December 1, 2016

Every holiday season, I like to scour through all of my gardening resources to discover some cool items that might make great gifts for the gardeners on your list. This year is no different. My list includes some new items that are sure to be useful, as well as a handful of older items that you might have yet to discover. Some of these items make great stocking stuffers while others will be too big to wrap. There’s a wide range of price points represented, too. I hope you’ll find a few useful items for a friend, family member or maybe even for yourself.

1. Melon Cradles

gardengifts1

If you know someone who loves to grow melons, squash and pumpkins, they’ll find these little guys to be very useful. Although you can place ripening melons on a piece of cardboard or an inverted nursery flat to keep them from rotting against the ground, these melon cradles are far easier and more attractive. They increase air circulation on the bottom of the fruits and elevate ripening melons off the ground and away from pests. You can purchase melon cradles from Gardener’s Supply Company in packs of six. They also have different sizes.

2. Pre-Designed Garden

pre-designed garden

If you don’t have a big enough budget to hire a garden designer to create a new garden for a friend or loved one, consider buying them a pre-designed garden instead. American Meadows sells more than a dozen pre-designed garden packages, including a drought-tolerant garden, a hummingbird garden, a deer-resistant garden and many others. Each professionally designed plan tells you how much room you’ll need to install the garden and includes several illustrated layout options, as well as all the plants you’ll need to build the garden. If you give a pre-designed garden as a holiday gift, the plants will be shipped at the perfect planting time for your zone.

3. Wheelbarrow Tool Caddy

wheelbarrow tool caddy

Gardener’s Edge by A.M. Leonard  sells a super cool tool caddy that attaches to your wheelbarrow called the Grizzly Grip. It consists of two brackets that clamp onto your wheelbarrow handles and a mesh bag that’s strung between them. The brackets screw on with a simple twist and allow you to balance a rake, shovel, or other long-handled tool between them. The mesh bag holds your gloves, trowel, pruners, or other smaller equipment.

4. Billhook Tool

billhook

Billhook cutting tools are traditionally used to lop hedges and other brush, but you’ll find the one carried by Lee Valley Tools to be useful for so many projects. It’s extremely sharp and has a hooked blade that’s easy to hook around small branches and twigs. We use it to cut down our blackberry canes every spring. It’s also useful for harvesting heads of broccoli, Brussels sprout stalks, asparagus, rhubarb, cardoon and many other crops.

5. Monticello Garden Seeds

Monticello garden seeds

If the gardener on your list also happens to be a history buff or a lover of heirloom plants, seeds from the estate of Thomas Jefferson just might send them into a tizzy! The Monticello Shop carries heirlooom seeds from the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants. You can purchase vegetable, herb, and flower seeds in individual packets or in collections. The seed packets are beautiful, too. They even have a Children’s Garden kit that includes a kid-friendly booklet about Jefferson’s gardens and seeds for eight different plants that kids will love to grow.

6. Rechargeable String Trimmer

rechargeable string trimmer

I’ve used many gas-powered string trimmers in my life, and I am not a fan of the fumes and noise. I finally found a battery-powered string trimmer that I love. I have a 40-volt, lithium, higher performance string trimmer from Black and Decker. It has variable speeds, and the end flips up so I can use it as an edger, too. I also like the self-feeding line. I just snap in a new spool when the line runs out, and because it automatically feeds new line out, there’s no need to bump it against the ground to deliver more. The handle is adjustable, so my husband, who’s a good bit taller than me, can make it longer when he uses it. I keep the battery charging in the garage so it’s ready to go whenever I need it.

7. Leatherman Wave

Leatherman Wave

If you don’t have a Leatherman multi-tool yet, this will probably talk you into getting one. Although Leatherman has several models, the Wave is my favorite. It as several blades (including knives, saws and a file), pliers, wire cutters, scissors, screw drivers, a can opener, and several other tools that all fold into one small rectangle that fits neatly into your pocket or the glove compartment of your car. The Wave is made of stainless steel, so it will never rust, and the blades can be opened with one hand. I use mine all the time.



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