Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas gift ideas for the gardener

If you want to buy gardening-related gifts this year, buy some useful tools or garden ornaments at your local garden center or at online retailers like Gardener’s Supply Company, at www.gardeners.com

I love my Fiskars® loppers and clippers.  Although they are more expensive than cheaper brands, they work better than any I have ever used and they have replaceable parts.  Fiskars® bypass loppers cut branches up to two inches in diameter and can remove branches or small trees that might otherwise require a chainsaw.


After using a friend’s electric chainsaw this past summer, I would like an electric chainsaw.  Of course, they won’t cut thick trees, but they will cut trees and branches that even the best lopper can’t slice. 

With an electric chainsaw, I can cut the branches when I want to, without having to wait for someone to do the work for me.  Electric chainsaws weigh less than their gasoline counterparts do, making them manageable for me, and they start when you push the button so there’s no need to struggle to crank them.  They tether you to an electrical outlet, but an extension cord reaches most areas near my home.
 
Gardeners might also appreciate portable greenhouses and cold frames for season-extension, available from Gardner’s Supply Company, or a permanent greenhouse or cold frame if your budget allows the cost.  The armchair gardener, or any gardener who enjoys reading, will devour books or magazines on farming or gardening. 

I always need gloves because I lose them or wear them out.  My husband bought me a pack of gloves that have a nylon shell with nitrile coating.  The nitrile is thin enough to allow my fingers to grasp small seedlings, but it’s tough enough to protect my hands. 


Maybe the gardener on your gift list needs a new rake, or the wheelbarrow he or she uses is either rusting or is too small.  Growers of vegetables also need buckets and baskets in which to harvest produce; just make sure they are functional and not so pretty or expensive the gardener will be afraid to get them dirty.  Some discarded 5-gallon plastic buckets are useful for carrying produce, leaves, soil, water, and other gardening supplies. Seed-starting season comes soon after Christmas, and maybe the gardener needs seeds, seed starting mixes, pots, a set of grow lights, or plant labels.

Gardeners may appreciate some sturdy, water-resistant shoes to wear in the garden, or they may want kneeling pads, raised beds, or other devices designed to help elderly or disabled gardeners continue gardening.  Perhaps your elderly grandmother had to give up gardening because she can no longer bend and kneel; a bed raised to waist level might allow her to resume her hobby.

Flower and vegetable beds can always use another application of compost and mulch; buy a truckload and help the gardener spread it.  Sharpen and oil tools; they become dull and ineffective with repeated use and the gardener will appreciate a tool with a like-new edge.  Perhaps the gardener on your list would appreciate your going through their storage area, with their permission, and removing trash like empty bags and broken pots, organizing the tools, and sweeping up spilled soil.    


Folks who love to garden can always find a spot in the garden for a beautiful garden ornament, bench, or trellis.  Beautiful urns, pots, and window boxes can bring color and structure to an arrangement of flowers.  Remind the garden-lover on your list that the dreary, cold weather of winter will not last all year with some inspiring gifts for Christmas.  

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