Sweaters, socks, and chocolate-coated espresso beans are among the gifts that, for me anyway, fall into the essential and expected holiday gift category. But if you want to “wow” the gardeners in your life this year, consider these ideas from the past and future wish lists of your friends at the Home and Garden Information Center.
The best gift I ever received WAS a garden. My husband rented a rototiller and got the whole area ready to plant. Another option would be to give someone a container or salad box already planted with lettuce seedlings or herbs.
Marian and Debbie like the Garden Rocker Comfort Seat. A simple, low, plastic stool gets you close to your plants, soil, and weeds (claims to reduce knee & back strain). It’s available at some local retailers and online.
Sara says that those little tree finders (tree ID) booklets make nice stocking stuffers.
Lew has the giving spirit and likes the idea of a subscription to one of the local or national gardening magazines, like the Washington Gardener, or a gift certificate from a local nursery. You could even give someone a gift card and let them shop online for the tool or accessory that they like.
A handyman or woman could build a salad table or salad box for a friend who has trouble getting up and down in the garden or for anyone with limited space to plant an in-ground garden. A “coupon book” offering your garden services would be a nice stocking stuffer. Decorative stepping stones would be a lovely addition to any garden!
How about a couple of passes into one of the popular private or public gardens, or simply offering to take a friend on a springtime walking tour of the National Arboretum, Brookside Gardens, or Longwood Gardens?
For the avid gardener, how about a gift basket containing garden accessories: plant ties, netting, a floating row cover, a pair of inexpensive garden gloves, a bottle of wine, and some herb markers? With a simple Google search, you can find nifty gardening tools that everyone at HGIC loves, like a stainless steel soil knife in a handy sheath. Or pair the soil knife with a pruner in a combo sheath to hook onto a belt.
Lisa thought it would be great to receive a gift of membership to a horticultural group or the Maryland Native Plant Society, or a collection of seeds from Monticello or Mt. Vernon. The National Wildlife Federation has tree sponsorships and ornaments that when purchased, plants a tree. Or how about a living succulent wreath or a personal gift certificate of your time to help weed, plant a new bed, etc.
Give where it is needed the most. Make a donation in a friend’s name to a charitable organization like Heifer International. Your gift in support of sustainable farming can change lives.
Ginny likes practical garden gifts, like Liquid Fence to repel deer, or deer netting or a privacy fence to keep them out of the garden!
Make 2019 a happy gardening year with gifts from the heart and for the garden.
By Ria Malloy, Program Coordinator, Home & Garden Information Center