We've put together a list of our favourite tools and gardening essentials to give you some gift ideas for any gardeners in your life - or even just yourself! These are the tools that we use day to day in our business and our own garden and that we can highly recommend. Enjoy having a browse and looking around the various websites!
Hori Hori knife - Niwaki £32
This is probably our favourite and most used tool in the garden. Excellent for digging out weeds with long tap roots like Pentaglottis sempervirens. Also great for planting bulbs and plug plants.
Great Dixter Planting spade by Sneeboer - £79.95 from Great Dixter Shop
If you find yourself doing a lot of planting, this spade will be invaluable. Its sharp edge makes easy work of cutting through the soil and any existing roots. Its short length really saves your back and makes planting easy and comfortable. Well worth the money, as with all Sneeboer tools the design and durability of this spade is second to none.
Forked Hand Hoe - Niwaki £18
If you spend a lot of time gardening on your knees and don't have the strength to effectively wield a large garden fork - like me - this is a really useful tool for getting at weeds and turning over soil without the back break of a traditional garden fork. We also use it for clearing leaves from densely planted beds and it's a dream for preparing very rocky garden beds. It's very sharp so is best treated with caution and respect.
Electric Leaf Blower - STHIL BGA 45 Leaf Blower
Leaf blowers are very handy. Their bigger and older petrol cousins have a bad reputation for noise and exhaust pollution, but these newer battery powered models are far quieter and cleaner. Very handy for getting leaves off things you don't want leaves to be on. This model is perfect for smaller gardens and will make tidying your garden a breeze, especially at this time of year. Various batteries are available that increase in duration with an increase in price.
BullDog Premier Border Edging Shears £28.50 Pitchcare
The difference between a professional looking lawn finish and a non professional looking lawn finish. If you don't have time to spend hours in the garden but it is getting out of control, Tidy edges make all the difference and smarten it up in no time at all. It's important to keep it sharp to cut the grass cleanly so you will need to sharpen often as the blades come into contact with soil which dulls blades almost immediately.
Tin of Twine by Nutscene - £7 Nutscene.com
A must have in your tool box- the tin stops the twine from getting tangled and and allows for easy use.
Vintage Gardeners Scissors - £7.50 by Nutscene
Not only are these little snips a great companion for the twine but they are very useful for deadheading intricate plants such as Clematis and Geum.
Niwaki GR Pro Secateurs Japanese Pruners - from £84 at Niwaki
Lovely secateurs with a very satisfying feel and sound. The spring is far stronger than garden centre buys, so it takes a bit of getting used to, but once you have there's no going back. Keep them clean and sharp with the Camellia Oil, the Crean Mate and the Sharpening Stone.
The secateurs are made by hand out of two parts. As a result there's no replacement blades like with Felco, but if you send them back to Niwaki they can be fully cleaned and serviced if need be. Very nice.
Niwaki Gardening Gloves - From £6 at Niwaki
Also available in a winter edition - we can testify that these gloves keep your hands warm and dry whilst still giving great flexibility reducing clumsy mistakes - we recommend trying a size up from what you would normally wear as they do come up a bit small.
Large Oilskin Carrier - £65 The Carrier Company
A fantastic piece of kit for the garden. When it's time for February cut backs or August tidy ups, this sheet is a great way gather cuttings and keep the garden tidy. As a bonus it folds flat when not in use which means that storage is easy.
Felco Medium Handle Loppers - https://www.worldoffelco.co.uk/categories/loppers-and-cutters/loppers
Felco make great tools and these Loppers are our favourite. There are many different lengths and strengths for you to choose from. They're lightweight and bombproof with a lovely sharp blade. If a bomb does in fact break your lopper, all parts are replaceable! As with all blade based tools, keep them clean and sharp to make clean cuts. Clean cuts reduce infections in the plant that could lead to limbs dying off, and they look better too!
Sioen Dortmund Flexothane Waterproof Jacket - £54.99 Great Dixter Shop
Comfortable and light and a favourite with the gardeners at Great Dixter, this waterproof Jacket has been our constant companion over the last few weeks. Its breathable and won't break the bank like so many waterproof jackets that are on the market. They do trousers as well, which are great.