It’s that time of year again and the search for Christmas gifts at full throttle. Gardeners past enjoyed a now familiar set of innovative products bought as special gifts. During the early 1830’s the first self powered cylinder lawnmower was invented by farmer and textile mill worker Edwin Budding (not far away from here at Stroud in Gloucestershire). He got the idea watching rotary machines cut velvet in the mills. As middle class British affluence grew lawnmowers became the must-have gadget for Victorian gardeners. During WWII practical gifts really came into vogue. Items such as gardening tools, books, bottling jars and seeds were very popular so that people could “Dig In” and feed themselves. In 1942 National Growmore arrived - the first synthetic fertiliser with artificially produced nitrate, potassium and phosphorus in exact quantities and always to hand. Some gardening magazines even recommended a bag of fertilizer as an exciting Christmas gift. In 1972, Texan George Ballas was washing his car at a car wash when he noticed the nylon filaments scrubbing his automobile without damaging his paintwork. He wondered if the same principle could cut weeds without damaging tree bark. The strimmer was born and and became one of that decade’s must-have gardeners' tool.
This Christmas gardeners have a huge array of gifts to choose from. Books, gadgets, tools, and of course the latest innovation is the arrival of technical gardening clothes and performance gardenwear. It’s not too late to buy Genus trousers, gilets and tops for that favourite gardener in your life!
Caroline Donald, in the Sunday Times, picks the best in horti couture to get you outside, however bad the weather
She says, "Genus's showerproof gardening trousers are fantastically practical and comfortable; I have hardly taken them off all week."