If you have been looking for an excuse to get out into the garden, there is no more gentle reminder of the seasonal fruits of your labours in the allotment than the delightful ‘Perpetual Harvest’, a set of 12 prints illustrated by Claudia Pearson (£14.99).
Each individual print, one for each month of the year, has a list of what to plant and what to harvest that month with fresh, colourful illustrations of the produce.
Even December tempts the taste buds with a note to harvest kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, carrots and beets. There is a reminder to plant cabbage, broccoli, bare-root apple, peach and walnut trees. The prints would look fantastic framed and hung together across a kitchen wall.
There are more comprehensive reminders, but few as attractive! Quickcrop, for example, has an online growing calendar with sowing, planting and harvesting information as well as plant guides. They specialise in providing ready to grow planters, particularly for the urban gardener. Their plug plants have been organically grown, with out the use of peat. A low maintenance gift to get the patio garden going.
As well as an encyclopedic gardening calendar the Royal Horticultural Society’s website also has guides on how to attract more wildlife to your garden, establishing a wildflower garden and which plants attract pollinators.
Bold and Noble fuse pattern and nature to create clean, contemporary prints. Pictured is ‘Bee Kind’, which is a hand-pulled screen print of bee-friendly plants on recycled off-white card. The print is 50cm x 70cm (so fits ‘off the peg’ frames), and £43. 15% of retail profits from ‘Bee Kind’ will go to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, and if you order before 31st December you’ll get a free A4 special edition Christmas print.
For something more tactile, and textile, Stuart Gardiner Designs produces a range of seasonal calendars on tea towels, aprons and mugs, as well as screen prints. There are guides to fish, fruit and vegetables, and bee-ing friendly. There are also even more inspiring guides to plan your foraging for fungi, nuts, herbs and other edibles, and notes on which wild and garden flowers for creating a seasonal bouquet. If it all seems a bit like a Gantt chart, rest assured such useful information is rarely so beautifully presented. Tea towels are £10 each. What perfectly practical stocking fillers!