Digging the Holidays

Glorious Gifts for the Gardner in your Life

As a long-time nature lover and gardener, I’ve been the lucky recipient and giver of a wide list of gardening and yard art gifts: serene wind chimes, vibrant hummingbird feeders, practical pruners, pre-potted plants and mischievous garden gnomes, to name a few.
My favorite gift ever was a purple martin house my husband crafted from our recycling bin and leftover construction materials. Its “tin” roof was made watertight with Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper cans, the front porch checkered with black and white grouted tile — strangely reminiscent of our bathroom — and we joked the birds were going to slip and slide on wet days. My kids took cues and painted raw wooden birdhouses with leftover craft paint. One of these kids has now flown the coop, yet I still spy her childhood creativity in a tree across the yard, winking with globs of glitter and kaleidoscope colors.
During the holidays, however, most of us don’t have time to make gifts; we need items crossed off the list, but we still aim to please. With that in mind, here are some local tips for gifts for the gardener or nature lover in your life.

SustGardeningTangible gifts
Practical gifts are often acutely needed and appreciated. For example, gardeners disdain weak hoses that kink when pulled around and love high-quality, “heavy use” hoses, no matter how short — they can be screwed together as needed. Or gift a fresh set of gardening gloves (in the right size), un-rusted bypass hand pruners or a wide-brimmed shade hat (a chin tie can be nice for windy days).
Then there are more whimsical items that people don’t always buy for themselves: rain chains to help showers trickle down where wanted, fountains for peaceful water gurgling, light catchers for reflection, wind chimes to give voice to the breeze. Buy an attractive pot and place a few gardening items, a plant, or food/beverage inside, tie a bow around it and you’re done. Many local nurseries have all of these products in addition to quality plants, small trees and succulents, soils, fertilizers, mulches and more.

Experience gifts
My siblings and I started a tradition years ago to gift a joint meal to each other rather than objects. We probably spend the same amount of cash we might have on gifts, but gain togetherness that’s hard to find time for with busy lives. With that in mind, here are some ideas for gardening and culinary “experiences” you could try with your nature lover.


By Josie Seeligson

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