Last updated: December 13. 2013 12:08PM - 1001 Views
Randy Drinkard Extension agent

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How excited I was as a kid back in the 60s when I would rush into the living room on Christmas morning to see what Santa Claus had left under the tree! I would feverishly open packages, boxes and bags to see if good old Santa had remembered my favorite toys.

Somewhere in this process I would find tucked under the tree a small square box that I would

immediately toss to one side because I knew that this box contained a bottle of cologne. You see, I had a relative that gave me the same gift year after year. I appreciated him thinking of me, but honestly, I didn’t really need another bottle of cologne to add to my collection.

If you are like my dear old relative and have trouble selecting an appropriate gift for the gardener on your list, here are a few suggestions.

Books make wonderful gifts for gardeners. There are many areas of interest in gardening and I guarantee you can find a book about every one of them. Stop by the nature section of your favorite bookstore and you will find beautiful reference books on shade gardening, vegetable gardening, water gardening, gardening with native plants, backyard habitat and bird watching. Garden books are an excellent way for your favorite gardener to pass the winter months planning new garden projects.

Garden art can be another excellent choice. An ever increasing number of gardeners enjoy garden statuary, gazing balls and other accessories. You can also select garden benches, decorative stepping stones, sundials or fountains. Of course, you need to have a basic understanding of your friend’s gardening tastes before selecting garden art. A Japanese garden lantern might not fit in too well in an English cottage garden!

Maybe your gardening friend loves attracting wildlife. You could consider giving birdfeeders, bird baths or bird houses. A hummingbird feeder might be a wonderful gift. Maybe they would enjoy a squirrel feeder or an owl house. On the other hand, devices or plants to reduce wildlife damage in the garden can be equally welcomed gifts.

Of course, the obvious choice for many gardeners is to give plants. Give your favorite gardener a new indoor plant to brighten the winter days. You could also give them a gift certificate to their favorite nursery. You might want to consider giving them seeds or bulbs. Perennial plants make excellent gifts as well.

Tools are another favorite gift for gardeners. A kneeling bench is a great help to those of us who find stooping in the garden more difficult these days. Garden carts or wagons are also wonderfully handy. Loppers or high quality pruning tools can make chores much easier for your gardening friends. Maybe your friend could use new gardening gloves or a sprayer. Do you have a favorite gardening tool? Why not pick up another one of those handy, labor saving , specialized gems and share it with a friend?

Don’t forget that simple gardening supplies make wonderful gifts. I know of a number of gardeners who say their best gift was a load of compost, mulch, gravel or landscape timbers. While these may not be glamorous gifts, they often enable the gardener to finish a special project they have been planning.

Don’t settle for another bottle of cologne when there are so many wonderful gifts available for gardeners. Stop by your favorite garden center or nursery and I bet you can find a number of things that are sure to put a smile on your friend’s face.

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