Suggested gardening gifts, both practical
and decorative, for summertime giving
when gardens are looking their best.
Gardens look great in the summer! Here in New England, the corn is "knee-high by the Fourth of July," the tomatoes are setting fruit, and everything is filling in and looking lush. Flowerbeds in full bloom brighten every corner of the yard and patio. And the weeds are growing like… well, like weeds!
Here are some ideas to help you find a wonderful gift for a gardener who will be spending a lot of time out there:
Garden stools and kneelers relieve wear and tear on the knees of both your gardener and his/her jeans. There are several types, from a folding seat that inverts to a kneeler, to an ergonomic stool that rocks as you reach, to a mobile stool with wheels and a storage compartment. These gardening gifts will prevent a lot of backaches, too!
Baskets for gathering cut flowers, berries or veggies. Shallow baskets are best for soft berries or heavy, juicy tomatoes - if stacked too deeply, those on the bottom will get squashed. A flat basket with a tall handle is good for cut flowers. For blueberries or beans, choose a basket with a fine weave so none will slip through the cracks.
A garden hose holder or reel is very helpful for controlling a willful garden hose and keeping it out from underfoot. If it's a long distance from spigot to garden, look for a winding reel mounted on a cart. Winding reels are also available for mounting on the side of a building. For shorter hoses, a simple holder to attach to a wall or post will store the hose neatly.
Garden hose guides are stakes placed at the corners of flower beds or garden paths to protect plants from being run over by the hose. Many are decorative and they often come in sets of 3-6 stakes.
For a gardener with no outdoor space, window boxes are useful gardening gifts, and good looking too. Veggies as well as flowering plants can be grown successfully in window boxes. Be sure the box provides drainage so a heavy summer shower will not leave the plants drowning.
Outdoor accommodations for houseplants. Most houseplants greatly benefit from a summer vacation outdoors. A must-have gift for a gardener who keeps a lot of houseplants is a plant stand or bench. Plant benches come in wood or metal and usually have multiple tiers. Corner units fit well on many porches and patios. We also like shepherd hooks, so hanging plants can go right out into the yard or garden. Also useful are plant hanging brackets to mount on a wall, deck, or tall fence.
Plant supports and trellises make it possible to grow more vegetables in a small space. They keep the fruit off the ground to discourage rotting and garden pests like slugs. A trellis covered with morning glories or clematis (or cherry tomatoes) makes a lovely backdrop for a flower bed. Handsome supports and garden trellises, in vinyl, wood or wrought iron, can stand alone or be mounted on a building or porch.
Yard or garden accessories are gardening gifts that should be carefully chosen and tasteful, not tacky. Suggestions:
- Bird bath
- Garden bench
- Garden globe
- Wind chimes
- Garden statuary or figurine
- Solar path lights
If your gift is for someone whose tastes you don't know for sure, it's wise to run your idea past someone who does know. As with clothing, some yard accessories are very much a matter of taste!
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Logo photo by Jane M. Sawyer, trellis by "vilhelm," both courtesy
of morguefile.com. Other graphics courtesy of Microsoft.