Christmas and Birthday Gifts for Gardeners
It’s that time of year again so I thought I’d make a few suggestions for Christmas gifts that gardeners might enjoy receiving. These would also make great birthday gifts, mother’s day or father’s day gifts, open house gifts, thank you gifts…
I know that for some of you to the North, with the winter upon you, gardening is that last thing on your mind, but why not give the gardeners in your circle of friends and family something to look forward to when spring comes?
I’ll keep my suggestions focused on basic tools that most gardeners will use frequently and items that they would not necessarily buy for themselves.
A good quality hose is a must. Get one at least 50 ft long with a diameter of ¾” It should say “kink resistant” and preferably be 8 ply. Don’t waste your money on a hose reel, as they are generally a pain. Opt instead for one of those pots where you curl the hose up inside.
Your gardener friend will love you every time they use a new trigger nozzle. Get one with a dial so that they can change spray options. There are some with a quick disconnect system that I just think are great.
Gloves are a bit trickier to buy. First of all, they have to fit the recipient’s hands. Luckily there are only three or four sizes typically available. I prefer one pair for heavy work, leather gloves with wide wrist bands that run several inches up the arm, and one pair for light duty. One thing I do suggest is that if possible, buy a pair that is brightly colored so that they are easy to see where you have laid them down. I can’t count how many gloves I’ve had to replace over the years because I set a pair down somewhere and had them camouflage themselves into the landscape or garage chaos.
Everyone needs at least one good quality, round point, all purpose shovel. My suggestion is to get one with a long fiberglass handle (not the little shorties), with a nice wide lip on the blade to place your foot on, and made of good quality steel that can be re-sharpened.
If you are not going to invest in a nice one, then don’t waste your money. The cheap ones will just turn into a headache for you. They will wobble and tip over, the handles will bend, and your friend who borrows it will think bad thoughts about you whenever they use it. One the other hand, if you spring for a nice one with solid handles, a big barrel, and high quality wheels your friend will love you and maybe even help you out in your garden when you ask.
Hand Clippers with Sheath
Okay some people may disagree, but I hate the hand pruners that are made in the anvil style. Give me a nice pair of bypass pruners any day. A couple of brands that I like are Felco and Coronas. They are made with replaceable blades and springs. I wouldn’t spend my money on any other brands. A sheath is always a very nice addition for convenience.
Most gardeners won’t spring for a nice pole pruner as they are a bit pricey, but I love having one at my disposal. Dealing with a ladder and hand pruners can get very cumbersome and sometimes dangerous. Make sure your pole pruner has an adjustable length handle, a saw, a pull rope attached to a cutting blade, and a replaceable blade.
Books are always a good buy. There are some that are region specific and very helpful. The Sunset Western Garden book is designed for those of you west of the Rockies but the information, other than the climate zones charts, can be applied anywhere. This one is a must. Other than that, look for books that are specific to what your friend enjoys i.e. vegetable gardening, flowers, roses, fruit trees, houseplants etc. (Check out my ebooks on this site!)
I don’t have a tool caddy but it seems like something that sure would come in handy. Tool caddies come in many shapes and sizes. If anyone has any feedback on tool caddies for me, please post a comment or send me an email.
I said in the beginning I was going to make suggestions for standard items to buy, but for the gardener who has everything, here are a couple of unusual items they might enjoy but not purchase for themselves.
- Mushroom Growing Kits –seem like fun
- Giant Pumpkin seeds for next year, if they have the space!
- One of those hydroponic gardening towers. (I’m using one now and so far I like it – and hopefully will be offering them for sale on this site soon.)
- Garden Ornaments- lots of selection out there on the Web
- Hammocks- a must have for every garden
In closing I want to repeat one of those pieces of sage advice that my father used to give: “Only a rich man can afford to buy cheep tools.” If you buy cheap tools you will have to replace them again and again, eventually spending more money on replacements than you would on the one good-quality tool, so be wise and purchase quality tools that will last for a lifetime. In this case, Father definitely knows best!