Wondering what gift to get your gardening mum for Mother’s Day? Hannah Stephenson helps you find inspiration in spades
Whether you have a hands-on practical mum who loves new gardening tools or a more leisurely mother who prefers flowers and floral scents, there’s something for every gardener on Mother’s Day.
Artisan Julie Dodsworth, who paints and creates all the original designs from her narrow boat and is inspired by the flora and heritage of the waterways, brings a touch of class to this metal 10-litre capacity watering can. And there are many matching Flower Girl accessories including gloves, tool boxes, herb trays and kneelers. (£27.99, www.briersltd.co.uk)
Add some flower power to your gardening footwear with a pair of classic back door shoes featuring a new sunflower design. These lightweight, comfortable waterproof slip-ons are ideal if you’re pottering in the garden or need to go outside, but don’t want to dig out your regular shoes. Women’s are available size 3-8 in a range of patterns. (£25, www.backdoorshoes.co.uk)
If mum is the type who likes pretty lighting in her garden, these warm LED bulbs have delicate sprigs of pretty pink flowers inside them. Ideal for hanging in trees or around a sun umbrella on the patio during summer evenings, they are battery-operated and waterproof, so can be used inside or out. (£30, www.notonthehighstreet.com)
BROLLY GOOD FUN
Your mum won’t let spring showers get her down if she has this lovely compact umbrella featuring the elegant new Flora and Fauna design from Burgon & Ball, inspired by the RHS Lindley Library of historic botanic art. (£16.99, www.burgonandball.com)
FILL YOUR BOOTS
To make her life easier – and tidier – consider this innovative new compact boot store designed for housing muddy wellies, umbrellas, dog leads and small tools, hung on robust pegs which come with it. Made from smooth-planed timber boards, it’s finished with a galvanised steel roof plate and a boot cut-out detail helps provide air flow to prevent the inside from becoming damp. (£189.99, available from DIY stores and garden centres. For stockists, visit www.forestgarden.co.uk)
If a day out is more her thing, there are plenty of gardens to visit this spring through the National Trust, with events ranging from posy making to historical tours and afternoon teas. (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/whats-on)
POTS OF STYLE
If you want to buy her a stylish gift built to last, a patio planter may be the way to go. The Bloxham Wooden Planter, with its attractive shape, is suitable for small trees and shrubs as well as flowers and bulbs. Made from lengths of 4.5cm x 10cm Scandinavian red pine jointed and glued with a high quality waterproof adhesive, the base is slatted with 20mm thick planks to allow for drainage and finished in white (shown here with a green trim – you can do this with a Cuprinol Garden Shades sample pot to suit your scheme), golden brown or clear preservative. The internal walls of these planters are painted with a waterproof paint sealant. (£222.50, www.thelichfieldplantercompany.co.uk)
Give her buckets of joy with these attractive metal pails filled with either lilies or begonias, depending on preference. One pail features five ‘On Stage’ lily bulbs, which produce stunning star-shaped flowers, with bucket and compost, the other three ‘Angelique’ begonias, a double variety with cascading white and pink blooms. (£20, Wyevale Garden Centres, in store only. To find your nearest store, visit www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk)
SOFT AND GENTLE
If pampering after a long day’s gardening is her bag, treat your mum to a RHS Natural Gardeners Therapy Hand Care gift set from Bronnley, featuring Gardeners’ Therapy exfoliating hand wash, hand lotion and a wooden nail brush. It comes in a keepsake tin which is perfect for storing seeds and small gardening essentials. (£20, www.bronnley.co.uk)
BEST OF THE BUNCH – Forsythia
This hardy shrub is a sight to behold in spring, its bright yellow flowers on leafless branches making a dazzling hedge or used in a border as a stand-alone feature. There are different varieties to cover walls and bare ground too. They are really easy to grow, but make sure you prune them immediately after flowering because if you leave it until summer, you’ll get very few flowers the following year. The most common is F. intermedia ‘Spectabilis’, which grows to around 2.5m high. Others belonging to the F. suspensa species are more rambling. F. suspense fortunei has stout, arching stems, while more compact varieties including F. ovata only reaches around 1.5m. They will thrive in any garden soil but do best in full sun.
GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT – Spring onions
Onions are among the easiest veg to grow and spring onions are an ideal catch crop because they are fast-growing and will have been harvested by the time you need to plant later, more tender crops such as runner beans and tomatoes. You can grow a worthwhile crop in the smallest space, even a container, but if you want a continuous crop through summer, you’ll need to sow every fortnight in spring, as they are ready to harvest in 10-12 weeks. Sow them outside from mid-March either in pots of multipurpose compost or in patches in the border. In the garden, sow seeds in rows 10cm apart, covering with around 1.5cm of compost and thin the seedlings to 2.5cm apart. Water weekly in dry weather to keep them growing rapidly and harvest them when the stems are 1cm thick. Good varieties include ‘White Lisbon’ and ‘Guardsman’.