Are we all agreed, we’ve all got far too much shit? I don’t need any more shit for Christmas. Please don’t buy me a novelty floral trowel, it will probably bend the first time I use it in anger. Or a ‘handy’ gardener’s apron – it’s not handy and it will end up shoved in the back of some cupboard. I don’t want a kneeling matt with clover leaves printed on it, I’ve never used a kneeling matt and I probably never will. I don’t want a windowsill herb kit, a book by James Wong, a National Trust bulb planter, gloves or fleecy welly liners.
If you’re buying a gift for a gardener this Christmas, you probably don’t want to be guilty of adding to the monumental pile of crap that most people accumulate over their lifetimes. Gardeners can be particularly fussy about the equipment and clothing they use. And don’t even think about going off-piste and buying them a plant they haven’t specifically asked for and/or picked out with their own fair hands, after hours comparing and contrasting it with 20 other seemingly-identical looking specimens.
If you’d like to be original and thoughtful this Christmas, why not give the gift of horticulture to someone on behalf of your loved one, or support the industry they love? Here are my top five horticultural charities you can donate to instead of buying your favourite gardener a Gardener’s Hand Wash and Hand Cream set this Christmas:
- Gardening for Disabled Trust – established in 1968, this Charity is staffed entirely by volunteers. The charity awards grants to individuals and groups across the UK in order to get people with disabilities out into the garden, so they can experience the associated mental and physical benefits. You can donate to them here.
- Perennial Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society – founded in 1839, Perennial is the only charity dedicated to helping people working in or retired from horticulture who are in need of advice, support and financial assistance. They provide invaluable support when times are hard, to those involved in horticulture and also to their families. Read about their work and how you can support it on their website.
- Veterans’ Growth – a newly established and rapidly expanding charity, Veterans’ Growth provides horticultural therapy to Veterans dealing with mental health issues such as PTSD. They also offer guidance, support and advocacy to Veterans seeking help. You can donate to them here.
- Greenfingers Charity – create magical gardens at children’s hospices throughout the UK. The gardens aim to make life a little better for the children and their families by providing access to the natural environment. Gardnes are designed to be inclusive and accessible whatever a child’s needs. You can donate to them here.
- Buglife – is the only organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates. Everyone loves our mammalian and feathered wildlife, but if you know someone who appreciates all creatures great and small, Buglife is the charity for them. It’s carrying out crucial work to halt the extinction of the smaller creatures upon whom many of the larger creatures rely for food. You can donate or sign up for membership on their website.
With these present suggestions, you’re bound to win Christmas this year. You’re welcome! :-)