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Gifts for Gardeners

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Did you know that gardening is the most popular hobby in the US?  Not too surprising when you think about all of the benefits you get as a gardener, like the exercise, the beauty and enjoyment of being outdoors, the produce from vegetable gardening, and last but certainly not least, creating a piece of art that can be enjoyed every time you step outside or look out the window.

 There is a very good chance that there is a gardener on your holiday gift list, either a very outspoken one or a closet gardener, who only dreams quietly of digging in the dirt while sitting at their desk watching the clock.  Either way, here are some gift ideas for that gardener on your list.

Trowel: Most gardeners have one of these, but if they are like me, I went years buying just any trowel that was inexpensive and easy to get.  It wasn't until a friend gave me a nice heavy duty trowel that I learned to appreciate the difference.  My old trowels would break or the handles would fall off.  This new, slightly more expensive trowel has now been with me for 8 years and still feels wonderful in my hand.  It is my go to trowel and the one I rarely share.  I always have the "other" kinds of trowels on hands to lend to people, but my favorite trowel doesn't leave my sight.  A little tip when you find a nice one,  if it doesn't already have a bright handle, spray paint it the brightest color you can.  Your gardener friend will appreciate it even more because it will never get lost.  If you have a gardener in your life with limited hand strength or mobility, there are trowels designed for them as well.

Hand pruners: Every gardener knows that hand pruners are an absolute necessity. There is nothing worse than deadheading and trying to snap off the flower head to watch it bend and become mangled without a hope of coming off the plant.  Be sure to get bypass pruners (they look like scissors) instead of the anvil pruners (one blade is flattened like an anvil) which crush the stem before cutting.  This can leave the plant more susceptible to disease.  As with the trowel, bright handle is best so if you find some nice hand pruners that are not bright...hit them with some bright spray paint.  I promise, the gardener in your life with thank you for it many times over!

Garden gloves and Lotion: One of my favorite gardening gifts I ever received was a box with a nice pair of Nitrile-coated gloves and some really good hand cream.  The gloves were wonderful because they not only fit comfortably, they were also raspberry proof!  I was able to handle my seasonal pruning as if there were no thorns.  I have used nothing else for my seasonal clean up work since. Cotton cloves are nice for potting plants and lighter gardening work, but I always find myself enjoying being without gloves when I do the lighter chores.  No matter how many times I get Echinacea chaff shoved under my fingernails.

Japanese Hori-Hori: This is my favorite garden tool.  Hori-Hori means "dig dig" in Japanese.  This tool was created in Japan to help remove plants from the mountains.  It was very functional and easy to use, and is the best tool in the garden as far as I am concerned. It is a large knife that is serrated on one side, sharp on the other and a semi-sharp pointed end.  My favorite ones have measurement guides on the blade and a nice heavy handle.  It works for almost all digging jobs in the garden.  As much as I hate to do without it, I am forever losing it, or leaving it at customers houses when I notice them admiring it.  This tool is not commonlyfound in garden sheds, so it would be a nice gift for anyone.

Special plants: Orchids care and Bonsai are both fascinating hobbies, many gardeners would find it a treat to receive one of these as a gift.  There are many beautiful examples of both at local nurseries and big box stores across the country.  When purchasing a plant be sure the soil looks in good condition, if you find a plant that seems to be pulling away from it's container or roots coming out of drainage holes, there is a good chance that this plant is suffering stress from poor gardening practices and wouldn't be a good buy.

Other ideas: One of my favorite things in my garden is an old mailbox.  I have it painted bright yellow and it is in a convenient place to most of my garden chores.  I use it to store all of my most often used garden tools, Hori Hori, trowel, hand pruners, gloves and twine.  I even keep the dog's brush in it.  A great gift idea for any gardener.  Or try one of these: ladybugs, books, garden magazine subscriptions, seeds, a coupon for free gardening help, garden clocks, a knee mat, apron, a bag of specialty fertilizer, sun dial, leaf shredder, compost bin, indoor mushroom farm, bird baths, trellis, or any of the many beautiful garden statuary so gardener on your list can add a little whimsy to their flower beds.

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