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Christmas Gift Guide for Gardeners 2017

christmas gifts for gardeners 2017

Tis the season to be picking out meaningful gifts for those we care about! Are you wondering what to gift a gardener friend, family member or spouse this Christmas? Or maybe something for yourself? Here a quick guide to great Christmas gifts for gardeners in 2017!

1.Botanical Watercolour Workshop Voucher – Know someone who loves art and plants? The highly talented Lucinda Law of Within hosts botanical watercolour workshops at her studio. Get your Single Visit Workshop Voucher here for $138 or email go@within.sg to purchase one or more vouchers.

2. DIY Beeswax Wrap Kit – A natural, reusable alternative to aluminium foil and cling wrap, beeswax wraps are breathable and can last up to a year. This is perfect for growers who love to cook, DIY and opt for a zero waste lifestyle. Get the kit for $49, complete with all the ingredients you need to make 6 beeswax wraps here!

3. Pots – Tumbleweed stocks some pretty attractive pots. This marble pot is great for indoor plant lovers who like design that is simple yet sleek. lt’s yours for $60 from the Tumbleweed shop.

4. Plant stands – Add a bit of style to the indoors with these plant stands, great as a standalone statement piece or one in a cluster of plants. Available from $100 at Tumbleweed and Noah Garden Centre.

Secret Gardens: A Guerilla Garden in Singapore

With a space constrained country like Singapore, it would be a missed opportunity and utter waste of space for land to be left untouched and not used grow something of value – be it for aesthetics, shade or consumption purposes. Over the weekend, I encountered this neat guerilla garden in a forested area, and I was very envious of the variety of plants growing here.

These plants are tended to by different guerilla gardeners living in apartments nearby, and once in a while, there are neighbours who come by to relax. I encountered a couple of friendly gentlemen, one a jogger, who invited me to come by anytime to visit and said I could come by to chill out, shoot the breeze, and watch the sky if I please. There was a very idyllic vibe to this space, and sounds of the city were inaudible, instead I could only hear bird calls, and what sounded like a frog.

With durian trees growing on one side, the guerilla garden features edible plants such as winter melon, luffa, pumpkin, rosella, eggplant, beans, tomato, pandan, sawtooth coriander, laksa leaf, basil, torch ginger, pineapple, papaya and bananas. Like many other community gardens, they are not immune to thievery – mostly humans, but sometimes wild boars and squirrels, the latter which enjoys a good durian tasting.

I am not able to disclose the whereabouts of this garden, and so I have decided that this would be the first feature of my Secret Gardens series. In some cases owners are publicity shy and do not wish to show their faces, and by having a Secret Gardens series, I am able to share more inspiring gardens with you.

April Session of Soil Class

Soil Class is back again in April, join us!

Soil Class (Basic Level) by The Tender Gardener

Relatively new to urban farming, and looking to demystify the subject of soil? Through this talk, learn soil basics and what your plants need to thrive instead of just survive. We will cover what you need to know to gain confidence in growing healthy edible plants, so join us!

Date & Time: 15 April 2017, 10:30am – 12:00pm
Venue: NONG at HortPark (33 Hyderabad Road (off Alexandra Rd), Beside the lawn
Cost: $39 per person, with limited spaces available, so booking is essential
RSVP: Sign up here!

What you will learn in this session:

– Different types of soil
– Physical needs of plants
– Nutrient requirements of plants
– Fertilisation
– Tips on growing seedlings
[To learn about soil amendments and mixing your own soil, please join us for the intermediate soil workshop on a later date]

Christmas Gift Guide for Gardeners 2016

Hunting for an appropriate gift for a new or experienced gardener? Here is a list that is sure to contain at least one relevant gift for gardeners of varying expertise, for any occasion!

  1. Mosquito repellant plants – Mosquito Plant, Citronella, Marigolds and Lantana are some plants which are said to repel mosquitoes. A thoughtful present for everyone, really. Available at Far East Flora and all good nurseries.
  2. Seeds –  The Seeds Master stocks a huge variety of heirloom, organic, and/or hybrid fruit, flower, and vegetable seeds. They do not sell GMO seeds. Buy individual packs or seed collections, available on their website, from S$5.62 a seed packet.
  3. GIY stick – This is for the travellers, the busy folks, or laid-back gardeners who love the aesthetics and/or benefits of plants but are not to able to dedicate time to watering them. All you need is a reusable bottle and a piece of fabric to use with the GIY stick. Buy it here, at S$10 each.
  4. Headlamp – This one is for the night gardeners, and can be used for any other kind of hands-free activity, or even during black outs. Available for $14.90 at Decathalon.
  5. Haw’s copper indoor watering can – A real showpiece which will last well through the years. Haws are renown for quality watering cans, and its watering rose ensures gentle sprinkling of water on your plants. Buy yours at Super Farmers or Plain Vanilla Home – 315 Outram Road, #08-06 Tan Boon Liat Building.
  6. Dr Bronner’s Castille Soap – This is a great gift that can be used for more than one purpose. This natural, fragrance-free, all-purpose soap comes in concentrated form and needs to be diluted before use – it can be used as a hand soap, or dishwashing liquid, and then used as a pest spray on plants. I don’t recommend just any kind of soap for plants because of its ingredients, including fragrance, but this is one that I consider to be safe. Available at Bud Cosmetics, S$11.90 for 236ml or 944ml for S$30.80.
  7. NaturalGro Organic Kelp Liquid Fertiliser – Seaweed emulsion contains more than 70 trace minerals that are beneficial to plants. Used at a foliar spray or soil conditioner, this is a useful gift for every gardener. Available at The Nature Company and World Farm, 240ml for S$11.50, or 1L for S$35.
  8. 1001 Garden Plants in Singapore (3rd edition) – This is a plant bible of a large variety of  plants available in Singapore, and is a popular read. Contrary to the title, there are more than 1001 plants included in the latest edition. Get your copy today from Singapore Botanic Gardens Shop, Nong, Kinokuniya and Times bookshops, S$27.90.
  9. Botanical watercolour classesWITHIN offers botanical watercolour classes and they have a few different packages for aspiring botanical artists. Vouchers are now available, starting from S$138 for a single class. We recommend at least an introductory class – 4 classes for S$380, materials are provided. More information here.

Something that I wanted to add to this list was knee pads but I wasn’t able to find ones of good quality. Hopefully by next year, I’m getting to that age where I need them and will have to buy mine overseas. I hope to compile a much more comprehensive guide next year. Happy holidays!

Picnic Days: Additional Kokedama Workshop Now Available!

kokedama

The morning session has sold out, and an additional workshop is now available! Here are more details on this workshop, which is a collaboration with Plain Vanilla Bakery, and part of Picnic Days –

String Garden: Kokedama Workshop

Wish to introduce greenery to your space, but looking for something space-saving yet stylish? Also known as ‘moss ball’ and ‘string garden’, Kokedama is a variant of bonsai cultivation, where plant roots are wrapped with moss. It can be suspended using string, or left to sit on a piece of pottery, to be admired.

During this hands-on session, participants will learn how to make and care for their own Kokedama, and take home their creation along with a set of plant notes.

Date: 21 August (Sunday)

Time: 2pm – 4pm

Venue: Plain Vanilla, 1D Yong Siak Street

Price: $75 per person

RSVP: Register in store, or by e-mail to workshops@plainvanillabakery.com