A Gardener's Christmas List

Shirley Lindsey
Adams County Master Gardener

Many of us gardeners use the cold winter months to dream and plan a bout our gardens next summer. Since this is not the season to be planting and active in the garden, sometimes our family and friends forget that there are gifts we would love to receive. If you have a gardener on your Christmas list, ask for hints. Most of us will happily give some "not so subtle" hints, like leaving the nursery catalog open with the beautiful rose or shrub or perennial circled in bright blue! So here are a few "hints," in case your gardener friend or family member is shy.

  • Tools: Does the person you are shopping for have by-pass clippers? They are preferred over the type that clamp together, sometimes bruising the stem you are cutting. Any kind of tool is always appreciated. I have a dandelion digger - a long skinny forked metal blade on a handle. It gets lots of use. Another great tool is a lawn rake where the tines collapse to make a very narrow rake; you can get in between your plants with one of these
  • Garden Decorations: How about a sun-dial or other garden ornament? If you are thinking bigger, maybe the gardener would like a trellis, bird-house, bird bath, some comfortable lawn furniture, or even a water garden.
  • Cozy Necessities: Do you own some good garden gloves? If you do any rough work like pruning roses, you may want some with a heavy cuff that goes almost to the elbow. Personally I have an ambition to have some of those garden shoes that slip on easily and you can just hose them off. Many of us like those foam kneeling pads or knee pads; they make the gardening hours much more comfortable.
  • A Truck: Not a real truck, but one of those light weight 2-wheel jobs, that are so much easier to pull or push than a wheel-barrow. Our wheel-barrow is so heavy and hard to push that I can hardly move it when it is empty, but the garden truck that my husband fixed up for me is very easy to use. It has a bar handle and you can push or pull, depending on your needs.
  • Tool CADDY: The one I have fits over a five-gallon bucket. There pockets on the inside and outside. I think it was designed for a carpenter's tools, but works great for gardening. No more wondering where I might have left my favorite trowel.
  • Containers: Those of us who have very little space really appreciate growing plants in containers. Although I may not be able to put an arrangement in a lovely container on my deck until next spring, I would be delighted to receive a nice pot or other container for Christmas. Hanging baskets, window boxes or seedling trays are some other container ideas.
  • Garden Calendar: I have sat at my desk during 1997 and enjoyed a beautiful calendar that I received last year. Each month the flower pictures seem more attractive. Many of these garden calendars also have suggestions for what needs to be done in the garden each month of the year.
  • Hand Lens: For the gardeners out there who really get into the botany of gardening, a hand lens might be just the thing to examine the fine respects of a plant.
  • Plants: Of course we can't plant flowers in the garden at this time of year, but you can order from the nursery catalogs and they will send the plant at the appropriate planting time. Last year I gave my friend a plant. Having ordered the plant to be sent to her, I just cut out the picture from the catalog and enclosed it in a card. She was thrilled. If you are on a budget, you might want to send a picture of one of your favorite perennials in your own garden. Then scoop up the plant, or division, or cutting, and deliver it at the right time for planting.
  • Subscriptions: One way to give a gift so the receiver will think of you with each issue, is to give a subscription to a magazine. Most gardeners enjoy magazines about gardening or attracting birds, butterflies, or other wildlife to our gardens.
  • Gift Certificates: You can obtain gift certificates at any nursery or store that sells gardening supplies. Then the recipient can go and pick out whatever he or she needs. It's such fun to into a store and know that you have the equivalent of money that just must be spent.

Another type of gift certificate is a "promise" type. Can you take your gardener friend to Longwood Gardens or some other lovely public garden in 1998? That would be something us garden lovers would look forward to with excitement!

Whatever you decide to put on your Christmas list, if those special people happen to love gardening, look over the suggestions above and see if you find anything that might appeal to them. Gardening is not just for summer.

Merry Christmas shopping!

Read other winter related gardening articles

Read other articles by Shirley Lindsey