Gifts for the garden

Wondering what to give the gardener in your life?

Here are few ideas that may be helpful to you.

Most gardeners have pruners they carry with them as they work in the garden. But, how often do they sharpen their pruners? You don’t need to take them anywhere or pay to get them sharpened – they are very easy to sharpen yourself.

A garden cart or wheelbarrow makes garden chores easier. (Courtesy of Nicole Pinson)

For less than $25, you can buy your gardening friend a standard, pocket-sized sharpener, such as this Swiss Istor sharpener. It is lightweight, compact and easy-to-use. Carry it your pocket, apron or toolkit, so it’s ready to sharpen pruners on the go.

If you’re in the market for a planter, you might consider repurposing a cattle trough or stock tank. I’ve seen a lot of restaurants and shops doing that.

These troughs are sturdy, attractive and can be purchased in different sizes. They make it easy to reach plants without bending over, if you buy one that’s a few feet tall.

The sky is the limit regarding the types of plants and combinations a gardener may create in these containers. I have a stock tank on my list this year. It’s 49 gallons and measures 48 inches by 24 inches by 12 inches.

My plan is to stuff it with trellised vegetables, lettuces, herbs and edible flowers. As a bonus, the edible flowers will attract pollinators to the raised bed garden, which helps with pest control and fruit production.

Another great garden gift is a wheelbarrow or a garden cart to make it easier to move mulch, clippings, soil and debris around the garden — which can be a backbreaking chore.

Many gifts – such as plants, gift cards to local nurseries and pollinator-friendly garden signs – are a welcome addition to gardens.

Carts and wheelbarrows are versatile and useful in gardens large or small.

Houseplants also make a great gift.

Many people – including younger gardeners – are drawn to houseplants because they look attractive, can be easy to care for and help improve indoor air quality. I prefer a few large pots with lush, sturdy plants. But, moving these pots – for example, sweeping around them, moving them according to seasonal light changes, or taking them outside for a long soak and to rinse the leaves – can be cumbersome.

Rolling plant caddies can make that job much easier.

You can get planter pot movers for less than $25. Pick plant caddies in a standard color, such as dark brown or black, so they blend in with most pots.

Do you need some inspiration about houseplants? Check websites, social media pages and your local library for “houseplant groups,” “houseplant décor” or “houseplants.”

Bird feeders are great gifts, too. Wrap the bird feeder along with a good bird seed mix so the recipient can hang the feeder immediately. The birds will thank you, too.

Here’s an idea I picked up in Arizona a few years ago, when I visited a beautiful garden in the desert.

They hung prisms from shrubs and small trees, which reflected sunlight and made little rainbows around the garden, adding to the garden’s charm.

Backyard bird feeders and birdbaths make a nice gift for any gardener or wildlife enthusiast.

Prisms and other suncatchers make great gifts. Here’s a tip: If the prisms don’t come with a cord, be sure to include some heavy duty clear fishing line, or similar cord, to go along with your prism.

Of course, seasonal plants are a nice gift idea, too.

A pot of amaryllis or paperwhites bring holiday cheer to any room. They are easy to grow for any skill level. Many local nurseries and box stores carry these during the holidays. They make a nice addition to holiday décor, whether at home or at the office. As a bonus, amaryllis may be planted outside after blooming.

Garden books, flowerpots, pot clips, pot feet, macramé plant holders (yes, macramé is in style) and hose guards are all nice gifts. Garden signs that show your gardening friend’s appreciation for pollinators, birds and bees are a nice touch, too, especially if placed near a sidewalk or in a school or community garden plot.

When the garden is all spruced up, weeded and mulched (when is that ever done?!), sit back and relax with a cold drink. Place universal beverage/drink holder stakes around the garden and near patio areas and tables to encourage sitting for a moment and enjoying the garden on your own, or with pets, friends and family.

Of course, you can never go wrong with a gift card. Chances are the gardener in your life can always use one more plant! Gift cards to local nurseries help support local businesses and can give your recipient the option of all kinds of garden gifts, whether it’s a new plant, seeds, a tool, garden ornament or soil.

For additional information, contact or (813) 744-5519, ext. 54145.

Nicole Pinson is the Urban Horticulture Agent in Hillsborough County.

Published December 18, 2019

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