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There is absolutely no feeling like lifting your own fresh vegetables straight from the ground or vegetable garden. It perhaps no surprise therefore that many urban developments have included allotments within their planning for decades.
Not only do allotments help local people provide fresh organic food they also act as a community hub and great for wildlife. Allotment gifts can reward our eco friendly friends and encourage them to enhance and improve their food production.
This can be a great bonus for us when they have a glut of fruit and veg in the summer months. Just saying! Growing vegetables has been shown to improve our health in two main ways; Good amounts of exercise gardening and eating organic produce free of herbicides and pesticides. It is not surprise therefore that the population is actively encouraged to grow more food.
What better way to do this than treating your allotment keeping friends to some cool allotment gifts. There are simply loads to choose from. From polytunnels to garden tiller to harvesting trugs to gardening hand tools. We have put together a full comprehensive allotment gifts checklist here.
Vegetable harvesting trug
Growing on an allotment can give you the space to grow a remarkable amount of fresh produce. In growing season during regular intervals allotment keepers will find themselves with occasional gluts of produce. Collecting and harvesting can become an industrial operation especially in August when fruit is ripening.
Sometimes the biggest challenge for allotment gardeners is finding what to do with all the excess produce they have. One fantastic allotment gift to help them get around this problem is a vegetable harvesting trug. Its bowel shaped base and wide sides allow vegetable growers to haul large collections of produce away with them easily.
Sowing and harvesting calendar
Allotment gardening is all about organization, timing and a good knowledge of seasonal variation. Sometimes with all the different vegetable varieties it can get a little confusing for the grower to keep on top of what they are growing and where. In order to plan this properly it is great to have a visual reference close by at all times.
This Vegetable sowing and harvesting calendar is one of those allotment gifts that will never go unused. This visual planning tool will mean your allotment going friend will never miss out on sowing or harvesting and crops at any time of the year.
Personalized allotment sign
If you have ever been to an allotment you would have been charmed by the way allotment growers ad their little bit of personality to their own plot. Some love to grow a few certain types plants which compliment their favourite cuisine. Others love to personalize their patch with national flags or quirky potting sheds and windmills.
Whatever your allotment friends love to grow you can guarantee it will be an extension of their personality. The best allotment gifts play to this theme including this personalized allotment sign. Let your friends proudly mark their vegetable growing plot with this great allotment sign.
Scott & Co vegetable seed sack
Allotment growers are never afraid to experiment with different vegetable varieties and if there is one thing they always use alot of its seeds. Seed growing is such an important part of allotment growing and also one of the most enjoyable.
There are literally hundreds of varieties of different herbs, vegetables and fruits all to be experimented with. This makes seeds such valuable allotment gifts for your vegetable growing friends. This vegetable seed sack contains dozens of vegetable seeds with a handy sack which can be used again and again.
Allotment month by month
One of the great things about growing vegetables on an allotment is general variability in your results. No matter how skilled and experienced you become there is always something new to learn and a challenge to overcome.
Hence allotment gardeners spend lazy days when the weather is bad researching information which can excel there growing adventures. This is a great idea for allotment gifts as the weather is not always fine and there is simply so much to learn. Allotment month by month breaks down everything you need to know about allotment growing and will make enjoyable reading for any allotment owner.
Unfortunately hedgehogs have become far less common than they were in the past. Urbanization and intensive farming has meant there is less suitable habitat for these small mammals. Not only have landscape changes within the past 100 years affected their numbers but the last 30 years has seen an even greater decline.
It seems hedgehogs have been making good use of peoples gardens for food and shelter. Most gardens have plenty of slugs, snails and insects for food and plenty of places to shelter and raise young. In recent years however less home owners have time to spend gardening.
This has led to a rise in minimalist landscaping which has no benefit to hedgehogs at all. Allotments however provide much better conditions for hedgehogs. This hedgehog home will make the perfect allotment gift and encourage local hedgehogs to feast on your garden pests.
Gardener’s tool belt
With so many gardening jobs to do throughout the season it is no surprise allotment gardeners are always busy. Sometimes there are so many projects that they do not have enough hands or tools for everything at once.
This means it is easy for an allotment owner to start on one project and end up doing completely another without even thinking about it. A great way to choose allotment gift is to try and tackle this issue head on. This gardener’s tool belt is perfect for projects around the vegetable plot.
It allows gardeners to have every tool to hand right when they need it. This gift is a perfect way to show your allotment friends you care.
Funky veg kit
Allotment gardeners love to watch their newly sowed seedlings slowly develop into delicious vegetables. This process has endless exciting stages with experimentation along the way to see what works and what doesn’t work.
This enthusiasm for experimentation means vegetable gardeners enjoy the challenge of growing wacky and even crazy looking vegetable varieties. It is a fact that an allotment gardener has the ability to grow weird and wonderful things you simply cannot buy at the supermarket.
This funky vegetable kit is a collection of extraordinary looking vegetable seeds in a box. It makes a perfect gift for allotment owners and one they will cherish at any occasion.
Many people love the idea of having an allotment but few people ever last substantial amounts of time keeping one. Allotment growers are hardcore outdoor types which keep up working on their allotment even when the weather is poor.
This consistency even in the cold winter month is the reason allotment gardeners manage to produce so much impressive produce. There are however some small things which make all the difference when working the allotment. A hot cup of tea or coffee allows vegetable gardeners to stay warm and vibrant during cold and miserable days.
This makes all the difference to an allotments success having the plot prepared and ready for sowing in early spring. This allotment mug will be highly treasured by your gardening friends and make them think of you when the days are short and cold.
Digging is a job sometimes thought of as a laborious and undesirable task. Allotment gardeners however are used to this extremely physical activity and realize it comes with the territory.
It has been measured that digging and turning the soil can burn as much as 500 calories per hour. This means a 5 hour session at the allotment could leave you in a complete daily calorie deficit for the whole day! Indeed digging is also a fantastic exercise for both loosing fat and strengthening the core muscles.
Allotment gardeners are very often fit individuals with a fresh organic diet to match. One down side to digging is they do get through many digging spades over the year. This is a good reason to gift them with the perfect digging allotment gift. This digging spade is lean and ready to accompany your allotment friends at any time of year.
One of the realities faced by people new to allotment gardening is you are completely cut off from the grid. Apart from water tap usually a few plots away there is no electricity or creature comforts.
This is sometimes the secret to why so many people love spending time at the allotment. Nowadays it is such a joy to be surrounded by the pleasure of birds singing and not be interrupted by phones or emails. This off-grid time spend away from the home allows for a satisfying feeling of self reliance.
This combined with a warm cup of tea on a chilly afternoon can be a joy most people in modern society miss. This Kelly kettle makes a perfect allotment gift allowing you to make hot drinks by burning small sticks and debris to boil water. Commonly used by wild campers this Kelly kettle is invaluable on the allotment.
Solar wind up radios
Allotments can give vegetable growers that little piece of isolation in nature everyone needs! Scientific research is now showing that being outside in natural environments is very good for our mental health.
Every now and then however allotment gardeners need a little piece of entertainment while they work. This is much welcomed even if it is a local weather report occasionally. This solar wind up radio is perfect for allotment as it requires no mains power to work at all.
Not only would it be great for the allotment but it could also be great for a crisis. The solar wind up radio is a perfect allotment gift for birthdays or Christmas.
Tweed flat cap
Now there is nothing stereotypical about allotment gardeners honest! It has to be said there will be days when its either terribly cold or the sun is beating down in summer time.
Both scenarios are probably more than likely on the allotment and in both cases it’s probably a good idea to have something on your head. Allow your gardening friends to blend in with fellow gardeners with this rather stylish flat cap. What an appropriate allotment gift for any time of year?
Allotment storage shed
Having an allotment is not exactly like gardening at home. At home you have everything at arm’s reach of you from the house, garage or shed. This is not so easy at an allotment with many growers choosing to carry their tools to site every time they visit the plot.
This can be rather awkward and laborious at the best of times. Hence an absolutely fantastic allotment gift for your friends is an allotment storage shed! These are perfect for locking up tools and even starting off young seedlings. They can be easily assembled on site on a simple, level base.
Solitary bee hotel
A very popular trend for allotment gardeners in recent times is to encourage wildlife to the plot. This is to benefit beneficial wildlife which will keep pests at bay. Attracting wildlife can be done by starting a small natural part of the plot where grass is left to grow long or even installing a wildlife pond.
Most allotment gardeners today have a greater understanding of the benefits of ecological pest control. A great way to encourage more wildlife to your friend’s allotment is to give them this solitary bee hotel as a gift. It will attract solitary bees and wasps which will keep pests under control and help to pollinate flowering fruits.
Petrol garden tiller
One of the biggest challenges of any allotment gardener is keeping their soil light, fluffy and free of weeds. Turning and digging over the soil by hand can be tough and hard on the back, it is also time consuming.
This is especially the case if a gardener has taken a new allotment for the first time. Chances are the plot will be full of grass and weeds with compacted ground. Getting an allotments soil oxygenated and ameliorated is crucial to grow healthy crops and make weeding easier.
There is not quicker and thorough way to do this than with a professional garden tiller. This machine would make a perfect allotment gift enabling your friends to save so much time digging. This means they can spend more time doing the jobs they love!
Gardening hand tool set
Allotment gardeners are continuously developing and maintaining their plot. This constant attention means a wide variety of gardening tools. Sometimes large powerful machines cannot blast through larger projects.
There are always times when vegetable gardeners need to work closely and personal with the ground. This usually requires a good selection of hand tools. This gardening hand tool set is perfect for allotment gardeners to carry out planting, sowing, weeding and many other gardening chores.
It is the perfect allotment gift for your vegetable gardening friends.
Id rather be down the allotment t shirt
One of the thing that is quite obvious when meeting allotment gardeners is they are very proud of their hobby. These lovers of the good life enjoy the escapism the allotment brings and want to show the world that they are doing their bit for the planet.
Not only that it has to be said after a few hours of working the land they can get rather messy! Why not combine a solution to these two aspects and buy them this great t-shirt.
The 'id rather be down the allotment' T-shirt will allow them show off while also saving their good t-shirts from the wear and tear of gardening. It’s a truly great allotment gift if they prefer to wear it for either task.
Gardeners hand cream set
Working the land is great way to develop physical strength, endurance and mental well being. It is unfortunately not so great for the skin. Hot summers can leave the skin sunburned and cold windy days can leave the skin sore and cracked.
What better way to show your allotment friends you care than gifting them with a skin care gift! This gardeners hand cream gift will allow your friends to protect and moisturize tired and expose skin. Whatever the time of year or what the weather brings this hand cream set will make a very useful allotment gift.
Sometimes fruit and vegetable gardeners just give themselves too much to do. From a lazy, dormant winter all of a sudden things burst into life and a gardener can become overwhelmed.
This is when it pays to be organized and when of the best ways to do this is monitor everything intensely. This is particularly relevant when sowing seedlings! It is so easy to lose track of what you have planted and at what time.
This can lead to complete confusion and frustration at the most important part of the season. These extremely functional gardening labels make a great gardening gift and very useful to allotment gardeners.
Paper pot maker
In recent times our awareness of how waste plastics are effecting or global ecosystems has become mainstream news. It is not just the fact that plastic looks unsightly or it can trap wildlife!
Plastic breaks down into tiny pieces and can enter our bodies at a microscopic level. The long term implications for this are still unknown. Finding alternatives to plastic wherever possible should now be a priority for everybody.
This is especially true for vegetable gardeners with pots and potting trays made up primarily of plastic. This paper pot maker could make an extremely eco friendly allotment gift. It allows your gardener mates to create pots easily by recycling waste paper which biodegrades organically.
Leather gardening gloves
Allotment gardening can be tough on the hands and it is not uncommon for gardeners to wear gloves to protect the hands. The problem is cheaper gardening gloves rarely last very long before tearing or wearing down. For this reason a great way to treat your gardening friends is to gift them with a good quality pair of gloves.
These leather gardening gloves are robust and ready for serious vegetable gardening. They not only protect the hands but forearms also perfect for all kinds of gardening tasks. They are also snug and warm so perfect for cold and wet days on the allotment.
One great way to encourage some ecological pest control on the allotment is to try to encourage as much wildlife as possible. Encouraging ecological balance means having larger predators such as amphibians and birds which happily feed on pests.
Because allotment growers want to eat organic, fresh produce without chemical pesticides creating a place for wildlife is a wise investment. One of the best ways you can encourage wildlife to any area is to install a wildlife pond. This can even be just a very small pool of water to have a large impact on wildlife.
This wildlife pond is a perfect allotment gift all you need is a spade, a hose and just wait for the wildlife to arrive!
Gardeners wheel barrow
Allotments regularly require much digging and moving material from one position to another. Not wanting to lift too much at once a good sturdy wheel barrow will enable your allotment friends to carry out multiple tasks.
Activities such as harvesting and spreading composted material are very effective with a wheel barrow on site. This wheelbarrow will make a fantastic allotment gift honesty your friend will wonder how they ever coped without it.
One of the most fulfilling parts of having an allotment is starting off seeds and caring for them until they are harvested as delicious vegetables. This process is a nurturing one but one that would not be possible without the extra care needed during and just after germination.
This vital period of a young plants life is the most crucial. Hence allotment gardeners benefit by providing a stable environment during this time. The most effective way to do this is with an electric propagator.
This allows you to start off seedlings when it is too cold early on in the season to sow direct. These propagators come in a variety of shapes and sizes and make fantastic allotment gifts.
Allotment gardeners generally don’t like to use synthetic fertilizers on their crops. They prefer to keep things natural and organic. Composting is a natural way of recycling nutrients in and around the allotment helping to feed plants and enhance fertility.
There are many different ways to compost but a fantastic, quick and easy way is to use a compost tumbler. This rotating barrel allows organic material to be oxygenated without the need for heavy turning.
Compost tumblers can make suitable compost in as little as six weeks as long as the correct waste types are added with sufficient moisture. A compost tumbler could make the perfect present for your allotment friends.
Gardener’s bits and bobs tin
Keeping an allotment can be both challenging and rewarding. Most vegetable gardeners accept that will always be so many bits and bobs which need to be at hand to carry out those small but significant allotment tasks.
They may need some twine to tie back the tomatoes or grab some gardening labels to name a new succession sowing. These allotment bits and bobs can become rather disorganized very quickly and a good way to contain them is a gardeners bits and bobs tin.
This awesome little allotment gift comes with some pre arranged bits and bobs to get started. After some time this tin will be the go to place for all their gardening essentials.
When many people start out on an allotment they are usually rather overwhelmed by just how much ground they have to develop. Finding a use and roll for every piece of ground can be a challenging provoking much thought. It has to be said that one of the best ways of accelerating an allotments production is to install a polytunnel to the site.
Polytunnels allow vegetable gardeners to extend their growing season considerably making them an ideal allotment gift. They come in all shapes and sizes but popular allotment examples are around 6 meters by 2 meters and cost about the amount of a good quality lawn mower.
Allotment planting auger
Having such a large plot for growing means an allotment gardener is always looking for every opportunity to become more efficient and cover more ground. Keeping up with all the weeding, pruning and watering on such a plot can be time consuming and also physically challenging.
Planting alone can take up an extraordinary amount of time and energy especially in spring and early summer. A perfect allotment gift which can mitigate this is a petro auger. This allows the allotment gardener to bore out sections of ground perfect for planting small shrubs and young plants.
There are now even hand drill planting attachments perfect for smaller plants and bulbs. These allow the gardener to save time and become more efficient on the vegetable plot.
As many allotment gardeners know there are always pests that will come and gladly nibble away their tasty crops. Keeping pests at bay can be even more challenging on the allotment than in the garden at home.
Allotments are more likely to be visited by birds and small mammals looking for an easy meal. This is where a deterrent is needed and what better way to gift your allotment friends than with this cool and cheeky traditional scare crow.
There has always been some controversy over if these scare crows do actually scare off pests. Either way there is no doubt that every little helps and even if the pests still come it certainly will add character to your friend’s allotment plot.
As many allotment gardeners know spending time working at the allotment is not just a summer past time. In fact much intense digging, weeding, clearing and site development happen in the winter time.
This can be messy and challenging work and really sets apart the fair weather gardeners from the hard core horticulturists. For this reason when searching for the perfect allotment gifts it is important to try to make these times more enjoyable.
What better way to gift your allotment friends than with this thermos flask. It will keep them topped up with hot drinks on even the coldest days so they keep warm inside and out while working.
It’s amazing how time flies when working outside on the allotment. When there is a goal in mind and the adrenaline is pumping sometimes gardeners forget to even take a break.
Working hard usually means keeping warm but staying on your feet all day can become tiring after a while. Sometimes you simply need some relaxing moments. Allotment gardeners love to sit back and watch over their progress every now and then and this is the perfect gift for such an occasion.
It is always very suppressing just how much rubbish and debris a vegetable grower can accumulate after a long season on the allotment. Sometimes there is simply nothing better than a good burn up.
Most of the time allotment owners will try to compost as much dead and woody material as possible to recycle nutrients. However there are many occasions where certain material is better off incinerating including perennial weed roots and self seeding weeds.
By burning these it is far less likely they will return next season. This makes this incinerator a very effective allotment gift.
Allotment gardeners continuously have to work the soil. If it is not breaking up clods and fertilising in winter it is planting and weeding during the season.
Traditionally gardeners have used a combination of spades, folks and hand trowels. The problem with trowels is they can be hard on the rists especially if they are working with heavy soils. Spades and folks do not allow you to work closely to the soil making them less suitable for intricate tasks.
This digging hoe on the other hand is perfect for all sorts of gardening tasks. Using a swinging momentum it allows you to plant, hoe and weed the soil at close range with minimal effort.
.Did this article help you with what you were looking for? If it did why not share it with your gardening friends? if you need more gardening gift ideas why not check out our article 100 gifts for gardeners here.
Why not also check out Garden Diva's for more allotment gift ideas.
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Cool garden games
Indoor games like Jenga, chess, twister and dominoes come with a long list of benefits. They’re not just fantastic boredom cures, they’re also a great way to train our brains. Even simple activities like Connect Four have a strategy and, to emerge victorious, players must scheme, plot and plan. For this reason, board games and other indoor challenges are ideal for families. The only downside is you have to play indoors. Or do you?
Over the last decade, the market has been awash with supersized outdoor versions of traditional family games. Just like badminton and swing ball, all your favourite competitions can now be played outside in the garden on hot summer afternoons. As big fans of outdoor events and social gatherings – we really love a family cookout – we were very excited to explore some of these ‘giant’ garden games.
For this list of the coolest garden games, we tried to stick with fairly classic and traditional choices. Some of them you’ll be more used to playing indoors (like dominoes). Others were made for use outside (like boules), but you may never have tried them before. Hopefully, it’ll include some activities which are completely new to you and perfect for your backyard.
You need a reasonably large yard to play badminton because it’s a bat and ball game. It is ironic you can’t play it inside because professional badminton matches are never played outdoors. The shuttlecock is so light even a small gust of wind can blow it off course. Sunny days without a breeze provide the ideal playing conditions.
Like tennis, badminton can be played with two or four (two to a team) players. The objectives are to score points by batting the shuttlecock into your opponent’s half and prevent your opponent from scoring by returning their attempts. The rules are so simple even young children can play though it may take time to develop their batting skills.
Backyard badminton kits come with two or four bats. We recommend a four-player kit; the more players, the more fun you’ll have. You’ll get several shuttlecocks (believe us, they’re easy to lose), two poles and a net. Push the poles into the grass and stretch the mesh net between them to create your playing area.
Garden skittles has to be one of our favourite games because it takes the thrill of indoor bowling outside into the backyard. Who doesn’t love lining the ball up, adopting an ambitious stance and celebrating wildly when they get a strike? Just us? As far as garden games go, this one was made for summer days. It takes mere minutes to set up (and clear away), you don’t need a huge amount of space and everybody understands the rules.
There are all kinds of outdoor bowling kits available on the market. Some are quite sophisticated with sleek wooden pins and balls; these are best for adult players. For children and families, we recommend one of the enlarged sets. The pins are bigger than normal so you can set it up in a large space and give little ones a shot at a strike.
Croquet is a very old activity and one of the few games on our list specifically invented for socialites to play in their gardens. It’s one of those games with rules which seem familiar even if you’ve never played before. While professional croquet is a little more complicated, yard games are played by hitting balls through small hoops on the ground.
Points are scored when a player successfully hits their ball through a hoop. However, they can also prevent opponents from scoring by using their turn to strike at other people’s balls and knock them off course. This is why croquet is such fun; just make sure you play with people who don’t mind a healthy dose of competition!
Archery is so much more than a backyard game. For children who take a shine to it and demonstrate natural aptitude, it can turn into a very rewarding hobby. That’s why there are both playful, vibrantly coloured archery kits on the market and more advanced sets. We encourage families to double-check they’re buying the right type of product for their yard.
The fun, casual archery sets come with sucker tipped arrows as opposed to sharp-pointed ones. These are much safer; even the poorest shots will bounce off a spectator without causing any harm. These backyard games come with a bow, multiple arrows, a quiver for storing arrows and a height-adjustable target board. If you want to play as a family, pick a slightly taller board that can be adjusted to fit all your competitors.
5. Giant Jenga
Does this game need introductions? If you’ve heard of Jenga, you already know how to conquer giant outdoor Jenga. The game is played in exactly the same way as classic Jenga except for the fact its pieces are supersized. It can be taken out into the backyard and played on soft grass. The only downside we can see to buying a giant Jenga set is the fact it uses more storage space than normal.
Although, if you buy a set that comes with a high-quality storage bag, it’s not much of a problem. Keep the bag away from moisture in a garden shed and it’ll always be in good condition. You’d think making the pieces bigger would result in an easier game of Jenga, but you might be in for a surprise. Don’t forget to jump out of the way when those bricks come tumbling down or you may end up buried under them.
6. Garden Dominoes
Just like giant Jenga, garden dominoes are a supersized version of the classic game we all know and love. The rules don’t change. The playing pieces are just bigger. They’re better suited to backyard tournaments because they’re harder to lose (try missing one of these in long grass), they can be used on uneven ground and it’s easier to get multiple competitors gathered around without knocking the tower over.
These giant Jenga sets come in one of two forms. You can get giant foam pieces or pieces made from wood. Both types play just as efficiently but wooden pieces are probably going to last longer and sustain less damage over the years. If you’ve ever owned a foam game set, you’ll know gouges and tears are a possibility.
Boules is another old fashioned game that goes by several names. If you see the words ‘petanque’ or ‘French boules,’ you’re still looking at a classic boules kit or set. They’re all the same thing. Backyard boules is played by (underarm) throwing wooden or metal balls at a target. The objective is to be the player who throws their ball closest to this target.
Each player has multiple balls to throw during a round. They may use any of their turns to throw directly at an opponent’s ball and knock it off course much like in games of croquet. Again, there are lots of different boules sets on the market. Some sets are of a professional quality with polished chrome balls. Others are more family-oriented; we’re particularly fond of the lightweight plastic balls you can fill with water.
Technically, frisbee isn’t a game. However, since it’s perfect for backyard use, we couldn’t miss it off our list of the coolest yard games. Plus, there is a growing appreciation for what’s known as ‘ultimate frisbee,’ a more competitive version of the activity. If you want to play ultimate, you need two teams and a fairly large garden (and one frisbee, of course).
The teams need one (or several) offense and defence players who start each game at opposite ends of the space. Offense players are not allowed to cross into the opposite endzone and vice versa. It means players should be in an endzone with opponents. The objective to make as many passes to your teammates as possible and prevent your opponent’s passes by intercepting them.
Quoits is one of those rare yard games that anybody can learn how to play in minutes. It’s very self-explanatory and needs little instruction. Whether you’ll be any good at playing the game is a different question entirely. It’s not as easy as it looks. Quoits sets come with a wooden cross with numbers on the spokes. There are five tall poles which get inserted into the spokes (and one in the middle).
So, you end up with a game which looks similar to a classic hoopla only with more than one target. The gameplay is as simple as the set-up. Like a ring toss or hoopla, players throw stiffened rope rings at the targets. Scores are determined according to the number on the ‘captured’ spoke. The player with the highest score at the end wins the game.
10. Giant Four in a Row
You may know this game a little better as ‘Connect Four’ because the rules and pieces are the same only supersized. The gameplay isn’t any different. With these giant backyard sets, you get a sizeable - often three or four foot tall – slot board and large round counters for making winning connections.
It works much like a massive game of tic tac toe. The first player to insert four coloured counters into the slots in a straight undisturbed line (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) wins the round and the points. Players must work fast and keep one eye on their opponent to thwart attempts to occupy winning slots.
Giant Four in a Row is another example of a perfect backyard game for families and young children in particular. The rules are so simple anybody can play. As the pieces are very large, taking turns doesn’t require much dexterity or skill. In fact, just handling the pieces and inserting the counters into the slots can be a form of movement-based learning for toddlers.
11. Yard Twister
It’s not accurate to say there’s a difference between classic twister and ‘yard’ twister. You could very easily take the regular version outdoors. What you can purchase is a noticeably larger version of the game which may be better suited to garden use. If you’ve never played twister before, the rules are easy to follow.
The game board is neatly divided into quarters. Each quarter depicts a body part and four different colours. The referee (who doesn’t play) spins an arrow and players must attempt to follow the instructions according to the body part and colour it lands on. For example, ‘right hand, red’ sees all players attempting to put this hand on a red circle on the mat. Things get tough quickly as the player’s body positions become increasingly ‘twisty.’
We love it when garden games require minimal preparation. Generally speaking, the best games for fun and frolics in the sun are ones you can set up quickly. Limbo is one of these games. We all recognise its name. Many of us have played it once or twice. It’s very easy to set up. In fact, most limbo sets come with just three pieces if you don’t include the feet.
You get two vertical poles and a limbo stick for balancing horizontally across them. The objective is simple; pass beneath the limbo stick without touching it. Players must face forwards and stay on their feet. Kneeling and crawling are forbidden. After each round, the limbo stick is lowered slightly to make the game tougher.
In our experience, rounders can be a love or hate game. It is similar to cricket which can discourage people because let’s face it, cricket is often a long, long, long process. Luckily, a game of rounders is like a faster, more dynamic version. Garden rounders, in particular, is designed to keep things moving with simpler rules.
On their turn, each batter strikes a fast bowled ball. They must then run as far as possible around four posts to complete a ‘rounder’ before the ball is captured and used to ‘tag’ them out. Ultimately, a batter is only safe when stood touching a post. They can be eliminated at any time while they are running between posts, so this is a game for the speedsters.
14. Treasure Hunt
There are lots of different treasure hunt style games available. Some have a game board. Others come with a bag which players reach inside to pick their coveted item. Some versions distribute scavenger style checklists for players to record their progress. Whatever style of game you choose, this type of activity can be very beneficial for younger children. Many primary schools encourage their pupils to ‘scavenger hunt’ because it gets them asking questions about the world.
Our favourite version requires the game supervisors (parents) to hide plastic tokens or coins around the backyard and house. There is a treasure map which corresponds with the locations; children can work individually or alone to find them. We definitely recommend purchasing a game which can be played more than once. Some maps have stick on components which can be rearranged and reused.
15. Giant Noughts and Crosses
Time for another supersized backyard game. The giant version of noughts and crosses is played exactly as you’d expect but the board and pieces are bigger. You can get some yard sets which include a flexible rope board. It’s similar to a rope ladder only in a square shape with nine sections. We prefer foam alternatives in this case because they feel weightier and more substantial. We also like to have a game board with a rigid back. ``
It’s really just personal preference as both versions are played in the same way. You perhaps need a slightly flatter surface for a game board with a rigid back. As for the rules, well, you probably know them already. As with tic tac toe and Connect Four, the objective is to be the first player to create a straight uninterrupted line with your counters.
16. Giant Chess
We love chess and think everybody, young or old, should get an opportunity to enjoy it. With a giant garden set, you can play outdoors in the sun anytime you want. While the rules of chess are relatively convoluted, half the pleasure of playing is teaching other people to love the game. So, you need somebody who knows what they’re doing. Get the kids to ask their grandparents for some pointers.
Supersizing the chessboard can make it easier for new players to learn. They can physically move around the board, weave in and out of the pieces and put themselves in the place of a rook, bishop or pawn. It brings a whole new perspective to a very old activity and it’s one of our favourite items on this list.
17. Swing Ball
Swing ball used to be one of the most popular yard games. In recent years, it has fallen out of fashion slightly and we think it’s time for a revival. Some benefits of the game are its simple set up, basic rules and fast-paced play. Okay, so the gameplay is very fast. Some children (overly competitive siblings, let’s say) might need supervision or just a stern warning not to deliberately swing the ball at their opponent’s face.
If you purchase a freestanding swing ball set, there’s no set up required. Place the swing ‘tower’ on a flat surface in an open area. Providing the product is of a high quality, the base should be weighted to prevent it from toppling over. Players must use plastic bats to hit a tennis ball on a wire and send it careering towards their opponent who must hit it back.
To end our compilation of the coolest yard games, we want to talk about a product which is both scourge and delight for parents. If we’re being honest, trampolines are just about the most fun a child can have in their back yard. However, they can also be very dangerous if used improperly. So, you should only buy a trampoline for your garden if you are confident everybody who has access to it will bounce responsibly.
Garden trampolines come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. Most include a safety net which hangs around the perimeter to prevent jumpers from bouncing off the sides. These mesh nets are said to reduce trampoline injuries by as much as 50%. Therefore, it is worth paying more for one and spending the extra time to install it.
Thank you for reading our article on cool garden games. If you did not find what you were looking for why not check out GardenGames.com here.
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The best gardening gifts are those which make the green-fingered grower in your life light up with possibilities and potential. Whether they’re fondest of planting, harvesting, barbequing or sun lounging, they deserve gadgets which reward their passion for nature and the outdoors. Fortunately, there are plenty of exciting products out there which make perfect presents for eager gardeners.
There are lots of great safety and maintenance gifts which give protection to gardeners when they’re working with blades, heat or thorns. Or opt for something less practical but full of personality, perhaps, such as comedy gnomes, unusual gadgets, themed growing kits (grown your own cocktails, plant a bonsai tree, etc) and giant backyard games.
For serenity seeking gardeners, there are water features, hammocks, summer houses, swinging love seats and gorgeous greenhouses. Whatever their or your preferences, if you look in the right places, you’re guaranteed to find superb outdoor gadgets. We’ve put together a list of the best gardening gifts online to help you find the right ones.
1. Butterfly Mix Seed Balls
Butterfly mix seed balls are the gardening equivalent of a really fantastic stocking filler or ‘mini’ gift. They are very affordable, widely available and have a big impact (particularly in comparison with their low cost). They come in a tin containing 10-15 small clusters of wildflower seeds. The idea is if you scatter these seed balls about the back garden and add water, beautiful wildflowers will spring up in their place.
As the seeds are specially selected for their ability to attract butterflies, anybody who uses them should, theoretically, get a whole new set of backyard visitors once they’re in full bloom. The great thing about these butterfly mix seed balls is they don’t need maintenance. Each ball already contains compost, clay and a sprinkle of chilli powder to deter pests while they grow.
2. Gardening Claw Gloves
You know all about traditional gardening gloves, but do you know about gardening claw gloves? Well, we’re here to show you something new. Gardening claw gloves are much like regular gloves except for one of each pair has plastic tipped fingers. These plastic ‘claws’ are intended to act like mini trowels so wearers can rake and dig while close to the soil.
Pulling weeds by hand and having trouble with a terribly tough root? You could get up and fetch your spade or, if you’ve got gardening claw gloves, simply use the tools already on your fingers to dig up the soil. If you’re going to buy gloves like these for yourself or a loved one, make sure they’ve got a waterproof coating and a thick exterior to protect against thorns.
3. Cool Cocktails Seed Kit
Make gardening fun again with a cool cocktails seed kit. These growing kits are part of a burgeoning trend for themed planting. You might have seen others designed for chilli lovers, butterfly enthusiasts, succulent fans and more. Cocktail themed growing kits provide all the necessary equipment (including seeds) to grow garnishes for popular drinks.
For instance, common seed varieties include peppermint, lemon balm, lime basil, anise hyssop, cucamelon; all plants which taste great paired with cocktails. The kits come with growing pots, compost, plant labels and, in some cases, propagator powders or liquids to speed up the process and help the plant produce a yield faster. They make great gardening gifts for anybody who likes their planting and sowing to come with a reward.
4. I Love Gardening Gift Box Puzzle
We promised you interesting gardening gifts, so we’ve made sure to pick out a varied selection. This next product is not strictly for the garden, but we think it’d make a wonderful addition to a hot and summery day anyways. The ‘I Love Gardening’ Gift Box is a dream for anybody who loves puzzles. It’s a 500 piece jigsaw which pokes gentle fun at suburban gardens and allotments.
The more you look at the finished puzzle, the more details you see. If we say there is a fire truck, a beanstalk and an old lady being lofted into the sky by a runaway lawnmower, you’ll know this is not a serious and sincere gift. It’s wonderfully mischievous and more than a little naughty in places; pore over it, complete it and maybe even frame it once you’re done.
5. Funny Gardening Mug
To another less than serious gardening gift idea: the funny gardening mug. Let’s face it, whether you’re an older person who loves birdwatching or a tough young grower who gets excited about landscaping projects; we all love a novelty mug. They make wonderful gifts because they’re very affordable, highly practical and can be chosen to suit your favourite person’s humour and character.
Some of our favourites are the herb themed mugs with funny puns on their outsides. For instance, ‘I’m kind a big dill’’ or ‘It’s party thyme.’ Are you going to change the world with a gift like this? No, but you are going to put a big smile on somebody’s face. It’s also worth mentioning these funny gardening mugs are perfect for Secret Santa exchanges.
6. Aero Garden Hydroponic Herb Grower
We can’t get enough of these next gadgets. They can be quite pricey but the things they do are impressive. The aero garden hydroponic herb grower is an ‘all in one’ growing kit that functions more like a miniature greenhouse than a plant pot. It sits on the windowsill like a plant pot, but the growing tray automates irrigation, oxygenation and fertilisation.
The idea is you can plant your seeds, place the pot on a windowsill and it takes care of everything your herbs could ever need to grow strong. Even watering is automatic and set to the schedule you choose; there’s an arm which extends over the pot and provides water at regular intervals. It is one of the easiest ways we know to start and maintain an herb garden.
7. Vertical Wall Planter
Sometimes, the best gardening gifts are those which allow an outdoor space to be used in a new way. Take vertical wall planters, for example. They’re simply constructed and easy to install but they can add extra dimensions to a backyard. Got a drab and lifeless exterior wall that’s in need of colour? Spruce it up by going vertical.
Most wall planters need only a nail or screw and can be hung in minutes. Our favourite products are the multiple planters which come with a dripping pipe on the top. Users just connect the hose to their tap and water is fed through the pipe and used to irrigate vertically growing plants. The best thing is it’s very controlled; it’s a ‘dripping system’ so plants won’t ever get oversaturated or flooded.
8. Gardening Apron
If you’re stuck for gardening gifts this year, you can’t go wrong with a high-quality gardening apron. They come in a huge variety of styles, so you’re bound to find a fit and design which matches your needs perfectly. Whether you opt for a pretty design or the toughest, most rugged features, we recommend an apron with a multi-pocket on the front and a ‘click clip’ fastener (rather than just ties).
Think about it. You’ve just come in from the garden. Your fingers are very muddy and slippery with soil; it’s going to be much easier to use a ‘click clip’ with messy hands than it is to untie a knot or three. It comes down to preference, ultimately, but we do like the convenience of slipping a gardening apron off almost hands-free after a planting session.
9. Lawn Aerator Shoes
Lawn aerator shoes don’t look cool but that doesn’t stop them from being some of the best gardening gifts around. We like them because they make a typically dull job quicker and easier. Does anybody enjoy manually aerating their lawn? We didn’t think so. Fortunately, these shoes have aeration spikes on the soles. Users simply need to walk across a lawn or patch of soil to aerate it as they move.
They’re easy to use. Just slip your feet (while wearing shoes) underneath the row of fabric straps and pull them tight to secure the aerators. Then, walk about the garden to produce small holes which allow additional oxygen and nutrients to enter the soil. Aeration is an important part of keeping soil – particularly beneath compacted lawns – breathable, well-fed and capable of taking on water.
10. Rolling Composter
Compost tumblers or ‘rolling composters’ are large gadgets and they can be pricey which makes them more of an ‘investment’ gift for the gardener you love. In the long term, they have the potential to transform outdoor habits and improve eco-friendly credentials. They make great gifts for all environmentally conscious families but, for older gardeners, they can be particularly impactful.
Unlike regular compost bins which are, simply, smell proof containers for organic materials (kitchen scraps, garden cuttings, etc), rolling composters have a big handle on the side. Instead of aerating the pile manually with a rake or fork, users can just turn this handle and rotate the barrel without getting up close and personal. By removing manual force, these gadgets enable every type of gardener to create high-quality compost in half the time.
11. Gardening Tool Belt
Like outdoor aprons, gardening tool belts come in just about any colour and design you can think of. This means they’re a good gardening gift; you can find a tool belt to match any personality or taste. When shopping for a product like this, utility is the most important so prioritise tool belts with lots of pockets and adjustable straps.
While leather aprons look stylish, they can be expensive and prone to damage, hence the ‘distressed’ aesthetic so common to leather items. From a practical perspective, we recommend the nylon aprons. They’re highly waterproof, flexible enough to allow for unrestricted movement but still durable. You’re unlikely to get rips or tears in a high-quality nylon tool belt even when working among thorns and tough terrains.
12. Easy Reach Pruner
Many gardening gadgets are designed with mobility in mind. After all, not everybody finds it easy to carry out the essential maintenance work a backyard needs. Older gardeners and those with impaired mobility can benefit from products like the easy reach pruner which puts a pair of pruning blades on an extendable pole. The shears are at one end and there’s a control mechanism at the other, making a sort of ‘grabber’ device.
In hard to reach spots, use the long pole to get access and the mechanism on the handle to control the pruning blades at the other end. Whether you’ve got low mobility or can’t reach a particular part of the garden, this gadget can help. Carbon steel blades ensure every cut is clean and doesn’t cause any damage to plants. Typically, these easy reach pruners can cut stems up to a thickness of approximately 7.5mm.
easy reach pruner
13. Gardeners Tool Cart and Seat
If the gardener in your life doesn’t have a gardener’s tool cart and seat, you may have found the perfect gift. We love these gadgets because they expertly combine two of our favourite things – practicality and comfort. They’re as simple as they sound; you get a moveable container (usually on wheels) with a moulded lid designed for impromptu sitting.
Like many of the best gardening gifts, this product enhances the joy of being outdoors. Whether pruning, shearing, planting or weeding, you can have both a comfy rest area and your favourite tools close to hand. Some tool carts are simpler than others, with small wheels and no extendable pull handle. Others are a little more sophisticated and can be used as rolling (self-propelled) ‘vehicles’ across short distances.
14. Cut Resistant Gardening Gloves
It’s surprising how many gardening gloves aren’t designed to be cut resistant when you consider the number of blades available to the average gardener. Most are made of very tough, thick materials but there’s a difference between rugged material and a cut-proof construction. In fact, there’s even a professional standard of cut resistance for products designed to work in this way.
For the most cut resistant gardening gloves, look for level five products. These are the toughest and most capable of withstanding cutting forces from pruners, shears, mowers, pocketknives and even axes. Wear a pair of these whenever you’re handling a blade and there’s never any need to worry about accidents. As these products are made from super strong elastic nylon, they provide protection without compromising on manoeuvrability.
15. Professional Secateurs Set
The big benefit of secateurs sold as ‘professional’ over standard secateurs is their practically unbreakable design. These gadgets are extremely tough. They have extra strong forged aluminium blades to create some of the hardiest clippers you’ll ever use. Other than their strength, they’re much the same as regular garden secateurs. You can use them to prune branches up to a diameter of 22m on trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers.
One of our favourite features – and one we recommend – is a sap groove. This is a small channel which directs sticky sap away from the cutting surfaces. It reduces the risk of rusting and helps to keep the secateurs’ blades clean. It’s a small detail but the kind of practical addition which makes some products a bit more functional than others.
16. Electric Propagator
Electric propagators are wonderful gadgets and, often, a lot less expensive than may you think. These nifty growing trays come with an inbuilt heating system which accelerates germination and allows heat-loving plants to grow successfully in colder climates. Tomatoes, for example, love the sun and can struggle to reach full strength when humidity and temperatures are on the low side.
With a plug-in electric propagator, it’s no problem. Set the growing tray on a windowsill and it’ll provide your seedlings with constant warmth of around 16-19 degrees centigrade. For those in colder locations who don’t have access to a greenhouse, these gadgets are one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to grow plants with particular needs.
17. Funny Gardening T-Shirt
If you know a gardener who’s got all the best tools and gadgets already, you could delight them with a funny gardening T-shirt. How about a ‘Lawn Enforcement’ T-shirt to ensure everybody knows who’s boss in the backyard. Or a ‘Master of Mowology’ shirt because it sounds cool (to us, anyway) and it’s a funny, silly way to show off those growing skills.
Funny gardening T-shirts are another product which can be matched to a friend or relative’s personality or sense of humour, making them a top gift. Just make to pick the right size and get a shirt that’s easy to machine wash in case they take it out into the yard. The last thing you want is lasting soil or grilling stains on a top T-shirt.
18. Garden Herb Growing Kit
There are lots of great herb growing kits on the market right now. Some of our favourite products come with wooden or metal planters which are an ideal fit for traditional rustic kitchens and greenhouses. The advantage of buying an ‘all in one kit’ is you get everything you need to grow the herbs successfully. You don’t need to buy anything else.
Most kits come with plant pots or a planter tray, peat growing plugs and seeds like basil, coriander, chives and parsley. You normally get markers and labels too so you can easily distinguish your seedlings even before they sprout. This is important because, often, herbs have slightly different watering requirements. For a beginner gardener, we think these affordable kits are a valuable introduction to planting and growing.
19. Gardening Hand Cream Set
Few things are as tough on the hands as regular planting and pruning. Even if you don’t have to deal with thorns, repeated exposure to wet, rough and dirty conditions is enough to draw moisture out of the skin and leave them feeling abrasive. So, if you know a gardener with rough, tough hands, you could gift them a gardening hand cream set this year.
Some of the best ingredients to look out for – the ones which flood the skin with moisture to replace what’s been lost – are shea butter, glycerine, lanoline and petroleum jelly. These ingredients are all recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology. One other ingredient which we like, though it’s not quite as common, is matcha tea extract. It’s an antioxidant which has prolonged moisturising and hydrating effects.
20. ‘Gardening Through the Year’ Book
The final gardening gift on our list is an educational choice. It’s a popular guide called ‘Gardening Through the Year’ which gives gardeners all the information they need to plant and grow successfully in any season. It includes truly beautiful illustrations alongside its thousands of tips on plant care, pruning, pond maintenance, creating lawns and more.
The ‘To Do’ list, ‘Last Chance’ reminders and ‘Get Ahead’ tips change according to the time of year and weather conditions, so this book is very comprehensive. If you run into trouble with carrots or can’t find the right time to sow cabbages, you’ll find help in this high-quality guide. Just make sure you get it back if you lend it to your friends. It’ll quickly become your gardening bible.
If you need more gardening gift ideas why not check out our article on 100 gifts for gardeners here. For a great website also for gardening gifts is Uncommongoods.com
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Do you have a keen gardener or three on your Christmas gift list? Need advice on the best products and gadgets to buy? Good news; we’ve got all the insights you could ever need. We’ve been on a search for the coolest gifts for gardeners and uncovered some truly fascinating products. With our help, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect present.
These days, gardening gifts are so much more than trowels and aprons. There are gadgets designed to make your outdoor space look prettier.
Other gardening gadgets extend its use so cookouts, al fresco parties and family gatherings can continue long into the evening. Some gardening products bring a sense of personality and fun which is just as important.
Take a look at our list of cool gifts for gardeners to find the ideal product for your loved one:
1. Miniature Greenhouse
Gardeners with a limited amount of outdoor space can still achieve their cabbage patch dreams with a miniature greenhouse. These itty bitty structures are, on average, around six square feet.
This means they’re ideal for use on patios, decks and even balconies. In other words, with a mini greenhouse you don’t even technically need a garden. Swiss chard, spinach, kale and other salad vegetables can easily thrive in a scaled down environment.
2. Glass Drink Dispenser
A glass drink dispenser is a handy addition to any outdoor event. Not only does it reduce the amount of serving time in the kitchen, but it also allows guests to help themselves in a very practical and hygienic way.
If you buy a glass dispenser with a tap mechanism on the front, there’s a significantly lower risk of spills, dirty hands in the drinks and…let’s face it, hard work for the host. Who wants to spend their party pouring drinks?
3. Bird Box Video Camera
Some of the most interesting gifts for gardeners are those which provide a new view on a familiar scene. With a bird box camera, wildlife lovers don’t just get a new view on their favourite backyard visitors;
they can also share it with others. These clever garden gadgets make a wonderful gift because they capture high quality footage of nesting behaviours which can be viewed as many times as you like without causing any harm to wildlife.
4. Wall Planter
Know a gardener whose ambition is bigger than their backyard? Treat them to an attractive wall planter. Vertical planters are a great way to take advantage of the outdoor space that’s rarely used such as along exterior walls and fences.
They make normally bare surfaces look exciting and they expand the limits of a garden. With a household nail or two, your favourite cultivator could find a whole new dimension in their backyard.
5. Digital Thermometer
If you’re browsing cool gifts for gardeners, consider a digital thermometer. For passionate growers, it’s extremely handy to have such instant information on outdoor temperatures.
Growing tomatoes, for example, is relatively easy but difficult to do well if you can’t control temperature and humidity. Most plants thrive within a narrow set of growing conditions so a digital thermometer can be the key to a successful yield.
6. Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker
Outdoor speakers are popular gadgets because they offer users the opportunity to add an extra dimension to a backyard space. If you enjoy spending time outdoors as much as anywhere else, it makes sense to ‘upgrade’ the environment and add home comforts.
You may be more concerned with how the speakers look – many products are designed to blend in with outdoor features – but we say waterproofing is more important. Make sure outdoor speakers can withstand rain, wind and intense sunshine.
7. Garden Rocking Chair
Rocking chairs are more special than most of us realise. Their therapeutic benefits include relief from lower back pain, support during pregnancy, post-surgery recovery and even help with anxieties caused by dementia and ADHD. Rocking chairs are wonderful.
Treat your favourite gardener to an outdoor rocking chair with a chunky, broad back and advise them to place it in their sunniest spot. You an even get tandem, two person rocking chairs for the couple you love most
8. Log Burning Patio Heater
We think of patio heaters as being static and still but some of the best feature roaring coal fired burners. The most obvious advantage of a log burning patio heater, over an electric version, is it emits more light and heat.
While these natural burners do require more work – the heater must be regularly topped up while in use – they provide a rustic aesthetic which can’t be achieved any other way. If you want ambience at your next cookout, a log burning patio heater is the best choice.
9. Backyard Hammock
Modern hammocks come in a huge variety of shapes and styles. These days, contemporary versions don’t even need to be tied to trees. There are plenty of freestanding backyard hammocks out there for those who want comfort without effort. For many years, sleep specialists have called hammocks the perfect place to take a nap. Pick one up as a gift for your gardening friend and give them a taste of true relaxation.
Paul Nicolaides is a Landscape architect and garden builder with over 30 years experience in designing, building and maintaining gardens. Contemplating just how important garden space is for nature and recreation he created 'Cool Garden Gadgets' to explore the best gadgets for enhancing outside spaces. From outdoor dining ideas to the latest garden technology we break it down for you here.