Now that we have passed our traditional “giving thanks” holiday, we might just as well keep the spirit flowing by showing our love and appreciation to our friends and relatives who have the passion (or perhaps some would say addiction) for gardening. Gardeners love gifts as much as the next person, and what better place to find some stellar ideas than at your local garden center.
Here are a few items that caught my eye recently.
A nice floral print coffee mug: Whether you prefer coffee, tea or perhaps a toasty hot buttered rum, there is nothing like a sturdy coffee mug adorned with floral images of landscapes yet to be realized to keep your lust for nature alive and well during these winter months. Sip away as you stay cozy inside, out of the dreary weather.
Jigsaw puzzles: During the wet months of winter when it isn’t conducive to romp around the garden, you can keep those weeding fingers nimble and toned by sorting through puzzle pieces from the New York Puzzle Company. They’re made in the USA with top-quality, fully recyclable and compostable components. My wife and I have already completed six 1,000-piecers, and it isn’t even officially winter. Thanks to short-term memory loss, we will probably just start all over again and reassemble them as if it was our first time. Sometimes old age can be a blessing.
Zenport pruning tools: There isn’t a self-respecting gardener anywhere who wouldn’t want a good-quality pruning tool to add to their collection, and Zenport has an enviable assortment of styles to choose from. From tiny floral snippers and bonsai scissors to heavy-duty loppers that can cut through inch-thick limbs, you will be impressed with the quality and durability of these tools. And for those lefties out there who have trouble with hand pruners, try their left-handed model. And for anyone just looking for a more ergonomic style, try out their comfortable rotating handle model.
Root Slayer tools from Radius: If you are familiar with the odd-looking circular grip on the end of the long-handled tools from this company, then you already know how comfortable it is to use them. Recently, they introduced the Root Slayer Shovel and Root Slayer Roundhead Shovel to their line of tools that look like weapons of mass destruction with their toothed edges and razor-sharp points. But believe me, if you have roots to cut through, these babies will do the job! Think of them as a shovel, root hatchet and root saw all in one tool.
Farmer’s Almanac: A combination of entertainment and education, the almanac is always fun to read. If you prefer pretty pictures, go with their calendar. Either way, you will get hours of enjoyment along with some very useful information.
Bird feeders: There is no better form of winter recreation than watching the colorful antics of our local bird populations. Stellar jays, hooded juncos, chickadees, flickers and my favorite, those crazy hummingbirds, all visit my yard in the winter. I focus on suet for most of my birds and nectar for the hummers. If you are like me and tend to make a mess when mixing hummingbird nectar, then try out “Sweet-Nectar” from the Sweet-Seed company. It is 100% natural and wildflower-infused. Simply pour it into your feeder (or dilute the concentrated formula) and let the show begin.
Winter-interest plants: Although difficult to wrap and place under a tree, plants make a wonderful gift that can be remembered for years as they grow and mature in the garden. hellebores, viburnum “Dawn”, “Charity” mahonia, camellias and a wide range of colorfully foliaged conifers and broadleaf evergreens all provide winter interest in our outdoor spaces that can be appreciated for years to come. There isn’t a gardener in the world who doesn’t appreciate a new plant for the garden.
Yard art: Whether it is a whimsical spinner, a magical hot air balloon mobile or a mesmerizing rain chain, Regal Art and Gift has it all for the gardener who enjoys accessorizing their landscapes. Wouldn’t it be something to sneak over in the dark of night and surprise someone on Christmas morning!
Garden-themed socks: For a little whimsy and the perfect stocking stuffer, try out some decorative socks from the Foot Traffic company whose motto is “wear your passion.” From ladybugs and chickens to gardening tools, you are sure to find a pattern that will delight your toesy-woesies.
Gift cards: Finally, if all else fails, there is always the option of a gift card, which has the added bonus of providing an opportunity for you to join the recipient in the spring for a field trip to your favorite garden center. Now that’s a “win-win” gift in my book!
Whatever you choose, as long as it is chosen with love and appreciation, you can’t go wrong. Happy gift-giving, stay safe and keep on gardening!
Steve Smith is the owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org