By Mary-Jane Pilgrim, Master Gardener
It’s not too early to think of Christmas gifts for the special gardeners in your life. Every gardener has a long list of things they wish they had because many of these items will make their gardening hobby just a little bit easier. Also, most of them will rarely treat themselves.
Christmas gifts for gardeners can be purchased at nurseries that remain open in the fall, at local home & garden stores, online at Lee Valley Tools or via any other local or online suppliers. Hopefully, the following suggestions will help you to surprise the green-fingered folk in your life.
- Plants! A small succulent planter, a unique and weird looking cactus, a fancy orchid, an amaryllis bulb or an african violet for indoors can spruce up a cold winter.
- Basic Garden Tools. Who among us doesn’t need another/new garden tool?
- Lee Valley Root Knife (my go-to weapon)
- A new pair of secateurs (pruners). My choice is the Felco #6, great for smaller hands.
- A padded garden kneeler or good quality set of knee pads
- Salves and Soap, Especially for Working Hands. There are many items like garden salves and soaps with hydrating formulas & great scents that will always be appreciated by anyone unwrapping them on Christmas Day.
- For our Feathered Friends. A good squirrel-proof bird feeder or a birdhouse, and some good quality birdseed will go miles to attracting useful, pleasant-sounding visitors to your yard all winter.
- Magazines. A subscription to a Canadian gardening magazine about growing perennials or native plants or about water gardens is always appreciated and will delight the recipient monthly or bi-monthly.
- GLOVES! My favourites are the nitrile Gardena brand — stretchy but grippy. I go through several pairs of these each season.
- A transplant shovel, a new garden hoe or a step-on weeder. These items are not “must have” but “would be nice” so gardeners will rarely purchase them for themselves. Believe it or not, there have been advances in these tools in the last 20 years! For example, my favourite new shovel has a super-sharp cutting edge, and an enlarged “step on” bracket so the middle of my foot doesn’t get sore with heavy digging. Very nice.
- Stocking Stuffers. Stocking stuffers of heirloom seeds, plant markers, a mini nail brush, some twine or plant ties are welcome unique gifts.
- A Year Round Gift. An inexpensive membership to local Horticultural Society like the Peterborough Horticultural Society offers you discounts at many local nurseries, plant exchanges, plant shows, socializing, and the opportunity to hear good speakers throughout the year. A great stocking stuffer for $20.
- A Garden Show! Treat someone to a trip to Canada Blooms or the awesome Peterborough Garden Show — $10 each for “enjoy all weekend” admission on April 24, 25 and 26, 2020; our 20th fabulous show!
So, why don’t you surprise your favourite gardener with a garden-related gift this Christmas season? Hoping that this list helps with your decisions. Happy shopping!