Seasonal gardening gifts that are
just right for harvest time,
and the close of the gardening year.
Autumn doesn't officially begin until late September (north of the Equator, that is), but here in the US we think of Labor Day as the end of Summer. Whether late summer or early Fall, September is busy – it's harvest time for the long-season crops. Later, as Autumn draws to a close, we must put the gardens to bed for the winter.
Here are some well-chosen gift ideas for Autumn:
Let's start with a book of great information on preserving the extra bounty for winter. My all-time favorite (I'm not alone - 22 reviews give it 5 stars!) is Putting Food By, by Janet Greene et al. Emphasizing food safety, this excellent book has fully detailed and illustrated instructions for every food preservation method.
Along these lines, equipment and supplies for preserving food can be considered "gardening" gifts - for vegetable gardeners, that is. Such gifts come in all price ranges from big-time Gifts with a capital "G" to items a child can afford. For example:
- A freezer
- Pressure canner
- Boiling Water Bath canner
- Food drying rack & trays (no metal, please)
- Heat-sealer for freezer bags
- Canning jars, pretty jelly jars
- Personalized jar labels
Your flower gardener may wish to preserve some nice blooms before they fade, and a flower press is a thoughtful gift for a gardener who enjoys art and crafts projects. You might add a box of blank note cards and envelopes to get your recipient started.
A pedestal plant stand is a useful gift for a gardener who mysteriously has more, or larger, houseplants to bring back inside than were brought outdoors in the Spring (which always seems to happen!). A pedestal has a small footprint, yet it shows off a large plant to its best advantage.
What gardener wouldn't like a terrarium? Early autumn is a good time to gather small woodland plants and mosses (partridge berries do well) to plant in a large covered glass jar. You can decide whether to let the materials be your gift, or assemble the terrarium yourself. Be sure the moisture level is just right before tightly covering the jar.
Heading back outdoors, a leaf blower is one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread, in my opinion! Mine is electric and reasonably lightweight, but it does a great job even under a row of very large maples. Add a heavy-duty extension cord if your gardener has a large yard, and this gardening gift will make leaf clean-up a breeze (oooh, sorry!).
When the days grow shorter and cooler, and frost begins to threaten, a handsome outdoor thermometer is another practical gift for a gardener. The old Yankee farmers say that if it's 40 degrees Farenheit when you go to bed, there won't be a frost overnight. Do be sure to choose a thermometer that can be read from a distance (when combined with a clock, the thermometer usually looks like an afterthought)!
As autumn fades, a squirrel-proof birdfeeder (I have the tube-in-a-cage style, and it really is squirrelproof!) and a sack of sunflower seeds are gardening gifts that brighten the sleeping garden and add enjoyment to the long winter months. I never met a gardener who didn't love the song of chickadees, or a glimpse of a beautiful red cardinal. A covered metal bucket will keep furry varmints from invading the seeds.
For those who don't want a winter vacation from gardening, the fanciest gift is a full-sized greenhouse (don't I wish!). But a skylight or roof window, or a "bump-out" garden window, will at least provide the natural overhead lighting that most houseplants crave. These are expensive too, but if there's motivation (your gardener wants one), opportunity (it's feasible in his/her home), and means (a group gift, maybe?), be sure to get the installation done before the autumn weather turns cold!
As Autumn turns from cool to cold,
gardening gifts for indoor gardening
activities are sure to be appreciated.
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Logo photo by Jane M. Sawyer, kids/leaves by Shelly Kiser, and
pumpkin man by "ronnieb" - all courtesy of morguefile.com.
Other graphics courtesy of Microsoft.