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Great gifts for gardeners

The right present will be enjoyed for years to come

Potential gifts for gardeners are everywhere, but it's important to gauge what kind of gardener you're dealing with.

If you get it right, your gift will not only be greeted with huge enthusiasm but get enjoyed for years into the future.

Container gardeners are a fast-increasing group who might love another container - if they have enough space for one.

You could increase their space by giving a small obelisk or trellis, which would make vertical gardening possible with climbing plants.

Other possibilities include pot feet that enhance drainage and protect gardener's decks from rotting.

Platforms on castors are equally useful because they allow soil-filled pots to be rolled easily from place to place.

Houseplant gardeners may like a decorative plant mister or a set of small gardening tools.

It's also possible to find elegant watering cans that look beautiful alongside plants on the windowsill.

Gardeners with larger space are often elderly these days. The one gift that can help them weed, even with arthritic knees, is the Easy Kneeler.

This is a low seat that can be reversed to become a kneeling pad with very sturdy arms that makes getting up easier.

It's supported on each side by a metal tubular loop so plants underneath don't get mashed.

Anyone who needs gentler gardening will find the smaller floral shovels and forks make digging and lifting less strain, as do long handled trowels.

Safety outside can be enhanced with solar lights for paths or LED flashlights for midnight slug expeditions.

Ergonomic garden tools with soft, large handles are tailor-made for arthritic hands.

Gardeners who have large, fruit trees but have developed an aversion to tottering around on ladders, may be interested in a longpole fruit picker.

The style varies, but basically this is a pole with a big metal loop at one end fastened to a bag that catches the fruit as it drops.

Rural gardeners with big spaces can spend a lot of time fighting weed trees and blackberries that invade from all sides.

It's lucky that loppers come in all sizes and styles because often people have to switch from one to another for various jobs.

Some loppers have extendable handles. For heavier work, there are ratcheting loppers that are adjustable to bite-in with increasing strength.

With bypass loppers, two sharp blades slip tightly past each other, giving a very clean cut ideal for pruning valuable shrubs and trees.

Anvil loppers suit more rugged work because a flat metal tread receives the cutting blade and this tends to crush the piece being cut.

Any kind of lopper is a very apt gift for large space gardeners because it's tempting to wear out older ones by cutting branches that are too large, or even using them to sever roots.

Gloves also come in many incarnations.

The only essential is that you know whether your gardener's hands are small, medium or large.

Anyone with a water garden would welcome a pair of long-sleeved, rubber pond gloves.

People with roses could always use a pair of thorn resistant leather gloves.

Garden centres and specialty garden stores are always a good first stop in searching for gardening gifts, but it's a mistake to ignore farmers markets and craft fairs where funky birdhouses, artisan-made ornaments and unexpected treasures can also be found.

Anne Marrison is happy to answer garden questions. Send them to her via