Hoe-hoe-hoe: Gifts for gardeners
by Toni Leland
Muskingum County Master Gardeners
In the garden, it’s always the season for something and, though now the days are shorter and the weather is less friendly, a gardener’s thoughts still focus on spring. The seed and bulb catalogs will follow the holiday glut of mail, but until then, what do we want?
Tools. Almost without exception, gardeners are very particular about their tools. That favorite trowel can never be replaced with one of the new stainless steel, ergonomic-handled variety, but gardening implements need care and storage, so consider some of the innovative products for that purpose. My favorite storage option is a canvas bucket organizer with 12 pockets of assorted sizes and depths. It wraps around a 5 gallon bucket and travels easily from spot to spot in the yard.
Comfort. The up and down rigors of weeding and planting are tiring and hard on the knees. Kneepads come in a wide range of designs for various occupations, but the best type for gardening is made of thick but lightweight padding with adjustable straps. Another product that makes life easier is a thick neoprene or plastic foam kneeler. I have a “deluxe” model that also has side handles, which make it very easy to get up without straining something. This product boasts that, by turning it upside down, you have an instant seat. However, I fell off the first time I tried it, so I stick to the kneeling part of it!
Apparel. Garden supply catalogs are filled with all sorts of innovative and interesting items to wear while gardening. Hats are a must on hot summer days. Look for wide brims and lightweight materials with plenty of ventilation in the crown. Gloves are another important item on a gardener’s supply list, and there are many different types and styles; choose one based on the activity being performed. Garden clogs are both comfortable and waterproof, but the styles with a higher heel do pose a danger of turning an ankle on uneven ground.
Planters and decorations. Every gardener loves a beautiful pot! Dozens of styles in various sizes and composition are available almost year-round. For an extra surprise, tuck in a gift certificate for a local nursery or florist. While you’re there, browse the gift section for garden statuary or home decor with a garden theme.
Education. Why not give a gift certificate to a gardening or landscaping seminar at your local garden center–or give a subscription to a great gardening magazine? Books are another wonderful gift, but you have to know the individual’s particular areas of interest. That said, a bookstore gift card would do the trick.
Something Alive. No, not a puppy–but consider the Amaryllis and bulb-forcing kits now appearing in the stores. Something growing makes a gardener more patient.
Shopping on the Internet makes life easy, and anything you can imagine is just a click away. Visit some of the garden related websites in the sidebar, if only to get some ideas. Happy shopping!
http://www.davesgarden.com/ -- International website with everything one could think of, including forums and seed exchanges, plus dozens of articles every week.
http://www.garden.com/ -- New Web site with sources for plants, seeds, gardening equipment, décor, furniture, fountains, feeders, and more.
http://www.gardeners.com/ - Gardeners Supply Company. Great print catalog, as well as a selection of innovative tools, supplies, and equipment. Tips and forums too.
http://www.gardenweb.com/ -- Site with garden blogs, forums, and HortiPlex Database, a fabulous search tool for finding information on any plant. Links to other gardening resources and a site where gardeners can connect with others who have plants to swap or give away.
http://www.gardengate.com/ -- A fabulous bimonthly gardening magazine and great Web site.
This article appeared in the Zanesville Times-Recorder on November 26, 2007. ©Toni Leland