Ideas-Storming Present for Friend; Tools for a Gardening Lover that Reduce Physical Strain

Hey all, thanks in advance for the advice :)

So its my really close friends 21st Birthday soon (and due to this price really isn't a factor). They love growing herbs and veggies, but are in the process of learning to operate with some semi-recent health conditions that make physical activity really difficult and draining, especially on bad days.

I was thinking a great present (or part of my present) would be something/s that would enable them to garden with less strain, as less physical toil = less pain and fatigue later, which in turn makes it easier to get back out there and enjoy the activity, let alone life!
Things like a really good quality, easy to squeeze pair of secateurs are what I am looking for (I think). Or something that I have never heard about! Not a gardener myself so I have no idea. Going to get some advice from mum as well, she has a pretty similar condition.

I got my mum a hanging wall herb garden and an auto-watering device a couple years back, she loves that, this friend is much more industrious and has a full veggie/herb patch etc. Thinking an auto waterer and setting it up for my friend might be one part of it, so in hard times they doesn't feel guilt about not getting around to watering, just press the button and forget about it.

Thanks again! <3



    a gift voucher for Jims Handyman? :)

    what about one of those kneeing mats? You don't say how big the garden is but something like a cart to pull tools and supplies?


      Thanks, good idea. The reason I am a bit lacking on info is I havnt seen the share house they moved into about a month back. I was supposed to be the manual labour in building the planters (which was when I was going to identify any shortcomings in their tools) but they had an inspection right after moving and had to get it built without letting me know. I have no idea how big, but from the one at their parents home probably around 3 1.5 by 3 meter planters?


    While not super expensive, the oscillating stirrup hoes on this page are brilliant. They last for ages (read: years), and are really easy to use, and could make keeping the veggie bed clean (second from bottom:

    For the squeeze secateurs,I'd suggest something like these:
    (note, unlike the hoes, I haven't used the above snips- but have heard good things from my folks about them).


      The hoe looks good, Ill have a look after work to understand the action a little better.

      Those secateurs look very, very nice! Really gonna look into them. If they are light to squeeze that would be a pretty great idea, only thing holding me back is that I don't know if they have already bought easier to use secateurs. I tried to subtly inquire as to what they are lacking by asking what I could bring from mum's tools to help their garden, they havnt responded to the text yet though.

  • +1 vote

    I am physically fine, but got one of these because bending to pull out weeds is a nuisance:


    The auto-waterer is a great idea and since you are building the planter. Pair a programmable tap timer to drip-hose irrigation system and you are set. This will be a god-send in the coming summer months.

    Otherwise, if your friend is open to a different challenge, orchids are beautiful bloomers that do not require much, if any, physical work. Their main challenges (in my experience) are in getting the right temperature and light amount, which are very different to those for growing herbs/vegs.


      Thanks, I'm decent with electronics and systems (more my area than garden tools :P) so should be able to pick a good one (and have done in the past), but any advice on them would be a head start.

      Oh, nice idea with the orchids. If I can get over to their new place and see the garden, that might be a go! They love colour and plants in general, just mainly work on veggies/herbs cause they can cook with them!

      • +1 vote

        Something like this:

        coupled to a drip-hose, sprinkler or whatever irrigation/watering system suitable for the garden setup. Pretty much set and forget.

        Outside the physical requirement, I'd actually recommend fruiting bush or trees to complement their herb/veg garden. I have blueberry, strawberry and raspberry bushes, which are fantastic. My partner recently got a fig tree as well which grows to a manageable 3m height. Our only problem is finding the space in the ground for that many plants. :D


    If you're after great secateurs, the felco ones are amazing. I was given a pair as a gift and they're crazy good - it really makes a difference and don't require much strength to use. They are issued to all the gardeners at the Botanical Gardens in Sydney. The only thing I'd recommend is making sure you get small hand ones if your friend has little hands like I do. The standard ones are designed for big beefy men as far as I can tell.

    I've been pruning everything! They're just so nice, easy to use and effective!

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