Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gifts for Gardeners

It's December 1 today so that means, in my books at least, that it's officially the Christmas season.  Trees, wreaths, lights and snow are all in evidence right now.  And inevitably shopping must follow.  I can't tell you what to buy for your husband, wife, cousin, or great aunt twice removed but I can share with you a few ideas about what the gardener on your list might be wishing for.  Or, if you're a gardener, gifts you might want to request this holiday season.

1.  The first item on my list is a gift I received in the past.  My Gardening Bag was an amazing present when I received it and it's a gift that I still appreciate and use years later.  This bag comes with me whenever I leave the house and venture out into the garden.  It contains all my essential garden tools so I'm able to do any small pieces of work I encounter as I walk about the yard and saves my feet from running back and forth between house, garage and shed. 

I found an example of a garden bag for sale at Amazon (just click on the link at left to take you to the Amazone website).  This pink number comes with a set of hand tools and a portion of the proceeds go to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation which is a nice gesture.  One thing I like about buying a garden bag is that it can become part of a larger present or a replacement for a Christmas stocking.  Like the handtools pictured in the pink bag you can fill your bag with any amount of items to personalize the gift you are giving.  When I received my garden bag it contained tools for gardening but also small personal gifts like dominos.

2.  Found a bag but it's empty?  Wondering where to find some hand tools?  Look no farther than one my favourite stores - Lee Valley.  If you've read this blog in the last month you'll know I'm a Lee Valley fan girl.  They're Canadian and they have all the latest and greatest gardening gadgets.  One of my favourite past gifts was a stocking stuffer from my husband - the Lee Valley small tools set.

This set is actually meant for children but their sturdiness and lightweight character makes them usable and easy to cart around in my bag without putting my shoulder out.  Plus their bright and cheery colours are always good for a smile.

3.  Looking for small filler items that won't cost a great deal?  Every summer I go through countless bottles of sunscreen, aloe, lip balm and mosquito repellant.  All items that are nice to have on hand when I'm out in the garden.  A visit to your local drug store will likely turn up all these items.  Burt's Bees products can be found in most drug stores and offer a line of outdoor products including sun care, lip balms and repellants.

4.  While it's great to buy items that will be useful throughout the gardening season why not include something to be enjoyed in the winter months while your gardening friend is waiting for spring to come.  A subscription to a gardening magazine will delight them each month and help to ease their green thumb during the cold months of winter.  Magazines vary depending on your location but for those of us in Canada some options include Gardens West (or East, Central, and Prairies), Harrowsmith Country Life or Canadian Gardening.

5.  Many gardeners are also nature lovers.  Our gardens provide us with a connection to the natural world around us and many times offer us a way to view nature up close.  One of the most common critters we see and hope to attract are birds.  If you or your gardener has a soft spot for these winged creatures a copy of this amazing series, The Life of Birds, will be sure to capture their attention.  

This 10 part series is hosted by Sir David Attenborough and describes some of the most beautiful and varied birds around the planet.  Like the popular series, Planet Earth, the images will amaze you and the in depth look at bird behaviour will keep you entertained and intrigued.

What about you fellow readers - What past gardening gift was your favourite?  What would you like to receive this Christmas?


  1. That Lee Valley tool set is almost pretty enough to use as decorations in a garden bed! I'm glad they work so well, too. It would be a lot harder for me to misplace (or bury) my tools if they were that brightly colored!

  2. I love Lee Valley! I have to pop by there this week! Also a good stocking stuffer for gardeners, they have those watering spikes that you attach to a pop bottle. Perfect for a thirsty pot in the hot of summer, or if your going away for a couple days! I think they are under $10 for a pack of three!

  3. One of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received was a magazine subscription to Fine Gardening for five years. Loved it! It expired recently so I guess that means I need to spread some hints around. Or maybe this is the year of the tools from Lee Valley....

    Christine in Alaska

  4. that is definitely a nice gardening bag. i am expecting a different gift this time round. A GREENER LAWN!!.., a gift by nature. Cheers ~bangchik

  5. You know, I was feeling really proud of myself for NOT wanting anything for Christmas because I have everything I need or want...WRONG!! Everything you have shown in your post I now WANT!! I just got a Lee Valley catalogue the other day - so there isn't an actual Lee Valley on PEI??

  6. Eliza - maybe that's why I like them so much, they're just really pretty!

    Laura - I have to admit, I own the watering spikes too (good grief I've got a problem!) but they are all kinds of awesome.

    Christine - 5 years! wow, that is a fantastic gift. I wish somebody would gift me like that (dear husband if you're reading this....)

    Bangchik - wouldn't it be nice if we all got great weather with just enough sunshine, and just enough rain for our plants next season. That would indeed be a perfect gift.

    Jane - You're right, the Lee Valley store is located in Halifax, just a mere 3 hours away. That's why I love the online catalogue feature. However, if you're here in the spring I have a little insiders tip for you. Lee Valley attends the PEI Garden show in April and they have samples on hand for you to try out anything from hand pruners to garden shoes.

  7. I love your ideas and will have to let my husband know :-)

    I received my first Lee Valley catalog the other day and I love what they offered. I am sure your tips will make many gardeners happy this Christmas.

  8. Great ideas Marguerite. The best gardening related gift I got was a gift certificate to my favourite nursery.

  9. I am so tempted to get the colorful tool set, but wonder if my clay soil would defeat them! Love Lee Valley! gail

  10. Noelle - I hope you enjoy many happy hours with your catalogue! If you're anything like me you'll probably use bookmarks and coloured markers to remember all the items you come across.

    Melanie - oh boy I could use one of those! there's always more plants I could use.

    Gail - I'm actually really impressed how solid those tools are. I've had some hand tools that I've bent in half before but so far these have held up. Of course, I haven't tried prying any rocks out with them yet...