DALY: Christmas gift ideas for gardeners

Tim Daly

The Christmas shopping season is upon us again, and most of us are purchasing gifts for the important people in our lives. Sometimes we encounter difficulty in finding a gift for them. If you have a friend or relative that enjoys gardening as a hobby, consider a gift that would be suited to their interest.

Books make lovely gifts for gardeners. There are many facets of horticulture, and you can find a book about most everyone. Stop by the nature section of your favorite bookstore, and you will find reference books on shade gardening, vegetable gardening, water gardening, gardening with native plants, backyard habitat, and bird watching. You can also find choices online sources. Books are an excellent way for a gardener to pass the winter months planning new garden projects.

Garden art can be another excellent choice. An ever-increasing number of gardeners enjoy garden statuary, gazing balls, and other accessories. You can also select garden benches, decorative stepping stones, sundials, or fountains. Of course, you need to have a basic understanding of your friends gardening tastes before choosing garden art. A Japanese garden lantern might not fit in too well in an English cottage garden.

Maybe you could give something that attracts wildlife. Consider birdfeeders, bird baths, bird houses, bird seed or some other gift that will bring birds to the yard. A hummingbird feeder might be a wonderful gift. Perhaps give a squirrel feeder or an owl house as a present.

Of course, the obvious choice for many gardeners is to give plants. Indoor plants will help brighten the dark winter days. Consider gift certificates to area nurseries.

You could also give them a gift certificate at their favorite nursery. Maybe you might want to consider giving seeds or bulbs for Christmas. Perennial plants make excellent gifts as well. Many trees and shrubs are available, and winter is an excellent time for planting them.

Tools are another favorite. A kneeling bench is a great help to those of us who find stooping in the garden more difficult these days. Garden carts or wagons are also wonderfully handy. Loppers or high-quality pruning tools can make chores much more comfortable for your gardening friends. Maybe your friend could use new gardening gloves or a sprayer. Do you have a favorite gardening tool? Why not pick up another one of those handy, labor saving, specialized gems and share it with a friend?

Simple gardening supplies make excellent gifts. I know of some gardeners who say their best gift was a load of compost, mulch, gravel, or landscape timbers. While these may not be glamorous gifts, they often enable the gardener to finish a particular project they have been planning.

A multitude of gifts appropriate for gardeners is available. Giving them will make someone’s Christmas unique and memorable.

Timothy Daly is an Agricultural and Natural Resource Extension Agent with Gwinnett County. He can be contacted at 678-377-4010 or tdaly@uga.edu.