By Christina VanGinkel
Last December, I shared with you a short list of ideas suitable for the gardener on your holiday shopping list. With the holidays once again coming around, I thought it only prudent that this year I gather a list to share with you a bit earlier in the season. This way, you have a better chance of finding those hard to find items that you would really love to give, all while there are still store shelves stocked with all the great ideas your gardener could both use and appreciate when they find them tucked under the tree or stuffed into a stocking. If you love to garden yourself, you might even find a few gifts in the list that you will want all for yourself, so be sure to shop early for the best selection of all these fine ideas.
Solar Lights can be a great gift, as they not only allow the gardener on your list the opportunity to enjoy their gardens longer into the evening, there are no more additional costs involved with them such as high electric bills.
A mini greenhouse would be the ideal gift for either a beginning gardener or an older gardener who can no longer garden large scale but would still love to participate even if it is to a much smaller extent than they are use to.
Fancy Bulbs, Hand Tools, Gardening Gloves
An assortment of bulbs that they can plant in the spring of a variety that they would want, but have avoided due to cost. This same holds true for those fancy pair of gardening gloves, or that deluxe set of hand tools. Fancy, but a bit costly. These could be a perfect gift for that gardener who loves nice things but is so unwilling to spend any money where they themselves are concerned, even for things that will enhance such a loved hobby.
Coffee Table Books about Flowers
Big, beautiful coffee table book of flowers to keep the color going even when their garden is buried beneath several feet of snow! Some titles that are sure to bring smiles to their face as they open the pages Christmas morning could include R is for Rose by Carolyn Parker, or the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids, edited by Alec Pridgeon, and with a foreword by Alasdair Morrison.
Garden Themed Gift Basket
A basket filled with note cards, seed packets, jarred gifts of food from your own garden, hand towels with a garden theme stitched across the fronts, kneepads, small thermometer, butterfly house, and other small garden themed gifts. Tucked together in a little basket, this would make a great gift to help your favorite gardener while away the hours of winter until the first thaw of spring when they can get outdoors once again.
Give the gift of journaling to your favorite gardener during the holidays. When snow is piling up high, or the temperatures are just to cool to be out in the dirt, they can put pen to page to make note of all their ideas for once spring has arrived. If your gardener is of a serious nature, choose a sophisticated journal that is both helpful and has room to spare for their own notes. One such journal that is full of both is The Successful Gardening Journal: A Seasonal Diary for Your Garden is published by the Reader's Digest Association Inc. For the more freethinking gardener, a handcrafted journal made from an 8" x 8" scrapbook with an assortment of lined, flower, and nature themed papers would be a splendid gift.
Personal Gift Set
Various companies promote soap and creams for the outdoor enthusiast with a few even targeting the dirt and grime that accompanies being a gardener. One of my favorite such companies that also makes an impressive gift set of the products they make is Burt's Bees. They have a Gardener's Tote, which includes Burt's very own Hand Salve, Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, Dr. Burt's Res-Q-Ointment, and Beeswax Lip Balm. Be prepared to have your favorite gardener ask you to replace all of these fine items as they use them up though, because they work wonderfully at keeping skin and lips protected and clean from the rugged outdoor work of digging in the garden under the hot summer sun.