Getting Started

What to buy for someone with an allotment

A pair of gardeners open a gift from their loved ones.

Buying for someone who already seems to have everything they need can be tricky, but hobbies are often a great place to start. If you have a green-fingered loved one, consider getting them a gift relating to their allotment or garden to show them you care as well as helping them enjoy one of their favourite pastimes. 

Gift ideas for an allotment gardener

Look online and you’re sure to find thousands of gifts aimed at the hobby gardener, many of which aren’t actually all that useful. Things like slogan mugs and decorative ornaments can often be appreciated, but they’re long-lasting items that at best leave you stuck for a gift idea the next time around, and at worst end up cluttering up your loved one’s space or even ending up being donated to the local charity shop. 

So what should you get your green-fingered friend? Well, the solution is to buy something you know they’ll find useful, even if it’s not necessarily as tangible as a mug with a funny phrase on it. Below, we’ve collated some gifting suggestions into five categories to help you get your loved ones something they’ll really appreciate.

Garden tools or equipment

Garden equipment is the perfect gifting solution because it allows for so much variety. If your budget is small, you can stick to one or two carefully thought-out presents such as replacement hand tools or maintenance equipment - check to see what your loved one already has or needs to make choosing a specific item simple. 

Alternatively, if you’ve got a bigger budget to play with, then you could help out your loved one with the purchase of a larger, more impactful item, such as a new irrigation system for the allotment. If you’re not an experienced gardener yourself, you might worry about getting the wrong thing, so why not present your loved one with a homemade ‘gift card’ and let them choose the right item for their garden?

A learning experience

If your loved one is the kind of person to buy all the tools and equipment they need as soon as they need it, why not get them something they hadn’t thought of? It can be easy to get into the habit of thinking we know everything we ought to know about gardening, but there’s always room for improvement, and knowledge can be the perfect gift. 

Whether there’s a gardening talk going on somewhere near you or you’ve spotted an excellent reference book or growing guide, giving the gift of learning could make for a present they come back to use for years and years. 

For more experienced gardeners, consider opting for a resource on a more niche topic related to their interests. For instance, perhaps you’ve heard your loved one mention an idea about branching out into fruit trees in their allotment. Getting them a guide on growing fruit trees could be an excellent way to show them you’ve been paying attention as well as helping them to get on and actually fulfil that goal. Chances are it’ll be used more than a broader guide on gardening in general that contains entry-level information they’ve been working with for years. 

New plants

If there’s one thing a gardener never gets tired of, it’s plants. There are two main options here, depending on your loved one’s plans for the allotment. If there’s something they’ve been thinking about growing, such as the fruit trees mentioned above, you could gift them a plant or sowing set to get them there. If you’re not sure exactly which plant they’d like most, it’s a good idea to gift it as a concept, or a homemade gift card, and then do the actual purchasing of the item afterwards so they can choose exactly what they want.

Alternatively, if they’re happy with the status quo of their current allotment, you could offer to pay for some or all of their usual seeds and bulbs for the next round of crops. Either option works, but the key is to get your gardener’s input on the exact varieties and plant types you’re buying to ensure your gift is truly appreciated.

Cover their allotment costs

Another variation upon that theme is to let them choose their plants independently and instead contribute to some of the other running costs of the allotment. That could mean:

  • Covering a few months’ rent for the allotment plot
  • Paying for maintenance that needs doing to the allotment, such as fixing fences, repairing sheds, etc.
  • Taking care of their share of communal costs for the allotment - for example, maintaining the water supply, allotment security, shared tools or equipment, food and drinks for the use of the allotmenting community, etc. 

These examples are typically costs that can be planned for in advance and don’t usually need your favourite gardener’s input, so they’re great options if you want to surprise them with a thoughtful gift.

Garden clothing and accessories

One final option is to buy them something they can use every time they visit their allotment, but that they might not have thought of themselves. Things like gardening gloves, wellies and overalls can often fly under the radar as things that need replacing until they physically give out and can’t be used anymore, so buying new ones could be just what your loved one needs.   

And don’t forget that there are lots of items out there designed to solve some of the problems that can arise when gardening, particularly if kneeling down beside the beds isn’t as easy as it used to be. Items such as kneeling pads, step stools and carry-bags can all be useful to prevent aches and pains from taking all the fun out of gardening. 

Buying the right gift is a highly individualised process, and the chances are, you know best what your loved one will appreciate most. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get something a little unconventional if it’s something they’ll love. Happy gifting!

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