Monday, November 26, 2012

A Few Gift Ideas for Gardeners

It's that time of year when we're all struggling to come up with great ideas to give our favorite people. I've always found that the best gifts are those that you can use on an almost daily basis. A couple years ago at Christmas I was given an iron skillet. I thought for second "wow, an iron skillet." It certainly didn't seem to be the most exciting thing in the world.  It wasn't a fancy video game system (not that I need one of those - I don't have time for one), nor was it a spiffy GPS (I didn't really need one of them either as I don't travel and an atlas is good enough for me), and it wasn't that new high tech gadget that I couldn't live without!  But you know what?  I use that iron skillet just about every other day of the year.  It's my primary cookware for cooking anything from potatoes to bacon or from sauteing to braising.  It's been great!  That's what gifts should be: something that recipient of the gift can use everyday.

The nice thing about gardening gifts is that they do get used nearly everyday by the gardener.  Six years ago I was given a shovel.  A seemingly ordinary shovel with a wooden handle.  The blade on this shovel has stayed almost magically sharp without assistance from the gardener, nor has the handle ever broken despite heavy clay and daily use by the gardener.  It's just a simple quality tool that has given this gardener tons of productivity!  Every shrub or tree in our garden has been planted with that shovel as well as other projects like the excavation for the patio and the numerous redesigns of the vegetable garden!

What gifts should you get your favorite gardener for Christmas this year?  You have lots of options, so lets look at a few ideas.  (Some of the links below are affiliate links and if you use them, thank you! ☺ )

Gardening Gift Ideas!


Seeds

Seeds are an awesome gift for any gardener.  Whether they put food on the table of flowers in the vase seeds make every gardener get excited.  I typically only get seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds or Renee's Garden.  Both companies offer quality seeds at very reasonable prices.  I don't have any affiliate relationship with Baker Creek but have been sent trial seeds from Renee's.  I've been very pleased with the results from both companies.  You can also order from Renee's Garden on Amazon if you prefer to do your shopping there.  Get several types of seed and put them together into a collection of seeds or use them as stocking stuffers!  Here are a few seed collection ideas: Spring Garden, Cut Flower Garden, Perennial Garden, Butterfly Garden, Herb Garden, or just a mixed Vegetable Garden.

Garden Tools

Garden tools are a great gift for both new and experienced gardeners. A new gardener doesn't always know what they need for gardening so why not put together a collection of useful handtools with pruners, spades, cultivators, scissors, labels, gloves or anything else you think would be useful. Even experienced gardeners who already have that equipment can use updated tools.  I go through 2-3 pairs of gloves each year so I know how great a present that they can be! Larger tools are good too but a little harder to wrap. (Here are some Garden tools from Amazon.)


Compost Bins

What gardener doesn't like compost?  Compost is an excellent garden additive that feeds the soil that feeds your plants.  There isn't a better way to dispose of your kitchen waste!

Compost Tumbler
from Gardener's Supply
You can build a pretty nice compost bin if you're a DIY kind of person to give to your gardening friend.  Three bin systems work very nicely to organize the new compost and turn it easily.  You can also find compost tumblers or other types of bins that will do the job of turning your leftovers into gardener's gold. If you have a gardener who likes worms investigate a worm bin. Or make a homemade worm bin yourself! (Compost Bins from Amazon)

Rain Barrels

A rain barrel is a very nice thing to have.  Keep in mind it only works if you have rain but it does allow you to use natural water rather than the tap for a longer period if you have drought conditions.  A roof is a very large and non porous surface area that makes a great collector for rain so why not use it?  I use a Fiskars Rain Barrel that has done a great job over the last few years.  If the weather forecast calls for rain I empty as much as I can into milk jugs for storage then let the rain barrel fill up again. (Rain Barrels from Amazon)

Bird Houses and Feeders

You can easily make your own birdhouses with a just a little wood working skill.  I've used cedar fence boards to make blue bird houses which make great gifts!  Bird feeders can be homemade too.  Most gardeners enjoy bringing wildlife to the garden and birds are a favorite.  Finch feeders, hummingbird feeders, or squirrel proof feeders are all great options! (Bird Feeders from Amazon)

Books!

Books are great gifts, but you probably already knew that. I've recommended a couple books on plant propagation before but there are lots of other options to choose.  Look for a niche that your gardener has an interest in like roses, bonsai, hydroponics, or herbs.  There's a subject for everyone!  What makes a great book for a gardener?  One with great content and great pictures.  I love seeing ideas on the page as they are implemented with an explanation attached. (Gardening Books on Amazon)

If none of the ideas above sound just right consider a gift card to your favorite local nursery!  What gardener won't enjoy that?  Keeping it local is a great way to help your community too.

I hope this post has given you some useful ideas for your Christmas gift selections but I realize that if you are reading this then maybe you are the gardener!  So share this with your significant other and be "surprised" this Christmas with the great garden gifts you might receive!


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