Think about wonderful gifts for your gardening enthusiast

When choosing a gift, it is best to understand who you are buying for and what kind of gardener they happen to be.

The seasonal amaryllis bulb is always an annual favorite during this time of year. There are a number of gift ideas for Christmas to suit any gardener.
John Zvirovski / The Jamestown Sun
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John Zvirovski, Jamestown Sun garden editor
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

December is coming quickly and along with it comes the biggest holiday of the year. Oh, and how we wrack our brains trying to figure out what gifts to get various people. We know that we all have been the recipients of that one gift where we open it up, look around the room and wonder to ourselves, “What the heck were they thinking when they got me this?” 

We use them for washing cars, floors, kitchens, bathrooms and even our bodies.

There are times when we have to be creative! For us gardeners and for our friends with similar interests, gift-giving is an easy task. Here are just a few ideas to keep in mind this season when looking for something special for that avid gardener in your life.

When choosing a gift, it is best to understand who you are buying for and what kind of gardener they happen to be. Some are beginners, some are more advanced and some excel with indoor plants; others excel at the great outdoors. There are others that have an interest in the gardening world but have no desire to go out and get their hands dirty. There is a gift for everyone.

One common gift for the season is a live plant. Of course. we are all familiar with the beautifully festive poinsettias with their loud bursts of color in red, white, pink and many different variations. Amaryllis are also very popular with their incredibly large blooms on tall stems. Christmas cacti are fun with their unique flowers that seem to always bloom in time for the holidays. There are also many other types of blooming plants such as anthurium, kalanchoe, mums, gardenia, hibiscus and African violets. Some of these are seasonal and others can be grown throughout the year, but they make wonderful gifts for anyone.


For those serious gardeners who love to be outdoors, think about tool packages that they might need. There are many assortments you can collect to make the perfect gift. Make a basket of garden trowels, hand pruners, deadheading snippers, garden gloves and a small hand rake or hoe. These are the types of tools people use every day when working in the yard, and they wear out and have to be replaced from time to time. Add a kneeling mat for that personal touch that also makes it a little easier on the knees.

For those who enjoy indoor gardening, think of the fun things you can put together for those individuals. Maybe they enjoy terrariums where you can put together a kit with a container, dirt, some small plants and rocks for decoration. A small book on the art of making terrariums would be the perfect add-in for this type of item. Maybe a new watering can with a small hand sprayer for misting those more fussy plants. Houseplant fertilizers and insecticides always come in handy to maintain each plant’s health. There are numerous houseplant books also that make the craft that much more fun, especially during the cold months of winter.

Some people may enjoy starting a fresh herb garden indoors if they enjoy the art of cooking. There are also wonderful mushroom boxes one can find to grow mushrooms for that creative cook in the home. There is nothing better than fresh product when cooking!

Maybe the person you are looking for does not particularly enjoy gardening with their hands and just likes to experience the activity of the outdoors. There are those who enjoy watching the birds and take an interest in that genre. There are wonderful birdhouses and feeders than can be found in many different designs to fit that perfect person’s taste. Add in a big bag of bird seed, some suet cakes, a nice identification book and maybe a pair of binoculars. For those who like to record various identifications they see, add a little journal for them to jot down the names and dates when they spotted those stunning creatures in the garden.

Garden art is a nice add-in also, but beware that all things you may like may not be to the liking of the receiver. This can be a touchy area unless you know the individual well. One of the perfect examples would be wind chimes. Many people love them but there are those who can’t stand them, finding them noisy. I am one of those people who only enjoy the large ones that sounds like deep-toned cathedral bells. I love that deep drone on a windy day but I do not care for the small ones that sound like broken glass. Something about those smaller ones tends to stress me out more than relax me. There are other various items such as statuaries, birdbaths, figurines, stepping stones and glassware to add to the garden. But be careful with the garden art you may choose — otherwise, you may get that “What were they thinking?” look!   

Reference books are a win-win in all cases for a gardening gift. Everyone loves to look through gardening books if they are looking to generate ideas for a new landscape or if they are just looking for specific plant materials that will work well in their garden. Garden magazine subscriptions also make a great gift that will cover the entire year, and if they really enjoy it you can renew the subscription the following year for their next gift. Some great selections are Garden Shed, Fine Gardening, Horticulture and Birds and Blooms. Trust me, there is a gardening magazine to fit any person you may know.

If you just can’t find the perfect gift for that gardener in your life, there is always a gift certificate you can get from the gardener's favorite nursery. When the new planting season comes along, these certificates are perfect to cover the costs of all the new plants that will get planted each season. I put in numerous annuals every year and these sure come in handy to ease the pain of the impending debt!  

Choosing that perfect gift doesn’t have to be difficult, just put your creativity to work and come up with something unique for that special person. Take your time and look around and you will definitely come up with a memorable item that won’t deliver confused looks of wonder. Above all, make it fun!

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