Gifts for Gardeners

As I write this, there’s still a week and a day before December arrives. Has this year flown by as quickly for you as it has for me? It’s the gift-giving time of year and there are lots of lists to offer help for the weary. But I wanted to offer a few suggestions that might offer cheer at any time of year to the gardening friends and family with whom we surround ourselves.

1. Membership in Hardy Plant Society of Oregon – provides access to HPSO member open gardens almost year round , excellent programs, early plant selection opportunities at the twice annual sales for volunteers, discounts at participating nurseries, and discounts on gardening books.

2. Support Hoyt Arboretum – in the words of President Theodore Roosevelt: “To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees.” Your donation helps maintain and operate a living museum, which is no small task.

3. Gift cards and certificates from your favorite garden center or a gift of your favorite plant.

4. The WSU Extension Master Gardener Program offers a comprehensive, science-based, how-to manual designed for gardening in all areas of the Pacific Northwest. Textbook quality in terms of its science and scope, the 640-page publication is binder ready and features full-color photographs and diagrams throughout. Chapters cover all aspects of horticulture and gardening, from basic botany and soil science, to forestry stewardship, integrated pest management and garden planning. Copies may be ordered at or by calling 800-723-1763. The cost is $100 plus shipping and handling.

5. Gloves, gloves and more gloves

6. Support Growing Gardens and other organizations helping people learn how to feed themselves and others.

7. Instead of a book club, organize a gardening group made up of friends. The goal is to help in each other’s gardens. It makes lighter, faster work with the added benefit of spending time with people you care about. Devote 2 hours (or more) a month, rotating gardens every month. Just think about the fun projects or weeding you can get done!

8. Flowered rubber gardening boots – I discovered Sloggers at the Newport Garden Expo in Heirloom Roses’ booth. They also offer them in their St. Paul gift shop. I now have a tall pair and shorter version and love wearing them in the garden, walking the dog, going to the grocery store, etc.

9. The Best at Dianne B for this bloggers’ top gifts for gardeners. The English garden twine and plant markers look particularly interesting to me.

10. A visit to Red Pig Tools in Boring, Ore. with your favorite gardener can be a winner. Hand forged and other well-made tools abound. The owners will even show you how to use your shovel correctly; the instruction has been a back saver for me.

11. Give the gift that keeps on giving: Heifer International’s gift of bees (or a trio of rabbits, flock of chickens, gardener’s basket, or earth basket). Provide a family a livelihood while adding healthy foods to their own diets and those of their community. Heifer’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth.

12. Offer to sharpen your friend’s gardening tools. This is something that I never seem to get to and it would be a welcome surprise.

Share your gardener gift suggestions with us.

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