If you’re heading out to scout for a gift for your favorite gardener, check out the list below for a few practical and just for fun ideas that will bring a smile and hopefully, a bouquet of joy!
GIFTS THAT ARE FUN…
*Gardens books: With the snow on the ground, it’s rather difficult to work in the flower beds. Gardeners love to sift through garden catalogs, coffee table flower books and read up on their favorite species. You can never go wrong with Sunset’s Western Garden Books. For a book with beautiful floral photographs throughout that will encapture anyone’s attention for hours (trust me on this!), check out “Flowers” by H. Wako, considered to be a feast for any gardener’s eyes.
*Floral Calendar: Smith and Hawken (a great gardening resource for great stuff!) has put out a beautiful calendar for 2008. You can get it on Amazon with one day shipping. They also offer the Audubon Wildflowers Calendar 2008 by National Audubon Society, both starting at around $9.
*Bird Bath/Feeder/House: Most gardeners enjoy sharing their space with the critters who live nearby. Help welcome them with ornaments for the yard. Feeders come in simple to extravagant and prices follow and the same applies for all yard ornaments. A good companion for any bird accessory would be Stokes Bird Gardening.
*Living Gift Basket: Giving a potted plant is great but a true gardener is a do-it-yourselfer. Why not give a do-it-yourself gift basket? A metal-lined potting basket with a bag of soil and an assortment of seeds would be a sure pleaser. Some seed suggestions: lobelia, snapdragons, pansies, petunias, and verbena. $30
*Watering Can: Every gardener loves a watering can, especially a nice one. Any of your local stores will carry some great selections starting at $15.
*Gift Card: What gardener wouldn’t want to browse the aisles himself? Not much can be had for under $15, so consider that when making your purchase.
*Seeds/Bulbs: Do you know what kind of flowers they prefer? Grab some seeds and/or bulbs for a fun treat they can enjoy all year, from planting to pruning. $2-10+
*Garden Sign: Have a personalized sign made for their yard/garden. “Welcome to my garden”, “Rosies Rose Garden” – you get the picture. How about some vegetable stakes? Those are always welcome at planting time as they remind the gardener that yes, something is in that row and will be sprouting up shortly. $3-12
*Hori Hori Knife: This is the expensive version of a hand shovel with a knife on one side and a saw on the other of the blade, with a weed extractor tool on the tip. A generic version, put out by Fiskars can be found at Lowe’s for about $15 and is useful with its 5-8 tools in one. My son loves his.
*Hand-held trowel, cultivator, shovel, weeder: Invaluable. Each one. A nice, new set would be a welcomed gift to any seasoned gardener. Separate: $5-12
*Gift Basket: Why not put together a basket for Christmas – try a tool caddy and fill it with your favorite gadgets from above or it you’re really bold, fill a wheelbarrow! Either way, you’re sure to bring good cheer to the recipient and it will be something that will be enjoyed season after season.
*Flower Press: Give a gift that gives forever! A flower press allows you to save your favorite blooms year after year. A mid-size one is plenty big and starts at about $15. A great resource to wrap with it would be Fragile Beauty: The Victorian Art of Pressed Flowers by Sandy Puckett and Michael Chan.
AND NOW, SOME VERY PRACTICAL GIFTS…
*Hand Pruners: These are probably the most used tool of any avid gardener and are used for trimming bushes and shrubs. A good pair runs about $18. However, if you want a great pair of pruners that will last almost forever, check out Felco pruners. They do run steep, but are well worth the investment for long-lasting blade wear.
*Garden Shears: A nice addition to any gardeners tool caddy. Good for smaller pruning jobs. About $10. Fiskars puts out a good pair.
*Shovel: No gardener should be without one. Or two. The pointed end is a must for digging and a flat head for picking up clutter. I prefer a snow shovel for picking up as it picks up a wider range of debris and makes most tasks easier but can get weighty. Longer handles to tend to make moving the dirt less exhausting. The cushioned ends also make gripping the handle easier and reduces splinters. Cost: Anywhere from $8-$30
*Spade: Much like a shovel, but smaller for tight spots and shorter, which makes it easier to handle. This is a tool that many gardeners who are on a tight budget will do without but secretly wish they had. $12-30
*Spading Fork: Envying one of these is much like the envy that runs with the spade. It’s coveted but only purchased if you can afford the luxury. In reality, many jobs are made much simpler with the use of this tool. Great for loosing soil, breaking dirt clods and reducing root damage to plants when digging them up. $18-45
*Loppers: Arms length cutting tool from thick stemmed bushes to tree branches. Look for loppers with blades that can be sharpened. These come with wooden or metal handles and run about $15-35.
*Rake: I’ve used both plastic and metal and prefer the metal, as they tend to do a better job, overall. The plastic leaf rakes are good for dry leaves, but if they’re wet at all, tend to bunch up a bit, making the user have to stop and pull the leaves off the tines. Slows down progress. Put out the few extra bucks and give ‘em a break. Buy the metal one. $12-$35
*Child’s rake: A useful took in the small and hard to reach areas of the garden. Very affordable for under $10
*Hedge shears: If your gardener has shrubs, they’ll appreciate a good pair of shears. You can find a reasonable pair for about $25
*Tank sprayer: Versatility! Used for pest control, fertilizing and weed control. Just make sure they’re washed out well in between different uses. These are priceless when it comes to the tasks aforementioned. You can find one for $15+
*Tool caddy: These are great for the gardener who is constantly on the move. Home Depot has their brand to fit over a 5 gallon bucket. Waist-apron styles are also available and bucket benches are popular for those needing a place to sit while they work. Prices vary according to the style preferred.
*Wheelbarrow: If your gardener’s yard has any space to it, they’ll probably appreciate this helpful tool. It eases the work of carting things all over. A good wheelbarrow can be found for around $40 and the size depends on the size of the yard, most likely.
*Gloves: No gardener should be without a good pair of gloves. They should fit snug so that if (when!) they get caught on a thorn or similar, they don’t get pulled off and the thorn doesn’t go through. For smaller, less hazardous jobs, the jersey knit gloves are nice as they fit snug and breathe easily. They range about $3 whereas the nice leather or suede type start at about $12.
For a great combination gift, pick your favorite fun and your favorite practical gift and put them together for a sure winner.