Garden Musings

Gifts Gardeners Will Love

The best presents are those that are the most thoughtful, the most unexpected, or gifts that the givers went to extreme efforts to get. Rarely does the amount of money spent play a factor.

Tucker is king of the mountain on this log found in a vacant lot after a summer storm.
Tucker is king of the hostas on this log found in a vacant lot after a summer storm.

The best garden-related gift I ever received was a rock. Yup, a rock. Here’s why. First, you need to know I am the kind of person who slams on the brakes (or screams for the driver to slam on the brakes) when an awesome stump, fallen branch or boulder catches my attention along the roadside. I have tracked down property owners of vacant lots to procure huge branches blown down in storms.

The rocks had amazing texture!
The rocks had amazing texture!

Now back to the rock. Many years ago we were visiting family in Mt. Pulaski, Illinois when I noticed some incredible rocks used to block traffic in the parking lot of a restaurant. I had never seen rocks like these. They were pitted and cratered, had a sense of age and wisdom about them, and I wanted one. I asked at the restaurant, but they wouldn’t sell one to me. Sadly, that was the end of that, or so I thought.

A few months later, we visited again at Christmastime. Under the tree sat a large box with my name on it. I was forbidden to touch it until it was my turn to open gifts. As you have already guessed, inside the box was one of the magnificent rocks I had longed for. My aunt and uncle had tracked down a source and driven quite a distance to purchase one for me.

Almost hidden by fallen leaves, the rock is a focal point among bleeding hearts and false forget-me-nots in spring.
Almost hidden by fallen leaves, the rock is a focal point among bleeding hearts and false forget-me-nots in spring.

It has rested along a path in my shade garden for many years now. Mosses have made it their home, and it just gets more beautiful every year. I think of Aunt Ilene and Uncle Larry whenever I pass by.

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Are you wondering what to get the gardener on your Christmas list? I asked some gardening friends about their favorite garden-related gifts.

Joe Lamp’l, executive producer and host of the award-winning PBS series, Growing a Greener World, author of The Green Gardener’s Guide, and organic gardener extraordinaire, said his favorite gardening gift, besides a bulk load of certified compost, was a garden cart from Vermont Carts. “I’ve had the same one now for over 25 years and I use it nearly every day. I can’t imagine gardening or doing yard chores without it.”

The mid-size cart costs under $300, the large cart is just over $350.00. These are not stocking stuffers but as Joe said, “I would give this gift to any special gardener because I know how much it has meant to me. It’s one of those things you just love every time you use it.”

Shawna Coronado is a wellness and green lifestyle advocate. Her new book, 101 Organic Gardening Hacks: Eco-friendly Solutions to Improve Any Garden is scheduled to be released January 1, 2017 but you can pre-order it here.

Her favorite gardening gift was from her grandmother. She “used to send me little dried up paper towels she had squished cherry tomatoes in from her garden.” Although this cost nothing, it reminds Shawna of her grandmother’s kindness. “Her yellow cherry tomatoes lived on with the family for many years because of her thoughtful giving.”

If Shawna could have a Christmas wish granted, she would wish for a greenhouse. Santa, are you listening?

Mike Podlesny, also known as Mike the Gardener, is the author of Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person, the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club, and the host of Vegetable Gardening Podcast.

Mike’s favorite gardening gift was a 2-cycle rear tine tiller. “It is my favorite because it allows me to mix in a lot of compost in a short amount of time. And it’s a power tool, what’s not to love?” You can almost hear Tim the Tool Man Taylor’s signature grunts, can’t you?

If you catch Mike sitting on Santa’s lap, he’ll be wishing for more land to garden on. Mike has been a very good boy this year so I hope Santa grants his Christmas wish.

Need stocking stuffer ideas? Any gardener on your list is sure to love these ideas.

Hand tools like pruners, trowels, and garden knives
Gift card to favorite local garden center
Amaryllis or paperwhite bulbs
Tool sharpener
Plant markers
Seed packets
Air plants
Garden gloves
Garden journal
Rain gauges
Watering globes

Give the gardeners you love gifts they can use in the garden so they can garden with me!

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