Magazines make an ideal present for green-fingered pals

The November 2015 edition of Garden News.

The November 2015 edition of Garden News.

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In preparation for last week’s local garden club meeting, I’d suggested to the team that we each offer ideas for Christmas presents appropriate to gardeners.

When Peter’s excellent presentation was over, Kathleen revealed four different floral arrangements she’d made earlier.

She explained how they had been constructed, much of the material having come from her own garden. All four were gratefully accepted as raffle prizes.

David, who can never be faulted on preparation, captivated us with his top 10 presents, which were drawn from a special box.

Out, in turn, came a small heated propagator, multi-functional tool with clip-on attachments, gardening knife and his No 1 present, Felco secateurs.

Clare followed with several sound ideas covering propagation, plants and tools, then ended with a flourish inviting everyone to visit the Alnwick Garden’s Christmas fair, which offered even more options.

My turn offered a chance to extol the virtue of bringing a reminder of Christmas into a friend’s home every week of the year by taking out a magazine subscription in their name.

The choice is diverse, offering monthly or weekly treats.

I’ve long enjoyed the mine of information that pops through the letterbox each month in Which? Gardening and cannot fault The Garden magazine and other treats that come with membership of the Royal Horticultural Society.

My choice for a year’s supply of weekly magazines would be Garden News, which normally costs £1.99 but is currently on offer at £1 a copy, half the recommended retail price, for an annual subscription.

Apart from the feeling that it keeps you down to earth yet up to date with the gardening world, there’s further value for money.

Every week during the growing season, there are two packets of free seeds attached to the magazine. Unable to cope with these, they always end up as freebies at the garden club.