Gardening: Tool Box: Be sharp with the gifts

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The Independent Online
IF YOU still have a few gifts to buy for special people, with time running out, perhaps the Toolbox can offer inspiration.

Since I am a great believer in giving credit where it is due, I never miss an opportunity to praise Victorinox, the company that has been making those superb, multi-purpose Swiss Army knives for more than a century. The most expensive model (at pounds 69.99) has not only umpteen blades but also a small Swiss watch.

But there is now a range of Victorinox products designed specifically for gardeners and marketed in Britain by Burton McCall.

Prices start at pounds 7.95 for a simple grafting knife. The two-bladed budding and cuttings knife costs pounds 13.50, and the model whose third, curved blade is a pruning tool sells for pounds 19.95. They come with a lifetime guarantee against defects in material and workmanship.

Kneelers do not make exciting presents, but anyone who is often down on their knees in the home or garden will be grateful for them. The kneelerpads made by Synchemicals for Vitax - a company usually associated with weedkillers and fertilisers - are light, flexible, secured by broad, elastic straps and cost only pounds 5.51 for a pair.

Burton McCall, 163 Parker Drive, Leicester LE4 0JP (0533 340800). Vitax, Owen Street, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 3DE (0530 510060).