You know I am anti-consumption. If there is a gift for a gardener on my list, you can be sure I have made it in the kitchen or dug it out of the ground. If you insist on shopping this time of year, please make your gardening gifts useful!
Seed catalogs accompany the junk mail this time of year. Devoted and newbie gardeners alike are drooling over vegetable, flower and herb seed varieties while planning next year’s plot. We could always use supplies, too! Here’s a list of what your gardening friends are thinking about.
Gifts for wildlife-friendly outdoor living spaces
Gardens are not all about plants. Bird baths, statues and reflective spheres add visual interest and express creativity. You can also find weather-proof seating for enjoying the garden flowers and birds.
Anyone who feeds the birds in winter would love a feeder, a birdhouse, nesting pockets, some suet or some seed. I have birds in my nesting pockets on winter nights, and I get a variety of them with black sunflower seeds and thistle. If you want to think ahead to summer, a hummingbird feeder is always welcome. How about a bird identification book and some binoculars? I keep mine handy by the door so I can check out new birds at the feeders.
Gifts to fill out a gardener’s bag of tricks
Gardening supplies are available year round at places like your hardware store or your local nursery. Most people think that because the garden is tucked away for winter, you can’t find supplies. Nurseries operate year round.
A garden journal is so important! It allows gardeners to record what they do, analyze results, make comments and plan the following year. I refer to the old ones every year to check weather patterns, how certain varieties produced and recipes I have tried.
Weather records are also important. Consider buying a rain gauge, a barometer, a high-low thermometer or a small home weather station. Gardening books make great gifts for new and experienced gardeners. It’s winter, and there is time to read them! From seed starting to seed collecting, anyone can learn every step in an entire growing season. If someone is interested in native plants, find a book specific to their locale. You could also buy a membership in the local native plant society.
Container gardening gift ideas
Container gardening is easy and getting more and more popular as urban residents want to grow their own food. Sometimes soil conditions are not good, and containers with good potting soil work better. I grow a lot in containers, because our soil is too alkaline and heavy.
Our season is short for warm weather plants like tomatoes and peppers. Growing them in pots lets me bring them into the greenhouse in fall and extend the season. Containers are perfect for patio gardening out back or on the 10th floor. There are as many container types as you can think of, and any gardener would be thrilled with some!
Green gardening gifts miscellany
Hats, gloves, aprons and waterproof shoes or boots are small gifts. Chippers, composters and arbors are large gifts. All would be well-received. Gift certificates are always welcome. I’d love a dump truck full of compost. A gift certificate would work well for that.
For the garden shed, a potting bench is a practical gift along with watering cans, hose nozzles, trowels, pots and soil.
Patio furniture or grilling supplies would probably go over well, too. Those may not be gifts used right away, but come summer, you’ll get invited to all those barbecues and be remembered fondly.
There is an endless selection of gifts for the gardener on your list. From hobby to serious, cheap to expensive, get your friends excited about the next growing season! Solar lighting for walkways is useful year round, especially with the long nights now. Lights can define a patio area for summer entertaining.