Selecting a gift for your gardener is simple. Many items a gardener uses get worn out, used up, or damaged, so there is a constant need for replacement. Plus, there are so many types of gardens and gardeners, which provides many choices and price points for gifts.
GENERAL GIFTS FOR ALL GARDENERS
There are many gifts to excite your gardener — and many are inexpensive. Compost is a gardener’s gold. Give this gift an added boost by promising to help spread it! We never have enough compost in the desert where we are gardening in sand, clay, or rock. For the patio and indoor gardener, bags of potting soil are a treasure.
So many gardening items require replacement each season. For example, even tough gloves take a beating from our thorny natives and rocky soil. Annual flower and vegetable seeds must be purchased each year. Botanical Interests has beautiful packages, exotic varieties of vegetable and flower seeds, and, best of all, a superior germination rate. If the gardener collects seeds, choose a gift of coin envelopes from an office supply store to store them.
For senior gardeners, consider ergonomic tools, rolling seats, and kneelers. Some gardeners might also like cut-resistant sleeves to protect tender skin.
Tempt a gardener to try something new, such as growing mushrooms. Look for a kit in catalogs or online, such as the one offered by Terrain.
Create a theme basket for your favorite gardener. For example, an indoor gardener’s gift may include miniature tools, misters, or watering cans with thin spouts. Entice a gardener to experiment with propagation with rooting powder, hairpins, potting soil, a sharp knife, labels, and a wax pencil.
Never underestimate the pleasure of a gift certificate to local nurseries, favorite mail-order nurseries, and tool catalogs. If you think gift certificates are boring, you’ve never had the pleasure of spending one. As a retailer, I witnessed the joy gardeners had with a gift certificate to spend on their hearts’ desire.
GARDEN GIFTS FOR NEW GARDENERS
This year, many people have taken up gardening, especially vegetable gardening. As with any hobby, there are high-quality and specialized tools, which a novice gardener may not own. Delight a new gardener with a sturdy trowel with a stainless blade and a hardwood handle, or a Japanese Silky saw, which cuts through large branches with ease. These will serve the gardener for decades — even with some abuse.
I’ve had my Garden Tools of Maine trowel for more than 30 years. I have hammered holes out of caliche, planted bulbs, and pried up young palo verde trees with this indestructible tool. Sadly, Garden Tools of Maine no longer exists, but such tools can be found in specialty catalogs. Pretty is nice, but tough is better for gardening in the desert.
Felco pruners are considered the best in the industry. These pruners last a lifetime; I have had mine for decades. I’ve tried most pruners on the market, but this classic remains my favorite.
Weeding is an ongoing challenge in any garden. New weeders are introduced every year. The thug in my flower beds is Bermuda grass. I discovered the best weeder for most situations is the Cape Cod weeder. Any weeder must be manufactured of strong materials, otherwise it will come apart, bend, and break.
Something in which to haul small tools or clippings is essential. Again, quality matters. My father gave me an English split willow trug one Christmas. I don’t know what possessed him, but I’ve adored the trug, which has been in use for more than 20 years. The price of this treasure might be a shock, but there are perfectly useful and functional tool carriers that are not as costly. Since the Tubtrug, a flexible tub now branded Red Gorilla, was introduced, it has become one of my favorites. It comes in many sizes and a rainbow of colors. It holds all my hand tools in a pinch, and can hold clippings when I’m pruning or weeding, as well as potting soil and other bulky products.
GARDEN GIFTS FOR CHILDREN
If you would like to inspire the children in your life to get outdoors, consider some wildlife gifts for the garden, such as bird feeders, bee houses, or insect houses. Add a bird book and a pair of good, but inexpensive binoculars, to encourage an interest in the outdoors. Many of these items are easy to find at Wild Birds Unlimited, garden stores, and major outlets. A seed packet for attracting birds and bees can be sown in almost any soil in spring. Most of the plants that attract birds are quick to sprout, easy to grow, and grow very quickly, so they are a rewarding project for children — even those with short attention spans.
At this time of year, garden centers have plenty of parking and fewer crowds. So, get off the beaten path, and wander through garden sections to find treasures for your gardener.
It is easy to shop for the gardener in local stores, catalog companies, and online.
Color Your World
540 N. Telshor, Las Cruces
270 Avenida de Mesilla, Las Cruces
Wild Birds Unlimited
2001 E. Lohman, Las Cruces
Here are some of Jackye’s favorite online companies:
Duluth Trading Co.: Duluthtrading.com
Gardeners Supply: Gardeners.com
Kinsman Co.: Kinsmangarden.com
A. M. Leonard Tools: amleo.com
Silky Saws: Silkysaws.com
Woman’s Work Gloves: Womanswork.com
Garrett Wade Tools: garretwade.com
Written by Jackye Meinecke
Originally published in Neighbors magazine | 2020
Posted by LasCruces.com