Christmas is only seven days away and I still haven’t completed my shopping. If you’re like me and you’re still looking for that perfect Christmas present for someone on your list, why not give them a garden gift? Garden-related gifts are appreciated by seasoned gardeners, novices, and even those who lack the requisite green thumb. Inexpensive gardening gifts also make perfect hostess gifts and appreciation gifts for teachers and service providers. Here are some ideas for useful and fun garden gifts this holiday season.
Give a plant
Maintaining a live plant is a special treat in winter. Traditional holiday plants such as poinsettias, amaryllis, Christmas cacti and paper white are always appropriate and make beautiful, vibrant holiday decorations for the recipient. Other flowering plants like red or white cyclamen make festive Christmas gifts, and tropical houseplants and succulents make excellent gifts for any holiday or season. Unique plant gift options include terrariums, air plants, orchids, and small indoor water gardens. For those who can’t or don’t want to commit to plant care, cut flowers mixed with seasonal greenery are always a welcome gift.
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Many unique gardening-themed gifts are available in gift shops and online, including jewelry such as rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and even charm bracelets with whimsical charms in the shape of trowels, plants, watering cans, and other gardening tools. Garden wear such as garden aprons, hats, shirts and garden boots make great gifts for the garden fashionistas in your life.
There is currently an incredible variety of decorative pots on the market in a wide variety of styles and materials for indoor and outdoor use. Resourceful shoppers might even find deep discounts on outdoor pots now, which retailers hope to clear from their inventories before the end of the year. Whichever type of pot you choose, make sure it includes a drainage hole near the bottom of the pot. A hand-painted pot is a fun holiday craft project for kids and a sweet gift for grandparents.
Pad the stockings
Seed packets make great stocking fillers, and gardening gloves and hand tools fit well in a stocking. Most gardeners can use an extra set of pruning shears, and gardeners can never have too many hand trowels! Gardeners love to get their hands dirty, so how about complementing your favorite gardener’s stocking with a quality hand soap, soothing ointment or hand cream? Other handy gardening gifts that fit in a stocking include plant sticks, charms and ties, as well as gardening-themed magazines.
Gardening books and gardening magazine subscriptions are welcome gifts for gardeners who are counting down the winter days until they can get outside and dig in the soil again. For many gardeners, getting their hands in the ground, curling up in a comfortable chair, and reading about new ways to get their hands in the ground is the next best thing.
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A gift for the birds
Gardeners understand the benefits of attracting wildlife and beneficial insects to their gardens and landscapes, and birdhouses and bird feeders, bee hotels, bat houses, and butterfly houses make perfect gifts for the environmentally conscious gardener on your list.
Add some sparkle to the garden or home landscape with garden ornaments made of glass, metal, ceramic or other materials. Larger, more elaborate gift options include bird baths, fountains, and garden statues.
Give an experience
Memberships or tickets to public gardens, arboreta, and gardening events make excellent Christmas gifts for gardeners. Local options include the Franklin Park Conservatory, the Chadwick Arboretum on the OSU campus, and the Dawes Arboretum near Newark.
For the tourist gardeners on your list, other Ohio options include the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron, Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, and the Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati.
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For seniors and other gardeners who may need assistance with major gardening or landscaping tasks, consider a gift certificate from a gardening or landscaping company for professional landscaping maintenance or improvements. You can also choose to donate your labor power to assist a gardener with gardening or landscaping work next season.
No matter what type of garden gift you choose, it is sure to bring holiday cheer to the recipient and years of enjoyment throughout the gardening season.
Mike Hogan is an Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Associate Professor at Ohio State University Extension.