Garden tools are not just for Christmas

Garden Tools are not just for Christmas

As a mother of three teenagers there will be no Toymaster for me this year, the ATM machine will do just fine. My kids demand for more independence now includes Christmas shopping. I’m guessing phone credit for each other and they know their Dad will appreciate a good book. Which leaves me, no longer called Mammy these days it’s an ancient sounding ‘oh Mother’! How about something for the garden?

The amount of stuff you can get for gardeners these days is quite staggering. There is the whimsical “I’m in the wherever!” type caps, T-shirts, socks and coffee mugs, described as the ideal gift for that certain family member. Every possible implement has been invented from a long handled Apple picker to a three-way folding shovel. Soothing bath salts and creams specially formulated for each individual body part, we are positively pampered. Unfortunately it is all wasted on me, I’d rather be in the garden than in the bathroom and any useful gadgets I’ve probably already got.

Backless Wellies! Now that sounds like a great idea and could be the cure for my perennial problem of ruined footwear. Slippers in particular take a real hammering and I know I’m not alone. I’ll keep my shiny Wellington mules by the backdoor and every time I go in the garden I will put them on, religiously. Well that is just not going to happen so I’ll stick to slippers but not for Christmas, not now, not ever.

Power tools are usually husband/handyman, Kierans, department. However a friend was showing me a natty rechargeable edge trimmer. A great little tool which would be ideal for trimming around trees and keeping all my borders neat and tidy. Very enticing and could be useful when the handyman is indisposed. But hang on a minute, every implement I have ever owned has either disappeared without a trace or simply rusted away to bluntness. Expensive, state of the art equipment deserves a better home than I will give it.

It’s always nice to have somewhere to sit or a place to dine when the sun is shining. Last Christmas, I received a beautiful wooden bench, which I positioned, just outside my new patio doors, planning to drink tea and muse. I sat on it just the once. I’ve left tools on it and even put freshly picked produce on it but I’ve only sat on it that one time although my cats snooze, groom and play on it all the time. In fact Charlie and Chaser just adore that handcrafted timber sofa of theirs. As for alfresco dining, I could count on one hand the amount of days warm enough for that this Summer.

A book, now there’s an idea, packed full of inspiration, ideas and useful advice. I could read something by someone off the telly or a very royal horticultural society publication. Gertrude Jekyll reappearing in print is very appealing to my passion for history as well as gardening. The choice is endless and I would be happy to have them all and more. Though realistically I’ve got most of the Gardening categories and themes covered at this stage and tempting though they are, I must resist.

So initialed hankies or smellies, whatever my kids get me will be wonderful, after all it is the thought that counts. And I think this Christmas will be just grand.

Written 29th September 2004

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