Holiday gift ideas for that special gardener in your life

Don’t know what to give your loved one who loves to garden? How about one of these.

Let’s take a break from the endless list of garden chores I am constantly throwing out at you. This week, I want to share a few gift ideas.

After all, this is the season of giving. Whether you are looking for a gift for the gardener in your life or you want to treat yourself, here are some gifts to consider.

Barebones Classic hori hori. This tool that has been around for a long time and, frankly, I have never been too excited about it. The “soil knife” or “weeding knife” always seemed clunky to me, but I know lots of gardeners who swear by it.

But then I recently discovered a hori hori that is the ultimate gardening tool.

The Barebones Classic gardening multi-knife (hori hori roughly translates to “dig dig” in Japanese) comes with a stylish and very comfortable handle made from laminated bamboo, ergonomically designed to reduce hand fatigue and improve your grip. The blade is stainless steel with one smooth side and one serrated side. It comes with its own sheath, so you won’t inadvertently lose any digits. It even has a bottle opener molded into the blade.

The smooth — and very sharp — side is for cutting twine or opening bags of fertilizer. The serrated side is for slicing through roots or even sawing small limbs. You can use the knife to dig out root-bound plants from containers, dividing perennials and levering out small rocks. Or use it anywhere that you need a sturdy tool that won’t break or bend when you put it to the test.

Think of the Barebones Classic model as the Swiss Army Knife of hori horis. It would make Crocodile Dundee proud.

Needless to say, I hope Santa puts one in my stocking this year.

Wolf-garten tool set. If you or your loved one is looking to simplify your collection of gardening tools, then this is the tooling system to get. Wolf-garten’s gardening tool set comes with one long handle and an assortment of attachments that snap on, depending on the garden chore at hand.

The system is so popular in Europe that the expression “wolfing” is synonymous with “gardening” — or so I have been told by my sales rep. They’re a reflection of German engineering, so they come with a 35-year guarantee (sounds like “lifetime” to me).

The tools and handles are made of stainless steel, lightweight aluminum and plastic. With a simple click, you can remove your gardening attachment from a 12-inch handle and snap it onto a 5-foot handle.

What I really like about this system is that once I have purchased the handle, I can buy (or better yet, friends can gift me) a new attachment every year. Think of it as the gift that keeps giving. I can’t wait to start my collection.

Well, I guess two ideas aren’t much of a list — but at least it’s a start. My next column will have some additional ideas that will surely help you finish your shopping for the season.

Steve Smith is the owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville and can be reached at

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