Gift Guide for the Dedicated Gardener

Winter might be a seasonal break for many gardeners, but that doesn't mean I don't want to see gardening gifts under the tree. In my case it's quite the opposite — they're usually top priority on my wish list — and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. If there's a green thumb aficionado in your life, forget about the bleak winter that lies ahead and gift them with something that will remind them that crocuses and daffodils are only a few months away.

Top Row (from left to right):

  • Custom Photo Album - Do you happen to have pictures of your giftee's garden? If so, this is the perfect gift. I photographed my grandmother's garden last year in late spring and created a photo album organized to walk you through her many flower beds. I designed mine through Apple's website, but there are many other companies out there that allow you to include photos and text for a one-of-a-kind bound photo book. While it was time consuming, it was a big hit! I was told it was one of the most thoughtful and cherished gifts she had ever received.
  • Gardening Book - Most gardeners usually can't resist a well-written garden book. Some of mine I prize for their photos, others for the wealth of information. And if you know their area of expertise, well this is where you can get really creative. Are they interested in growing plants and vegetable in containers? If so, I highly recommend McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container. Are terrariums their passion? Then try Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds. If you're still at a loss, I love Tess Wilson's list included in the post, The Gardening Library Of My Dreams: Pretty & Practical.
  • Gardening Journal - Leave it to Moleskin to come up with the perfect gardening journal. This one has themed sections, tabbed personalized sections, hardiness zones, design grids and hundreds of labels for personalizing your journal.
  • Unusual Planter/Container - I can never have too many planters and I'm currently obsessed with handmade ceramic planters in any shade of white. I own one of these Geo Planters by Kelly Lamb, a little pricey but totally worth it. They come in multiple colors, two sizes and it's also offered in a hanging version.
  • Gardening Accessories - A new kneeling pad (I really like this memory foam neoprene pad by Kneelo), gardening gloves, or plant labels are usually things that any gardener can use multiples of and yet don't have to cost a lot.

Bottom Row:

  • Living Holiday Cheer - Sure, we all love a good wreath around the holidays, but if you want something slightly unusual, why not try a kissing ball? The Evergreen Orange Kissing Ball from Williams-Sonoma is a fresh take on the traditional mistletoe variety (and will be arriving on grandmother's doorstep anytime). I do advise ordering it in early December so it can be enjoyed throughout the holiday season.
  • Unique Plant for Indoors - Not exactly a plant per say, but as a vegetable grower, I would appreciate trying my hand at growing mushrooms indoors over the long winter. This mushroom kit is easy enough for the beginner, all it needs is a little daily misting and soon you'll be harvesting up to 1.5 lbs of pearl oyster mushrooms.
  • Inexpensive DIY - Sure you can buy this twine dispenser from Terrain, but it would also be super-easy to craft one of these on your own. All you need is an old tin can, fabric and a label. Purchase an inexpensive roll of jute twine and you're all set with a cheap yet useful gift.
  • Garden Ornament - Smooth, stacked rocks have such a soothing element to them, I would welcome these hanging weather rocks as an alternative to wind chimes. These are made in New Hampshire from naturally cobbled river and ocean stones.
  • Quality Hand Tool - I really love the handmade copper tools by the Austrian company, PKS. Copper is known to be a natural deterrent against slugs and snails and copper is also rust proof. If you are at all in doubt, you can't go wrong with the castor trowel, pictured above. The Hori Hori Knife (Japanese translation literally means dig dig), is a multipurpose tool that probably isn't in the garden bag of many gardeners, but should be. This stainless steel blade can be used for transplanting, weeding, dividing and even has a blade marked in millimeters for precise planting depth.

Images: 1, Kimberly Watson; 2 - 10, as linked above.

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