At this time of year, you may well be casting around for gift inspiration - either for a green-fingered special someone, or for yourself, if you’re being asked what you’d like to find under the tree on Christmas morning. It can be hard to choose, even with as wide a range as you’ll find in the Burgon & Ball selection.
And that got us thinking… What would the team at Burgon & Ball choose? With all the complete armoury of tools at our disposal, which are our go-to favourites? We started to badger our colleagues about what they enjoy using in their own garden, that perhaps they'd recommend as a gift for a gardener – and here are their top picks.
"I’d have to choose our RHS-endorsed fruit and flower snip. It's constantly in use at home, for all kinds of fine cutting. I use it for deadheading in the garden, and if we have flowers in the house it's perfect for trimming the stems. Most of all though, I use it for herb harvesting. I’m a bit of a foodie and do most of the cooking, so I like to harvest fresh herbs from the selection we grow near the kitchen door." RRP £10.99.
Nina, export sales manager
"I’m going to go with my Kneelo® memory foam garden kneeler. In fact, I have a few, in different colours! I use Kneelos for all kinds of things, not just gardening. They’re handy for outdoor events like concerts in the summer, picnics with my partner and my little dog Sparky, DIY… I even have one on my office chair to make it a bit more comfy! And of course, it’s brilliant for any gardening job where you have to kneel." RRP £15.99.
Paul B, area sales manager
"I’m a keen gardener and a huge Sheffield United fan, so my garden is all red and white - dahlias, roses, camellias. Anything that comes up the wrong colour gets dug up! I have loved getting to grips with my Left-Handed Corona Max Forged Aluminium Branch and Stem Pruner. I’m left-handed and I’m so used to using right-handed secateurs that it felt strange at first. But now I think it’s amazing, it’s a very high-quality secateur." RRP £49.99.
Barbara, purchasing administrator
"I always have pots in the garden with seasonal colour – I’ve got winter pansies and Christmas roses in containers at the moment to brighten the place up over winter. Talking of bright, my favourite tools come from our RHS-endorsed FloraBrite range. I’ve got a mix of pink and yellow handles, and the fluorescent colours are a brilliant idea. If the tools get left outside, they’re so easy to spot and tidy away, so they don’t get left out in all weathers." RRP £6.99 - £20.99.
Jason, area sales manager
"I’ve got to say our Weed Slice. We moved house a couple of years ago, and the new garden has a lovely border with dahlias and herbaceous perennials. The soil needed a bit of improvement though, so we got some manure in – but it was full of stinging nettles. Weeding that border is now a constant task to keep on top of the nettles. I was doing it with a hand fork, but switching to the Weed Slice cut the weeding time down from 30-40 minutes to five or ten minutes. And I can do it without kneeling! My Weed Slice lives by the back door, I use it all the time." RRP £24.99.
Ruth, sales director
"I love our RHS-endorsed Groundbreaker spade. It sounds dramatic, but it has changed my life! Physically I’m not the strongest person, and I garden on stony clay, so digging was always pretty much impossible for me. But with the Groundbreaker, I can now dig – and it’s easy. It’s that simple." RRP £44.99 - £49.99.
Liz, brand manager
"I wouldn’t be without our RHS-endorsed widger! I grow a lot from seed and I find the widger so useful for all kinds of potting-shed jobs, working with tiny delicate seedlings. I use it to prick out seedlings, as a dibber for transplanting, as a trowel for filling small pots for potting on… I find it so useful." RRP £12.99.
Jordan, area sales manager
"I’ve enjoyed discovering the range from Corona Tools since I joined the team around a year ago – there are some really superb tools there. My home is a new-build and the garden is in need of a bit of personality. I’ve been using the EdgeMASTER patio and border edger to carve out some borders and beds, creating space for planting to soften the newness. I like that it’s such a heavy-duty tool, but it has comfort grips, which make it a real pleasure to use." RRP £39.99.
Nancy, sales administrator
"I think our RHS-endorsed bypass secateur is an excellent all-round secateur. I’ve had mine for years, we use it at home and we look after my dad’s garden now, too. His garden needed a bit of TLC, but our secateur tackled brambles, overgrown ivy, all sorts. I think it’s ideal if you’re starting out, and great value as it comes with a spare blade and spring too. What more can you ask for?!" RRP £20.99.
"I have to say, I’m a big fan of the tools we offer from our US sister company Corona Tools. In my garden I’ve inherited some tall leylandii hedging, and I’ve used a Corona folding saw to cut it down to size, trying to keep on good terms with the neighbours! I also really like the Corona convertible branch and stem pruner. The handles fold out to convert it from a secateur to a mini lopper, so it gives great cutting power when you need it, but you only have to carry one tool around the garden." Corona saw RRP £29.99, Corona convertible pruner RRP £44.99.
Maria, office manager
"One thing I use all the time is our FloraBrite gloves, I find them really useful to slip on, whatever I’m doing in the garden. They have a flexible nitrile palm and fingers, and they’re a lighter weight than some of our gloves, so you barely notice they’re there. We’ve got a prickly hedge and it’s my job to collect the trimmings after it’s been cut. I find these gloves are just enough to protect from prickles while still being able to pick up fine stems. And the colours are cheery, too!" RRP £6.99.
Mark, production and operations director
"I’ve tested so many tools at home over the years, some of which we’ve gone on to make, and some we didn’t. Probably my favourites are our Weed Slice and Super Slice. We’ve got slate paddlestones on some of the hard landscaping in the garden, and both these tools are great at weeding these areas, it’s so easy to keep them looking tidy. In fact I need to get myself another Weed Slice, as my daughter ‘borrowed’ mine to use in her garden, and it’s not found its way home yet." RRP £19.99 - £29.99.
Wesley, graphic design
"It's not particularly glamorous, but I’m going to choose our Compact Miracle Block Paving Brush. I bought my first property earlier this year, and I’m now extremely house-proud! It’s a new-build home and we’re looking forward to creating our garden next year, but in the meantime we definitely want our outdoor space to look tidy so we can enjoy it. I hate it when weeds pop up between the pavers of our patio, so this brush is really useful for keeping the area clear of weeds and debris, I use it all the time." RRP £11.99.
Tracey, sales administrator
"I’ve got to say, I’m not much of a gardener, but you have to keep things looking tidy, don’t you? I’ve got a hedge in my front garden, and I use our RHS-endorsed bypass lopper to tackle some of the thicker stems when it gets overgrown. I’ve had my lopper for years, and it gets through the job in no time." RRP £44.99.
"I love my Paper Pot Maker. It means I can plant without plastic, as I just use old newspapers. When it’s time to pot on my seedings and young plants, I can just replant the whole thing, pot and all. The roots grow through the paper, so there’s no root disturbance, and my transplanting success rate has rocketed. I even enjoy making the little pots, it's quite therapeutic. And it means I can have all the seedlings I want!" RRP £12.99.
David, national account manager
"I’m really impressed with the Corona cutting range we offer. My favourite is the Corona Max Forged DualCUT Branch and Stem Pruner, I think it’s very cleverly engineered. I find that the forged steel blade holds its edge really well, with a hooked design which makes it easy to use this pruner for both fine snipping and for making powerful larger cuts. I also like that this pruner has an internal spring that's tucked away inside, so there’s nothing to get lost." RRP £39.99.
We hope that our team's favourite 'desert island' tools have given you some ideas, whether you're giving or receiving. Have a wonderful Christmas, ready for a green-fingered 2022!