Finding the perfect gift for the gardener in your life can be easy when they’re new to the hobby. Everything thrills them in their newfound passion; seeds, shovels, gloves, the odd bag of manure all set their hearts fluttering. As they mature into the hobby another truth may slowly dawn on you: those odd little objects still thrill them as much now as in the days when they first started gardening.
The only difference is that, now, a seasoned gardener is more discerning about the quality and toughness of the tools they use. But comfort, durability, and practicality are still balanced against whimsy or decorative accent. The key to giving gifts they’ll love is knowing the innermost desires of their green thumb heart.
If you haven’t been secretly taking notes on any offhand comment they made, or grilled their gardening friends for clues, relax. Here are a few suggestions to consider this year.
Is your gardener is hard to shop for because tools are a little too large for their hands? Check out Green Heron Tools, which specializes in equipment for women (greenherontools.com). Their mission is “To provide high-quality agricultural and gardening tools and equipment designed to work with women’s bodies, maximizing comfort, efficiency, productivity, and safety.” With their custom designed HERShovel and HERSpade, more petite gardeners can find the right tools for working comfortably and safely.
If your gardener is a guy, the Root Slayer line of gardening shovels by Radius Garden (radiusgarden.com) is a thoughtful gift for him. Built rugged and durable for a very good reason: reducing hand and wrist injuries during heavy work. Combining a shovel, root hatchet, and root saw in one tool, Root Slayers have serrated edges on a sharpened blade; it slices through roots or heavy soils with ease and is strong enough to pry rocks from the ground. Watch a video review of the tool at youtu.be/7NwBw7M0jT0.
Vegetable gardeners will love the ModHod, a lightweight, basket-like hod with handles on top and bottom that make harvesting and storing produce a snap. The lower handles fold open to provide a stand for the hod, or snap onto other ModHods to form stacked baskets of produce. Available in bright colored handles to match indoor décor. Mini ModHods are $24.95 each; full-size are $29.95 at Gardener’s Supply Company (gardeners.com/buy/mod-hod-garden-basket/8595214.html#start=5).
If orcharding is a passion for your gardener, Garrett Wade Tools offers an interesting take on an ages-old harvesting helper: a telescopic Fruit Picker to grab fruit from the top of taller trees. The upper end of the picker holds a canvas bag for softly catching falling fruit plus a cutting tool that’s operated from the lower, or hand holding, end of the pole. $59.95 (garrettwade.com/10ft-reach-telescoping-fruit-picker.html).
Mason Bee houses make wonderful gifts at this time of year because they should be placed out in the garden in March, which is earlier than many gardeners realize. Give them a head start on getting ready to attract these beneficial pollinators to the garden with a fair trade, bamboo Mason Bee House from Arbico ($25, arbico-organics.com/product/mason-bee-house-increase-pollinators-now/gift-ideas). ARBICO (Arizona Biological Control, Inc.) are specialists in the beneficial side of insects.
The Paper PotMaker is an inexpensive way for gardeners to make seed starting pots from paper. A sustainable choice for those wanting to reduce the amount of plastic they depend on, the Paper PotMaker is fun and easy to use, over and over. $14 at Seed and Garden (seedandgarden.com/shop/products/paper-pot-maker.html).
As you’re shopping for your gardener, add a small notebook to your list. This is for you so you can take notes all year long on the offhand comments or secret desires of your green thumbed loved one for next gift giving season.
By Carol O’Meara, Colorado State University Extension, together with Boulder County Parks and Open Space, provides unbiased, research-based information about consumer and family issues, horticulture, natural resources, agriculture and 4-H youth development. For more information contact Colorado State University Extension at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd., Box B, Longmont, 303.678.6238, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ext.colostate.edu/boulder.