Gifts for Green-Thumbed Gardeners

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Indiana Gardening magazine

Need a holiday gift for the gardener? From reading about the garden to working in it, I’ve collected a variety of suggestions for the green thumbs on your Christmas list – or ideas to add to yours.

Books & Beyond

These user-friendly books have great photos, advice on planning, soil preparation and plant selection – just what a gardener needs to succeed.

Try these three self-explanatory books by master gardener Carolyn Harstad: Go Native: Gardening with Native Plants and Wildflowers in the Lower Midwest; Got Shade? A “Take It Easy” Approach for Today’s Gardener and Got Sun? 200 Best Native Plants for Your Garden.

Wildflowers and Ferns of Indiana Forests: A Field Guide by Michael A. Homoya is perfect for anyone interested in plant identification while on a hike or restoring their woods with native plants. Homoya is Indiana’s state botanist and plant ecologist.

Indiana Gardening magazine, a bimonthly publication, features articles written by Hoosier journalists. It contains a question-and-answer section, regional reports and calendar of state events in each issue. I read mine from cover to cover.

Plants & Pollinators

Gift cards can be hit or miss, depending upon the recipient, but consider a gift certificate for lavender from a garden catalog. It smells wonderful and naturally repels moths and mosquitoes when planted on or near a patio.

A vermicomposting kit invites gardeners to use their table scraps to make nutrient-rich humus (soil) for their garden.

Provide a home for peaceful, nonstinging native mason bees. These spring pollinators do an incredible job, and toolkits offered at garden stores and websites include the house, supplies, and the bees themselves.

For 85 years, Milorganite has fertilized home lawns and gardens, so buy a bag for your favorite gardener. Easy to use, the slow-release fertilizer promotes beneficial microbial activity, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture certified it as a bio-based product. Plus, it deters deer from snacking on your plants.

Apparel & Accoutrements

It may sound simple, but a box of latex gloves is great to use when pulling small weeds, spraying pesticides or spreading fertilizers. Get several pairs made of rubber and cloth from the men’s department – they’re durable and washable, ideal for garden chores.

A big hat and sunscreen are a must for keeping gardeners safe from the sun, and bug spray keeps mosquitoes away. (I recommend Avon Skin So Soft, but a dryer sheet also does the trick.)

Finally, the gift of time is extra special. Make a handmade coupon detailing your gift of labor – spading a new bed, pulling weeds, or planting trees, shrubs or perennials. How about spreading that load of new mulch? Your special gardener will be grateful for your thoughtfulness and help.

And of course, any of these ideas will work when a birthday comes around too.

What’s on your gardening wish list? Let us know in the comments.

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