As an English gardener, I can attest that we are pretty easy to please when it comes to gifts. (Functional, practical, and well-made tools are always a hit.) But there are other well-designed and useful bits of kit, often made locally, that thrifty gardeners wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves —or even know about if they didn’t live in England.
Here are a few of our favorite gifts for English gardeners and anglophiles alike:
Modern Mint design director Darren Lerigo looks for well-made, “unusual and hard-to-find garden accessories and gifts.” Copper tools make a really indulgent garden gift and Chelmsford, Essex-based Modern Mint’s range includes the cleverly designed Nunki weeder, a small hand-held hoe which has a beech handle and a sharp bronze blade that will cut through weeds, even if they are close to established plants.
Containers with real character can make a garden—or interior. We found some to covet at popular garden shop Petersham Nurseries (which recentl y opened a city-center London outpost in Covent Garden). Ampholia Poterie Anduze’s terra cotta pots and vases are handmade in the South of France and decorated with floral garlands and an aging white wash. They are available in several sizes.
Lobster Pot Plant Support
Beautiful plant supports not only help keep perennials, roses, and peonies looking their best, they also add structure in borders out of the growing season. At Gloucestershire-based Muntons, traditional supports are simply designed but sturdily made in 12-millimeter steel.
Copper Plant Markers
Beautiful copper labels for pots and plants are weather-proof as well as being so much prettier than their plastic equivalents. And they make a perfect stocking filler.
Gardener’s Kit Bag
The Norfolk-based Carrier Company makes beautiful traditional working clothes and accessories from hard-wearing materials including sailcloth, cotton drill, and jute. The Back Door Gardening Bag is big enough to keep tools, gloves, and other gardening essentials in one place.
Great Dixter Study Day
Any day at Great Dixter in East Sussex is time well spent; known as one of England’s great gardens and home to well-loved garden writer (and gardener) Christopher Lloyd, it is managed by head gardener Fergus Garrett, who worked with Lloyd until his death in 2006. For an immersive experience at Great Dixter, there are study days (as well as the bucket list fantasy—a week-long symposium) throughout the year led by Garrett. Themes include succession planting, meadow gardening, and how to integrate bulbs into planting schemes.