RainPerfect

Christmas gifts for the green-fingered

It may be frosty out there (and those further north may already have their snow shovels out) but keen gardeners will always be happy to receive something for the outdoors, whatever the weather.

So here’s a few gift ideas for the garden…

RainPerfect

The RainPerfect solar-powered water pump

We know it’s hard to think about solar-powered anything when the skies are grey, but thinking ahead to the summer, this solar-powered water pump from Rule Innovation could be a godsend.

We’re all keen on recycling nowadays, and anyone who collects rainwater in a water butt will know how tough it can be to get it out of the water butt and onto the garden. Filling up endless watering cans can be a bit of a pain. That’s where the pump comes in.

RainPerfect-InSitu

It is powered by a 3.5 watt solar panel and generates sufficient pressure to power a water hose or garden sprinklers in order to recycle the water harvested in water butts.

It’s a win-win situation – recycling rainwater and saving on energy costs! The perfect green gadget

Price: £106

From: www.amazon.co.uk

Rain Garden Kits

Still on the subject of water, Rain Garden Kits collect the rainwater from your roof and puts it to good use. Company owner Chris Killingbeck says: “The soft rain water is simply ideal for growing orchids, rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, and kids will love creating their own wild wetland centre brimming with nature.”

Rain gardens are nothing new. In the Mediterranean, sun-kissed gardeners have been building sinks to store rain water for hundreds of years. These offer an affordable and easy-to-build way of brightening up any garden in an environmentally-friendly fashion. Customers don’t even need to have a huge garden since the mini soakaway kit is perfect for growing wetland plants in a small, city garden.

Chris explains: “Installing a water butt is a great way to start, but once it is full the water reverts to the sewers. A rain garden takes the overflow from the water butt to fill or top-up a pond and even a soakaway unit in which you can grow vegetables or marsh plants. Plants for ponds and soakaways are included in our kits.”

Price: From just under £100 for a Herb Wheel kit.

From: www.raingardenkits.co.uk

Electric-Propagator

Premium Variable Control Electric Propagator

If you’re not a gardener, this may sound a very unthrilling sort of present, but believe us when we say that for anyone who is serious about their growing, this new Propagator from Stewart would be a great thing to find in a stocking on Christmas morning!

The 52cm propagator will help them to grow winter vegetables, so will be greatly appreciated at a time of year when there’s not much to be getting on with in the garden.

Heated propagators are also essential if you want to grow some of the more exotic kinds of plants such as proteas from Australia and South Africa.

Stewart, one of the biggest names in the propagators market, has also recently launched a range of Premium Thermostatic Control Electric Propagators, available in 38cm and 52cm sizes.

Price: £84.99

From: www.stewartlimited.co.uk

Fairy Berries

Great for this time of year (but equally enchanting for summer parties) are the Fairy Berries from Firebox.

These delightful little orbs light up and genetly glow, creating the illusion of flickering lights (a bit like little fireflies dotted all about your garden).

Because there are no wires involved, they can be placed wherever you like –  they’ll even float on a pond to turn it into a magical water feature if you so wish.

We’ve tried them out and absolutely love the effect they create – the only thing is that you only get 10 in a box, so if you want to create a garden-wide effect it’s going to cost you! But fantastic for use indoors and out.

You get 20 hours use from each ball (it is possible to turn them off by removing one of the batteries). Should you wish to hang them up, so they appear to be floating in mid-air, attach them to a tree or internal fitting using fishing line fixed to the small recessed hook.

Price: £19.99

From: www.firebox.com