You know all the Christmas gift suggestions we see in gardening magazines this time of year? So often, they’re new gadgets or doodads, the need for which is definitely in question, and I imagine the poor gardeners having to strain to look pleased at gift-opening time. And the aesthetics of those doodads? Let’s just say they’re an acquired taste.
So I decided to ask someone who sells gifts for gardeners, lots of ‘em, and find out what people really buy and what she’s heard over the years the recipients are actually happy to get. I asked the “hardgoods” buyer at a local garden center, and she rattled off a list of popular gifts that almost shocked me with their usefulness and attractiveness. In fact, I’ll be sending her list to all my friends and family with the “Hint!” implied. Here it is:
- Gardening clogs
- Gardening hats and tool aprons
- Rain chains
- Always popular are tools, especially hand tools, especially hand pruners, and especially Felcos (Harris family, take note) and Coronas.
- Bird houses and feeders are the top gift item in the whole hardgoods department. Top brands for durability are Woodlink and Droll Yankee, which makes the strongest, easiest-to-clean tube feeder of them all, I’m told. And to attract the largest birds that are around in the winter (like cardinals), include their preferred type feeder – one that holds the food on a flat surface, not in a vertical tube.
- These incredibly useful weather instruments measure light, humidity, temperature and rain, and the Conant brand is tops in this category. I’ve been dying for a rain guage ever since I started listening to Margaret Roach’s podcast, in which she tosses off the exact numbers and fractions of inches that her garden received in the previous week. Even experienced gardeners are prone to overestimating rainfall, and I’m pretty sure I’m in that camp.
- The Garden Hopper seat/scooter is popular.
- Watering cans are a mixed lot, but the Oxo brand is particularly well balanced. Now would a nongardening gift-giver ever think to ask about this feature? I think not!
- A “Compost Keeper” for the kitchen.
- Dramm wands.
- For the great of budget, rain barrels and composters.
- Gift certificates never disappoint.
Readers, would YOU want these? And if not, WHAT?
Photos taken at Homestead Gardens, and thanks to Michele Cordrey for the information.