Sunday, December 10, 2006

Holiday Gifts for the Gardener

The holidays are approaching and gift giving time is upon us. Do not forget garden gifts for the gardener in your life. While they may not be usable on Christmas day, garden gifts make great presents and will be appreciated when they are unwrapped on a snowy Christmas morning. This is also a reminder to all those gardeners who double as Santa during the holiday season. If you find yourself buying your own Christmas presents and wrapping them for your shopping impaired relatives, do not forget the garden aisle this holiday season.

Seeds make great stocking stuffers. Seed packs may be a little difficult to find this time of year but not totally impossible. Try clearance aisles and specialty shops. While the seed packets may be out of date, they still grow with surprising regularity. An added bonus is they are deeply discounted since they are out of season. I would not be surprised if Santa tosses some seed packs in my stocking this year, just a hunch.

Garden clogs are a wonderful gift. Plastic clogs that can live outside and can be hosed off are paticularly wonderful. The gardener can slip them on when they go outside in all types of weather. The best part is the garden clogs are left on the porch, along with mud and other garden debris. I like the traditional clogs as opposed to the boots, but either type of shoe will be appreciated when spring comes around.

Kneelers are an inexpensive gift that allow the gardener to work their garden bed with comfort. These pads are frequently part of a garden tool set which is always a great gift. If you are buying garden tools as a gift try and buy the best quality tools you can afford. Better quality tools last longer and are easier to use. Inexpensive tools look great, but break with regularity and need to be replaced more frequently. If a hand pruner is part of a garden package ask to actually try it out before purchasing it. If the hand pruner is hard to use in the store, or is uncomfortable in your hand, it is not the right gift for the gardener in your life. Hand pruners are used extensively in gardening and comfort , not to mention cutting quality, becomes an issue.

Gloves are great. A gardener can never have too many gloves. Multiple sets of gloves can also allow the gardener the luxury of throwing gloves away when they are torn or waiting until the mud dries before they clean them. A little luxury, but a luxury none the less.

Yard art is an interesting gift and one the gardener will not often buy herself. I received two plant stakes that were toped by decorative metal ornamentation. I uses them merely as art and not as plant stakes. I love the color and interest they bring to my garden, and I would never have bought them myself.

Lawn ornaments, now known as yard art, are also cute gifts. A clay bunny, or stone angel can add interest to a garden all year round. If you are buying a year round piece of garden ornamentation, make sure it is suitable for year round use in your area. Broken bunnies do not bring Christmas joy.

Indoor plants are always a Christmas favorite, just make sure you have the proper growing conditions. My current abode is a death trap for either starting seeds early or keeping plants alive over the winter. I do not have the light requirements for indoor gardening. Before you buy potted herbs for Christmas, make sure you have a sunny, draft free, windowsill where they will thrive until spring. Dead plants do not create a positive holiday spirit.

Garden books are always a great idea. First check and see if your gardener's favorite "manual" is falling apart. I know my favorite gardening book could fall apart each time I use it. A new edition, especially one that is not falling apart, will be appreciated. If your gardener has expressed an interest in a new area of gardening, a book on the subject will bring holiday smiles. Santa should know a gift card to your local book store is always a good idea for the gardener who wants to explore several new gardening themes and would like to look through the books before purchasing.

A gift card to your local garden center is always a good idea. The gardener in your life can then plan their garden during the upcoming months, with an initial budget in mind. While non gardeners may not see the fun in this activity, gardeners who love to plan will have hours of pleasure in planning, budgeting, and eventually increasing the budget of their spring plant purchases. All gardeners may not be frustrated landscape designers, but for those of us that are, this really is our idea of fun.

A cute gardening outfit is special for those who like to garden in style. If the gardener in your life is concerned about her appearance as she digs in the dirt, you should already know. A simple clue : has she ever asked you if she looks fat in her garden clothes? Santa has also been known to bring plastic wheelbarrows and weed wackers. Not all gardeners are female and these may be the perfect gifts for the male gardener, along with a heavy duty tree pruner. If your gardener is female, you may want to fill the wheelbarrow with lingerie or perfume. Just a suggestion from a female gardener.

The garden is a source of numerous Christmas gifts for your gardener. Remember all the work that goes into creating your beautiful spring and summer landscapes and show the gardener you really do appreciate the effort it takes to create beauty out of dirt.

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