My absolute favorite people to buy gifts for are my gardening friends. Admittedly, it gives me the chance to dream about my own next purchase, but more importantly, they always seem delighted to add another dimension to their gardening lives. In years past, I have just published a list of ideas, but this year I’m trying something new. This time around I’ve divided the list into categories. Hope it helps you find that perfect surprise for under the tree.
- A Raised Bed kit to start the garden earlier and to increase productivity. Silk in a raised bed tends to warm up faster in the spring, allowing for earlier planting. The soil is usually better, less compacted and with more available nutrients.
- An arched trellis for vining vegetables and fruits. Cucumbers, squash and melons take up precious garden space. A sturdy arched trellis lets the vines roam and gives room to plant more – every gardener's dream. Check out Gardeners Supply for ideas.
- Crop covers. Vegetable gardeners live in fear of frost taking out their lettuce. Special cloth domes and tents help protect early crops from weather damage.
- Seed starting kits so that plants can be ready when the gardener needs them. Kits range from the very simple, having just the basics of a tray and growing medium, to the very complex with heat pads, lighting and temperature controls.
- A set of Gorgeous Vases to display their floral treasures. It’s time to get rid of the decades old FTD ones.
- Pruners in a variety of sizes and shapes. Since not every stem in the garden is the same, having several different types of blades at your fingertips makes pruning easy.
- A set of Gardening gloves designed for the task. Avid gardeners know that different chores require different kinds of hand protection. Extra long gauntlets are helpful when it’s time to prune roses, leather grips protect hands when serious digging is called for and thermal gloves are welcome when it’s time to wake up the garden in the spring.
- Galvanized Florist Buckets. Cut flowers stay fresher longer if the stems can be immediately immersed in water after they are cut. Florist buckets keep stems in water, keep blooms dry and are easy to carry.
Native Plant Gardeners
- A Tumbler composter that takes up minimal space for maximum benefits. Tumbling varieties are easy to use and keep the compost off of the ground and away from curious rodents. Some models even come equipped with two bins so one load can be stewing while the other is ready for use.
- Bee hotels designed to protect native bees from the elements. In order to attract lots of insects, make sure that the hotel has a variety of “room sizes.”
- Signage explaining the purpose of a native plant garden to help passer-bys fully understand what they are seeing. The GrowNative! Website has several beautiful choices at a reasonable price.
- A Guide to Seed and Seedling Identification. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to know if the emerging seedling is a keeper or a puller. Dave Williams’ guidebook is a must-have for the native plant gardener.
Gardeners Who Love Birds
- A Plain Wooden Birdhouse, according to the Audubon Society, will be home to more backyard birds than the decorative ones sold in gift shops. Cedar is a good choice for most birds, especially bluebirds.
- Birdbaths equipped with heaters keep water accessible, even in freezing temperatures. Finding fresh water can be a challenge for our feathered friends in winter.
- Oriole Feeders that can hold both a clementine and some jelly. The brightly colored oriole will turn up his beak at plain old birdseed, but he won’t be able to resist his favorite sweet treats.
- A window or deck mounted bird feeder makes bird watching a truly up close and personal experience.
Children Who Garden
- Gardening tools to fit their size. Look for steel and wooden tools that will stand up to digging in the dirt!
- Garden Seed Mixtures that are easy to grow. Park Seed Company has a great easy care mixture that brings pollinators to the summer garden.
- Butterfly hatching kits that let kids experience the wonder of nature first hand. Reputable companies include up-to-date educational materials in their kits.
- Gardening boots that keep their feet dry and comfortable while they muck in the mud. I even found a pair with pink dancing unicorns!