It’s holiday gifting time again! Whether you are making a plan for treats for your gardening friends and family or your own wish list, we have put together some timely ideas to inspire you.
Online and catalogue shopping has become much more user-friendly over the years, and many major plant and garden supply vendors now offer hard-copy catalogues with gift certificates to recipients with a few keystrokes and a credit card. During one recent damp, gray day, I ordered half a dozen new catalogues for myself to give me some bright and inspirational January reading. Some of my favorites come from the Missouri-based Baker Creek Heirloom Seed, Annie’s Annuals and Perennials, Bluestone Perennials, Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, Burpee’s, Chamblee’s Rose Nursery, Digging Dog Nursery, Forestfarm, Gardener’s Edge at A.M. Leonard, J.L. Hudson, John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds and Select Seeds Antique Flowers. We also have some very fine local nurseries, and a gift certificate from one of them is always appreciated.
An essential, but affordable and easy-to-assemble, miniature greenhouse makes seed-starting much more successful. When they are rigged with LEDs and electric heat mats, germination rates and overall success increase substantially.
Make sure to choose one that is large enough to hold multiple full seed trays and several smaller trays. I used to take mine down at the end of the seeding season, but now it lives in my sunroom year-round and holds seat cushions for the deck furniture.
New hand tools are always an appropriate gift for the gardener in your life. Choosing “forever tools” that are easy to sharpen or repair is important.
My co-columnist, Julie, swears by her folding handsaw from silkysaws.com. I gave my left-handed brother the Felco classic Leftie #9 (felcopruner.net) a few years ago, and it opened a whole new gardening world for him. Good tools need good care, so be sure to get a new leather holster to protect each of them. Felco offers several models, but the sidecar style that also holds your diamond sharpening tool or the double-tool holster that will corral both Felcos and smaller Silky saws will make you quick on the garden draw.
My back isn’t what it used to be, so another of my go-to gifts is a folding two-in-one garden kneeler or seat. I prefer one that is sturdy enough for me to put my full weight on but that is still small enough to store easily. There are several brands available, so check the reviews before selecting. Gardening sessions can last longer with less fatigue using this handy gadget. Don’t waste your money on a fancy tool pouch, though, as transferring the pouch can be just an annoyance.
Bringing more wildlife into gardens is easy. Add houses for mason bees and bluebirds to your wish list. Ask for an electric heater for your birdbath. Everyone has room for a squirrel-proof bird feeder. Or how about a new bat house and a fresh bottle of Bat-Nip to attract them? I was delighted to get two big bags of thistle seed as a gift this year – a great thought for those who don’t want more “stuff.” All of these items make great gifts for family or friends (or yourself)!