I have a friend with a passion for gardening but from what I can tell, already owns everything they need. Is there anything creative out there I can gift them for the holiday?
With less than 30 days until Christmas, you may be considering gift ideas for your favorite green thumb friend or relative. Many of the goods we previously took for granted to be in stock and on store shelves are now questionable as to whether they’re available at all. This gives us more reason to think outside the box for gift ideas this holiday season while the supply chain (hopefully) gets unkinked.
Younger and novice gardeners are easier to shop for. Basic tools make both great stocking stuffers and gift baskets. Trowels, dibbers, diggers, weeders, shears and pruning snips are tools that are continuously needed to do the work. Tool seats, buckets, carts and knee pads help with the comfort and mobility factors for extended workdays. Clothing attire such as, gloves, hats, boots, clogs and aprons are much appreciated for those who really like to dig in the soil.
If you are up for a challenge to test your knowledge on what tools are used in the garden world, I encourage you to check out this link: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/volusiaco/2020/01/30/can-you-identify-the-horticultural-hand-tools/.
Experienced green thumbs already fitted with an inventory of supplies can still claim a few needs of their own.
People who prefer to grow from seed may revel in seed collection kits, herb drying racks/preservers, kitchen compost buckets and harvest baskets. To better discern the outdoor elements, weather stations can report and forecast conditions. Plants struggling during the cold and wet weather months can be aided by gardeners with moisture control sensors and portable greenhouses.
A gardener’s tools are only beneficial if they are both sanitized and sharp. Local mower repair and metal shops can sharpen blades for a fee. This saves money for unnecessary replacement costs, not to mention the environmental waste.
Our friends who love to decorate and entertain in their gardens may like a few of these additions. Suspended wind chimes, rain chains, waterproof speakers and flags. Yard art that serves a dual purpose to sheltering wildlife are bird and pollinator houses, butterfly puddlers, feeders and outdoor water features.
For the more advanced gardener or all-around fan of nature, the market offers many out-of-the-box ideas to match your recipient’s personality. The science-minded enthusiasts’ thirst for more knowledge so gardening magazines, phone apps, books and field guides are winning considerations. Most gardening apps provide plant identification with the snap of a quick photo. Some also include plant history, growing advice and landscaping selection/placement. UF/IFAS even has a free app titled FFL plants. The database and guide include more than 450 Florida Friendly plants.
Laminated pocket-sized booklets can be handy companions for gardeners who need on the spot information to identify species, pests and disease. To learn more and to shop online, got to http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/.
Horticultural workshops are offered every month at your local county extension offices. For Duval residents, the New Leaf newsletter is available for free online and lists upcoming classes and gardening events. To review past issues, go to http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/duval/lawns-gardens-and-trees/new-leaf-newsletter/.
Supporting and educating others around the world on how to cultivate the Earth’s soil and conserve nature is a life-supporting action.
And this thoughtful gesture can be achieved by gift donation.
Heifer Project International works to end worldwide poverty by teaching other cultures self-sufficiency farming. One-time gifts for $20 to $60 can financially support beekeeping startups, deliver locally sourced produce to remote areas and host hands on training on how to grow and sustain vegetable plots with fruiting trees.
Gifting trees in honor of your loved one in public places and underserved communities benefits more than just the recipient. Greenscape of Jacksonville is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our city trees and offers this service. Honeybee hive adoptions from Bee Friends Farm, also in our area, can be purchased online in addition to a shop full of bee friendly merchandise.
Perhaps you consider yourself to be an established gardener and need some advice on what gifts you can give to others who may not have the skill set, space or time for plants.
A simple DIY gift certificate can be made on your computer or by hand and presented as an offer to help another. Overtures like watering plants while on vacation, weeding, creating a raised bed are just a start. Pass-along plants of all varieties and attractive containers never disappoint a party host, neighbor or co-worker too. Poinsettias and Christmas cactus dominate the December festivities but don’t rule out Amaryllis, orchids, succulents, air and houseplants for their beauty and unique qualities.
Now is the time to show your favorite gardener how much you care. And nothing relays that message better when you put a little extra thought and meaning into the gift. The price points for the ideas presented in this article range from $1 to several hundred so there is something for everyone.
Candace Barone is a Master Gardener Volunteer with the Duval County Extension Service and the University of Florida/IFAS. For gardening questions, call the Duval County Extension Office at (904) 255-7450 from 9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and ask for a Master Gardener Volunteer.