It's no coincidence, of couse, that Christmas is just around the corner. But Christmas isn't the only holiday that a good gardener should get gifts. So we compiled a list of goodies any gardener would be happy to add to his or her arsenal. And if you have additions, add them at the end! Fair warning, some (most) of these items will likely elicit an, "Oh...clippers...thank you," sort of reaction. Don't worry about that. Garden gifts aren't the most fun to open in the middle of winter, but they give most of the year. With that, the list...
1. Aforementioned clippers. AKA pruning shears. Any gardener needs a sturdy, sharp pair of clippers. They should be comfortable to use, made of a rust-proof material, and should lock. Locking makes them easier to tote around in a back pocket.
2. Caddy. You can get aprons for 5-gallon buckets, which are sort of like toolbelts. They have lots of pockets for garden tools, provide an easy way to transport stuff, and help keep the garden goods organized.
3. Something to kneel on. Some gardeners are into kneepads, which have the obvious benefit of sticking to your body. Others don't like the "sticking" part (sticky, indeed, on a summer day) and prefer a foam kneeling pad. In any case, something comfy to cushion those knees makes a whole slew of gardening tasks more pleasant.
4. Seeds! These are a fun stocking stuffer, especially if it's something that can be planted early in the year, like peas. Flower seeds are also fun, despite not being so instantly gratifying as cool-season veggies.
5. Tools. OK, most people would not be super-excited about garden tools, like a shovel or a rake. But good-quality stuff will last for years, and your gardener will be most pleased with them in the long run. Still, this might not be the best surprise (that means you, well-meaning husbands! Buying your gardening wife a really nice shovel is akin to buying an appliance. It might be useful, but for heaven's sake, preface it!!)
6. Pots. Not utilitarian ones, but interesting, pretty decorative ones. This requires knowing your gardener, his/her tastes, gardening style, etc. This one makes a good pairing with seeds.
7. Plants. Every gardener, by nature, loves plants. Houseplants, starts, trees and shrubs...all good gifts.
8. Clothing. Now, lots of gardeners prefer to just wear whatever old jeans and t-shirt are readily on hand. But a comfy pair of cargo shorts or capris would be appreciated by some. Even a hat is a useful gift, keeping the sun off the face and neck.
9. Gloves. Keep the receipt, since they might not fit, but a few pairs of gardening gloves are fabulous. Thin ones for a soft touch on delicate work, thicker ones for heavier work, maybe some nice leather work gloves for tough landscaping or pruning. We love gloves.
10. Lotions or balms. In the vein of protecting the hands, gardener hands get quite the workout. Some heavy-duty moisturizer is a winner.
Gardener's Dream List (Big-Ticket Items)
1. A fancy potting bench or table. Maybe with hooks and nooks and cabinets and shelves...sigh. A spot to store everything, plus a counter-height space for potting, propagating, trimming and tinkering.
2. Nice yard equipment. (Again, not a great gift for a guy to slap a bow on and call the girl into the garage to check out.) Think tiller, leaf-blower, composting setup--that kind of stuff.
3. Garden furniture. A nice bench, some patio furniture, maybe even a firepit. It depends on the garden and the gardener, but accent pieces can be a really fun gift that accentuate the natural beauty of a garden. Even things like birdfeeders could count for this; just don't wrap up a lump of suet and call it a present. That's dangerous territory.