Creating a Christmas wish list for a beginner gardener (me!)

(19 Posts)
ApuskiMcClusky Sun 11-Nov-12 10:15:32

Hi, we have just bought a house with a proper garden for the first time, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in, but I have next to no kit. Family have asked me to put together an Xmas wish list, which seems like a good chance to get the basics for gardening (and maybe some nice to haves!) but it means anticipating what I will need.

I've got a couple of ideas from here already - Showa gloves and Alan Titchmarch's how to be a gardener book - but keen to know what else might be good?

TIA!

EauRouge Sun 11-Nov-12 10:31:00

Basic tools- Spade, fork, trowel, hand fork, secateurs, kneeling pad, shears, lawn-edging shears, garden canes and string- those are the things I use the most. Also more expensive power tools like a lawnmower, strimmer and electric hedge trimmer if your family are millionaires grin

Some pots, seed trays and compost maybe? And some easy-to-grow seeds.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 11-Nov-12 18:50:37

Rake
Hoe
Cold frame
Opinel garden knife
Greenhouse or plastic mini-greenhouse according to budget
Gift tokens for garden centre/nursery, to buy plants
Membership of the fabulous Royal Horticultural Society

funnyperson Sun 11-Nov-12 19:22:00

When buying a rake choose a rake which will not come off the handle. I quite prefer the plastic ones because I think they are gentler on the plants and grass when raking leaves but I notice Monty uses metal.
Matching spade and fork is nice.
Hand trowel, hand fork, bulb planter. Dibber. Plant labels
Secateurs. Shears. Twine.
Watering can
Trugg
Garden hose plus attachments
Water butt

Some nice patio pots.
Compost heap thingy
Potting bench
Vegetable trough
Agree to RHS membership.
Garden cloggs/old shoes
Thingy to scrape mud off shoes when coming in after gardening

Maud what do you do with your garden knife?

funnyperson Sun 11-Nov-12 19:24:24

Cos I prune with secateurs.

Incidentally the gardeners who 'do' round here have electric trimmer things which are amazing for hedges and cotoneaster and stuff, and I have often thought that if I were a different person I would want one.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 11-Nov-12 19:26:23

The knife is much better than even my Felco secateurs at cutting twine and slashing open sacks of compost.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 11-Nov-12 19:27:58
ApuskiMcClusky Sun 11-Nov-12 22:33:38

Thanks all! I think I need a larger family to wish for all of that! But very useful to know what I'm likely to need first. I already have the knife covered - got a fab army knife for Christmas last year for camping. Though that is a fine knife Maud!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 12-Nov-12 09:45:00

::Worried I sound like Rambo, enthusing about knives::

One option, if you're buying/being bought lots of tools, is to go for one of those systems where you get different tool heads to fit one handle - Wolf multichange is one such. They do save a bit of storage space.

Generally, go for the best quality tools that you/your family can afford - the sort of lightweight trowel (say) that you can buy in a pound shop will probably break very quickly and it's better VFM to invest in something a bit heavier and more expensive.

ApuskiMcClusky Mon 12-Nov-12 10:50:05

I'm not too worried about storage - I am almost as excited about having a garage for the first time as I am about the garden! But the different head options look good. Are there any other 'quality' brands I should keep a look out for?

Shoud give advance warning about the likelihood of me coming back and asking a multitude of basic questions!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 12-Nov-12 11:53:09

No worries - there's always a lot of horticultural chat on the gardening club/cult thread. Its name changes with every incarnation but it's always pretty plain what it is, so please join us!

funnyperson Mon 12-Nov-12 21:53:16

If you have the different head option thing then don't the heads just simply come off if, for example, one is digging vigorously? I ask this because I have been through several garden rakes where the head came off when raking quickly so as to get the job done before it rains etc.
With raking leaf season well under way, this continues to be a matter of mild interest when gently creating leaf heaps.

Garden knives and electric hedge trimming or tree saws fall in a similar category in my mind; Sweeney Todd I think to myself.....ggggaaaaahhhhh

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 12-Nov-12 21:59:47

I have a rake/cultivator/clod-basher thing that is from one of those interchangeable head sets. The tool screws onto the handle, so is pretty robust, although it did fall off once years ago when I was being particularly vicious towards some lumps of solid clay (I think the vibrations had made it work loose). As I have loads of garden tools anyway, I've never bought any more of the detachable head things.

Oh, and quality brands. I would say

Felco for secateurs (if someone is being generous)
Wolf, Spear and Jackson or Burgon and Ball for other stuff, but try before you buy as for things like trowels it's important to find one that feels 'right' in terms of weight and size of handle
Pound shop for gardening gloves, string, peat pots

greyvix Sun 18-Nov-12 17:53:26

I love the knife, Maud. Is it available at garden centres?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 20-Nov-12 13:49:51

I'm not sure, Greyvix. Mine came from a gun shop in France. Sorry, that's not very helpful.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 20-Nov-12 13:51:30

Aha. A bit of Googing suggests that Opinel knives are sold on Amazon. I bought their kitchen knife set from the WigglyWigglers website.

greyvix Sat 24-Nov-12 20:15:40

Thank you!

Maryz Sat 24-Nov-12 20:21:02

Hang on a minute, don't get all complicated with greenhouses and cold frames shock - she's a beginner; everything will die grin

Apusk - can I give you a teeny word of advice. Don't feck around with seeds for the first year or two, they are the way to guarantee you will feel useless and give up [bitter].

If you have children, start next year with potatoes grown in sacks or car tyres and tomatoes grown in grow bags (preferably bought as mini plants and grown in cut in half grow bags).

Your garden should have one tree to hang bird food from, and lots of bulbs, especially mini-daffodils of various types.

ApuskiMcClusky Wed 28-Nov-12 11:53:45

Just seen your post, Maryz, thank you! Yes, I have every expectation of things dying to begin with! Will stay away from seeds and the associated gubbins until I know a bit more about what I'm doing. Boys are desperate to grow some veg.

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