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If you are like me and still seeking that perfect holiday or hostess gift for someone on your list, why not treat them to a gardening-related gift?
Whether the hard-to-buy-for individual is an experienced gardener or an aspiring one hoping to grow a green thumb, they will eagerly await spring when they receive a gardening gift this holiday season.
There are many options ranging from small items that make perfect stocking stuffers to tools and larger items that gardeners will use for years to come.
Here are some ideas for useful gardening gifts:
Give a plant
What better gardening gift than a live plant?
Traditional holiday plants such as poinsettias, amaryllises, Christmas cacti, and paperwhites are always appropriate and make beautiful live holiday décor. Other flowering plants such as red or white cyclamens make festive gifts, and houseplants and succulents make excellent gifts no matter the holiday or season.
Unique plant gift options include terrariums, air plants, orchids and small indoor aquatic gardens. For those unable or unwilling to commit to plant care, cut flowers mixed with seasonal greens are an option.
An incredible variety of decorative pots in a wide range of styles and materials are currently on the market for outdoor and indoor use. Resourceful shoppers may even find deep discounts right now on outdoor pots that retailers hope to clear from their inventories before year’s end. Whichever style of pot you choose, be sure that it contains a drainage hole near the bottom of the pot. A hand-decorated pot makes a fun holiday craft project for kids and a cute gift for grandparents.
Stuff the stockings
Seed packets make great stocking stuffers, and gardening gloves and hand tools will also fit nicely into 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 adding high-quality hand soap, soothing salve or hand cream to your favorite gardener’s stocking. Other practical gifts that fit into a stocking include plant stakes, tags and ties, as well as gardening-related magazines.
Books and subscriptions to magazines that are related to working around the yard will help gardeners survive the long, dark days of winter until they can get back outside and dig in the soil. For many gardeners, the next best thing to getting their hands into the soil is curling up in a comfy chair and reading about new ways to get their hands into the soil.
A gift for the birds
Gardeners understand the benefits of attracting wildlife and beneficial insects to their gardens and home landscapes, and bird houses and feeders, bee hotels, bat houses, bird baths and butterfly homes will make perfect gifts for the environmentally conscious gardener on your list.
Bring the bling to the garden or home landscape with yard ornaments made of glass, metal, pottery or other materials.
Give an experience
Memberships or admission tickets to public gardens, arboreta and gardening events make excellent holiday gifts for gardeners. Local options include Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Chadwick Arboretum on the Ohio State University campus and 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 Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati.
Lend a hand
For senior citizens and other gardeners who may need some assistance with larger gardening or home landscape maintenance tasks, consider a gift certificate from a nursery or landscape company for professional landscape maintenance or improvements. You might also choose to give the gift of your labor to assist a gardener with gardening or landscape tasks next season.
No matter which type of gardening gift you choose to give, it will bring holiday joy to the recipient and continued enjoyment throughout the gardening season for years to come.
Mike Hogan is an associate professor at Ohio State University and an educator at the OSU Extension.