Gifts for Gardeners
Winter is the season for giving, and no one needs a pick-me-up this time of year more than gardeners. Trust me, they are all itching to get their hands back into the soil.
Since the Oklahoma wind is probably blowing outside, let’s start with armchair gardening. While December seed catalogs will beckon, there is nothing quite like sitting by the fire and reading a good book. Three of my favorites this year are “The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books” by Marta McDowell, “Home-grown and Handpicked: A Year in a Gardening Life” and “Potted and Pruned: Living a Gardening Life,” both by Carol J. Michel. While the Wilder book isn’t technically on gardening, it covers in beautiful detail the landscape that inspired Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” and other novels. I found it both entertaining and thoughtfully written. The other two books are humorous essays written for new and established lovers of the soil. They make great bedtime reading, and may teach the reader a thing or two.
For the new gardener in your life, put together a basket of delightful gifts including a pair of nitrile gloves—chosen because you can actually feel tools and weeds while wearing them, beautiful seed packets like Art Packs from Hudson Valley Seed Company, and a favorite tool or two. Each seed packet is from an original piece of art depicting the vegetable or flower. They also have a calendar composed of the current year’s offerings. As for tools, I always use Sneeboer’s hand hoe, but this spring, I also fell in love with a Japanese hoe trowel. I’ve come to realize good tools are worth their price because they last a long time under heavy use. You could also buy new gardeners a copy of my book, “The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff” to help them learn the basics and more.
If you’re buying for an established gardener, consider getting them a pair of good bypass pruners. Felco makes the classic and comes in many sizes. For bigger jobs, Fiskars loppers are my favorite. For the gardener who likes to have a cold beverage after a hard day’s work, you might consider a Sneeboer transplanting trowel with bottle opener. Pair it up with their favorite beverage. During the Christmas season, Sneeboer tools have free handle engraving when you buy them from Garden Tool Company.
For the indoor gardener, he or she could use a beautiful watering can. The classic copper Haws indoor watering can is my favorite, but it is pricey, and there are plenty of other options out there.
For those who don’t grow their own, pot up easy-to-grow bulbs like amaryllis and paperwhites in a pretty container and take them as hostess gifts or small presents. They aren’t expensive and bring winter cheer even after the holidays. Note that some people don’t like or are allergic to the scent of ‘Ziva’ paperwhites, but amaryllis have little or no scent.
If you’re absolutely unsure what to buy for your special gardener, notecards or napkins with their favorite flower are definitely a good idea. You can find holiday-themed ones almost anywhere, and napkins are nice to have on hand when guests drop in for a spontaneous get together.
Whether it’s for Christmas, Hanukkah or just because, these are my favorite gifts for gardeners to make the quiet season of winter a merrier one. I hope they make your season of giving easier too.