Are you stumped for gift ideas for gardening friends and family? Here are a few
suggestions, ranging from inexpensive to pricey.
Gardening magazines: Local bookstores have interesting selections of gardening magazines. Horticulture and Fine Gardening are a few of the choices. Select a half dozen and wrap them. If the recipient really enjoys one of the magazines, you can follow up with a subscription.
A Watering Wand: Most new gardeners have hose heads great for washing cars, but miserable for watering plants. High pressure nozzles blow plants out of the ground, instead of giving them a gentle soaking. A long handled watering wand with a gentle sprayer at the end allows the gardener to reach hanging baskets and plants in the ground easily and helps make watering a pleasure instead of an unpleasant chore.
A Bucket, A Trowel, A Pair of Pruners: A five gallon bucket is great vessel to haul tools into the garden and weeds out of the garden. I have a bright orange one from Lowe’s that I can always find in my garden. Add a nice trowel for weeding and planting, and a good pair of pruners and you’ve provided the essential beginning gardener’s kit. Trowels with narrow blades are more useful than those with wide blades. Bypass pruners with blades that act like scissors hold a sharp edge far longer than anvil pruners that have blades that click together when cutting.
A Nice Tarp: If you’re pruning a tree or large shrub or are cutting back lots of perennials, how do you get debris from the garden to the compost pile? It’s easiest to throw the debris on a tarp and drag the tarp to the pile. Cheap tarps rip when dragged along the ground over and over again. A nice tarp that will last at least a season makes a great gift.
A Good Garden Cart: If you are hauling flats of flowers or vegetables around, a flat bottomed cart is always useful. I love my aluminum folding cart, a gift years ago from my husband. It doesn’t rust, it’s lightweight, and it can be folded and stored at the end of the season. It’s pricey, over $200 now, but it’s a gift that will last for many years. Less expensive wheelbarrows can be quite handy too. Remember to suit the weight and scale of the wheelbarrow to the size and strength of the gardener.
A Shepherd’s Hook, A Suet Feeder and Suet Cakes: Watching birds is a winter garden pleasure. Outside our kitchen and living room windows are black metal shepherd’s hooks that have suet feeders suspended from them. When my husband fills them with suet cakes in October, woodpeckers flock to them for cold weather fuel. They also attract wrens, titmice and nuthatches in great numbers. Best of all, no seeds drop from these feeders into the garden, creating future weeds. We keep the feeders stocked with cakes until the hummingbirds arrive in spring, then replace the suet feeders with nectar feeders.
A Load of Compost or Mulch: A great year end gift is a load of compost spread on the vegetable garden or a load of mulch spread on the ornamental garden. Both add organic matter to the soil, and encourage earthworms and soil life. It’s the best way to lighten a clay soil. Having the load spread for you is the best way to lighten the spirits of a tired gardener!
A Gift Certificate from A Nursery: It’s hard to choose a plant or piece of garden sculpture for someone else. A gift certificate allows them to choose what they like best. If the recipient is local, make it a gift certificate from your favorite local garden center or nursery. If long distance, choose a mail order catalog. My mother-in-law lives in Michigan. She really enjoyed a gift certificate from White Flower Farm’s catalog. She splurged on annuals for summer pots with her certificate and enjoyed them from May to October. It’s a gift she wouldn’t have treated herself to, so she enjoyed it even more.