are sold in a pack of 4 .

£10.95 from Kabloom

Kabloom seedbombs

Kabloom seedbombs

So happy shopping, and from everyone at Vialii, can we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2012.

All at Vialii

 

All prices and suppliers correct at the time of the blog being posted. Apologies if any of these change but it’s outwith our control.

Faking It

More and more in recent times, clients have been asking us about using artificial grass. It used to be fake grass looked just that – fake. It was more akin to the base for a Fuzzy Felt scene (Google it kids!) and was far from being the building blocks of a stylish garden. These days, there are a myriad of products in the market place ranging from the cheap and cheerful (think old style football pitches) to the luxe end of the market. Many of the qualities on offer look just like real turf – some even have thatch in them to make them look even more real!

Now, it’s not for everyone and if you have the conditions and time to care for the real thing we would always recommend that route. A beautiful real lawn is one of life’s real pleasures. Sometimes though, the fake stuff can be the right choice for you. Here are just some of the benefits…

Artificial grass is commonly mistaken for real grass

No need to cut the grass anymore! Get the lawn mower on eBay and from now on Sunday afternoons can be spent with your feet up with a nice cuppa instead of tackling the cobwebs in the shed to get the mower and strimmer out. You just need to find a way of getting out of cleaning the car instead!

No need for fertiliser, lawn weed killer, aeration, scarifying or the many other lawn treatments required to keep your grass looking green and lush. Some of these can have an adverse effect on the environment too so you are being eco-friendly by switching to the fake stuff.

Artificial turf is a great solution for pets and kids who can be prone to digging or generally getting everything, especially themselves, covered in mud from playing on grass. It is also a great solution on high traffic areas.
Cost! OK, so the initial costs are comparably higher than traditional turf, but long term you save money on mowing, treatments etc.

Fake grass can help with drainage issues although you will need to ensure a suitable base and possibly a drainage solution are installed along with the new grass.

There’s no need to water your new fake turf. A new laid traditional lawn needs a lot of TLC whilst it beds in and in hot summers with little rain (OK, we can but dream) you will need to keep your traditional lawn watered.

Before: a waterlogged lawn

Before: a waterlogged lawn

 

After: a lawn for all weathers

After: a lawn for all weathers

Whilst most clients want to consider artificial turf as a direct replacement for a traditional lawn there can be other, more innovative ways to utilise fake grass in your garden. One of our favourite ideas was showcased in the Urban Plantaholics Kitchen Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 2010. The garden was created for an eccentric chef who had a passion for plants but didn’t want to cook at home. A fitted kitchen became plant pots with plants growing out of kitchen drawers and appliances! A cave-like seating area was encased with artificial turf with water cascading down the front. The magical grotto created using the fake turf showed that it doesn’t need to simply be used on flat surfaces that are to be walked upon.

The Urban Plantaholics Kitchen Garden

The Urban Plantaholics Kitchen Garden

For more information on introducing artificial turf to your own garden either as a lawn or as an innovative art installation, contact Vialii now for a free consultation.

Thanks for reading.

All at Vialii