It is likely that the gardeners on your list already have the tools they consider essential. So what qualifies as a nice treat, perhaps something they wouldn’t buy for themselves but that they will use or delight in? Keeping their enthusiasm alive at this time of year, when the garden is quiet or under a layer of snow, is a gift in itself!
Here are a few recommendations from our gardening expert Teri Dunn Chace…
Butterfly-topped stakes: Made of plastic, wood or metal, and typically a foot or two tall, these often are sold in bundles of, say, 10, rather than individually. They can be tucked into pots or flower borders to add a touch of whimsy and perhaps help prop up floppy bloomers. A Google search brings up plenty of sources, but the best, prettiest ones are sold by crafters on Etsy.com. Starting at about $10.
Enchanting book: Creating a Garden Retreat by novice gardener and lively storyteller Virginia Johnson. Because she is an artist—the book features her charming illustrations—her thoughts on color schemes and the creative way she arranges plants and furnishings in her small urban garden are captivating. Other newbies will be heartened and intrigued…seasoned gardeners will find her ideas and insights fascinating and refreshing. $14.90 on Amazon.com.
Self-watering pot: This is the perfect gift for a busy person, someone who is away from their plants at times or anyone trying to water efficiently. Current designs are so clever that you hardly know they hide a reservoir or have a way to alert the gardener when water is low. Some look like terra-cotta or ceramic but are durable plastic. Check home-supply stores, or browse the big selection at Gardeners.com. About $10 to $50 for a small one.
Tabletop garden: Here’s an interesting and cheerful project for the winter months—particularly if the gardener on your list likes fresh greens or herbs, which are easily grown this way. Quality and size vary widely—determine whether your recipient needs a full kit (seeds, soil mix, plant food, grow-light, etc.) or would be fine with just the growing unit, essentially a small greenhouse. Starting at $70 on AeroGarden.com.
Cordless hedge trimmer: It’s not as power-demanding as a mower or saw, so it doesn’t require a heavy battery. The lighter weight and lack of cord makes it convenient for working on taller hedges or far from a power source. The best ones are low-vibration (low-stress), have a rotating handle (for maneuverability) and are neither too large nor too small. Look for models by Ryobi, EGO or Greenworks wherever quality tools are sold. Starting at around $50.
Membership in The Garden Conservancy: Starting at $50 for an individual for a year, it’s the gift of fellowship with other like-minded people and opportunities to tour and learn from their gardens. Membership also supports a mission “to preserve, share and celebrate America’s gardens and diverse gardening traditions for the education and inspiration of the public.” Worthy and worthwhile! GardenConservancy.org.