Holiday gift ideas for gardeners

branch of a fir tree with holiday lights in the background

Can you hear them? Tiny little elves are softly singing carols. The holidays must be around the corner.

If you’re scratching your head for gift ideas for the gardeners in your life, the Master Gardeners and I can help. Here are a few suggestions to make smiles wider and green thumbs greener.

Tools are cool. Yes, we say we really don’t need yet another tool. We lie. Our eyes light up at the flash of steel and the smoothness of a wooden handle. 

A Hori Hori soil knife – a multipurpose tool with a serrated edge and slight curve that digs, plants, cuts, weeds, and more – is a perennial favorite.

hori hori sitting on garden soil next to planted garlic
Used here to plant garlic, a Hori Hori knife also digs, cuts, weeds, and more.

Folding saws are a marvel for pruning in tight spots. Garden kneelers let you work sitting or kneeling with grips to give you a boost in getting up. If you’re over 50, you get it.

We gardeners are always looking for our next favorite garden glove. I have two: a waterproof glove and a sturdy but breathable pair with cushioned fingertips and palms.  

red garden gloves
A good pair of gloves is an indispensable gardening tool and a fine holiday gift idea.  

Gardeners love books. Doug Tallamy’s Nature’s Best Hope and Bringing Nature Home top many Master Gardeners’ wish lists as do other conservation-minded books.

Magazine subscriptions make fine gifts, too. How about Horticulture, Fine Gardening or Birds & Blooms? 

I treasure handmade gifts, both to give and receive. Gifts from the garden – such as pesto, jam, and herbal liqueurs – are especially welcome.  

If you’re crafty, sew a garden apron, paint garden markers or make a hypertufa pot. If bigger is better, make a birdhouse, potting bench, or trellis. 

Good things also come in small packages. Seeds make great gifts.

Botanical Interests offers blends for butterflies, pollinators, and more in beautiful, informative seed packets. The Hudson Valley Seed Company sells heirloom seeds in incredibly artful packets. 

Bundle small gifts into a pot or gift basket. One Master Gardener fondly remembers an upcycled vintage bushel basket filled with bulbs, a bulb planter, and handmade plant markers.

Still stumped? How about a gardening calendar for year-round enjoyment or a garden-themed jigsaw puzzle that keeps twitchy gardening fingers busy in the winter months? 

You can’t go wrong with a gift card to a favorite garden center or online store. I used to disdain gift cards, but now embrace them because the recipient can get just what they want and need.

Always welcome is the gift of time. Why not give a busy gardener a coupon good for a few hours of planting, weeding, watering, or tending? For many of us that is the best gift of all.

Among my many gifts are my Master Gardeners. Thanks to Master Gardeners Lori, Ann, Will, Chanelle, Marcia, Dusty, Michelle, Susan, Catherine, Karen, Judy, and Sharon for their suggestions for this column. 

We hope we’ve given you some ideas to jump-start your holiday gift-giving. 

By Annette Cormany, Principal Agent Associate and Master Gardener Coordinator, Washington County, University of Maryland Extension. This article was previously published by Herald-Mail Media. Read more by Annette.