Christmas is a week away, hurtling towards us like a Crimbo asteroid. You’ve put gift-buying off and now you’re panicking.
No worries! Here is East End Gardener’s Last-Minute Christmas Guide – thoughtful gifts to get the gardeners in your life, helpful hints if loved ones need reminding, or just ideas so you can treat yourself over the Christmas period. Every item listed is available online, so you don’t brave the high street.
For the complete beginner: Rocket Gardens send over a boxful of baby plants, ready for the newbie gardener to pop into a pot or planter. They even offer boxes with different specialities, from readymade gardens perfect for window boxes to boxes of salad greens. Spring vegetable gardens available from £21.99
For the home-loving gardener: These lavendar pillows would smell fantastic in any home AND they go towards a good cause – the Guerilla Gardening project, which is busy making London green again with on-the-fly gardening. Lavender pillow, £15
For the green reader: There are a load of gardening books out there, but we especially like Sarah Raven’s The Great Vegetable Plot, which is a great guide to creating the perfect veg garden – and it includes recipes! The Great Vegetable Plot, £13.28
For the guerilla gardener: Calling all green activists! If you want to see a splash of wildflower colour in your city, opt for these seed bombs – a great way to get growth going in hard-to-reach places. This pack makes up to 20 seed bombs. Seed bomb kit, £5
Merry Christmas from all of us at East End Gardener!
By Zing Tsjeng. Photo from George Eastman House Photography Collection via Flickr under a CC licence.
Steve Wheen, better known as The Pothole Gardener, has been creating little pop-up gardens all over London since last year. His blog chronicles his guerilla gardening adventures and gets hundreds of thousands of hits from all over the world.
You could say gardening’s in Steve’s blood – his granddad was the first to breed red trumpeted daffodils, all the way over in Australia! We caught up with Steve at Columbia Road Flower Market, where we helped Steve with a little garden (read his blogpost about it). Here are our pics from our little adventure, plus Steve’s top tips for wannabe pothole gardeners:
Firstly, have a clear vision of what you’re creating, and picture the little garden in your mind. Plan your garden out and choose the right plants accordingly. Are you going to feature one flower, like a daffodil or a Gerber?
Steve considering a potential pothole garden
Layer your little garden in levels. You want the smaller plants towards the front, and larger plants at the back. Perhaps you might choose some grass to cover the soil? Think about where you want to draw your audiences eye in the garden. Also, try to not plant things which are too tall, especially if you’re planting in a pothole!
Use a variety of plants with different colours for maximum impact!
Choose plants for the right time of year, think about what’s colourful and in season. My favourites are bulbs in little gardens, but there are so many options available, make sure you do your research.
Who doesn't love getting Christmas cards in the mail?
If you’re going to add some props, make sure you leave some room for them and try to ensure they’re to scale. There’s no point in having giant props and tiny plants- or the other way around.
Make sure you take your camera with your gardening, and of course, watch out for cars!
The final product, on an East London side street near you!
Thanks for a great Sunday afternoon, Steve!
By Zing Tsjeng