Last-minute gift ideas for the gardener

Christmas is just a couple days away. If you still haven’t purchased a present for the gardeners in your life, time is running out.

Christmas is just a couple days away.

If you still haven’t purchased a present for the gardeners in your life, time is running out.

If crowds are a problem, head out early in the morning or to less popular destinations. Even garden centres that specialize in Christmas sales are not as busy as malls at this time of year.

Gift certificates are quick and easy purchases. It also allows recipients to plan their purchase. If the certificate is for a garden centre allows the person receiving the gift many different choices.

Give the gift of a yard design. This is as easy as booking an appointment to have a landscape designer come and visit the garden.

Depending on the individual hired they should be able to answer questions and give design ideas or draw up a landscape plan. It is always good to ask friends and co-workers for recommendations. Good quality tools are a practical, useful gift. A good tool will save time and energy as the job will be accomplished in less time with less energy being expended. A good watering can is a must for every gardener. Choose one that is light, strong and easy to carry when it is full of water. Keep in mind that one gallon of water weights 10 pounds. A large watering can, can be very heavy when it is full.

A gift of time can be a treasured gift. Giving a note that promises to help with or do a job around the house or garden gives in two ways. It gets a job done that might otherwise need to be hired out and it also promises company and time. In a world where people are rushed, giving time to another is a generous thoughtful gift. Garden furniture such as a bench or sitting arrangement always has a place in the garden. They are attractive and they encourage people to sit and enjoy the world around them.

All benches are not created equal. Choose one that is sturdy, comfortable and fit the theme or mood of the garden.Fountains, birdbaths and garden ornaments also make great gifts.

Choose ones that will enhance the yard. Remember that more is not always better when it comes to garden ornamentation. Too many yard ornaments can take away for the overall design of the yard. When one first steps into a yard the plants and design should catch the eye not the ornaments.

Attractive and functional plant holders, fences, obelisks and stakes that keep plants upright are a must in any garden. Tall or top heavy plants such as delphiniums and peonies tend to topple in a wind or rain storm without these supports.

Garden books can keep one entertained for hours during the winter months. Choose one that is relevant to the prairies. If the plants mentioned in the book do not grow in the area chances are that the information in the book will not be useful.

Bird feeders and feed are also a welcome addition to most yards. A well placed feeder will draw birds into the yard all year. Birds might scatter the

seed but they add, entertainment and are well worth the additional work.

A good fitting glove is often a welcome gift. Gloves must be thick enough to protect hands from the soil and from contact with tools.

They must also be flexible enough to allow the user to perform small tiny tasks. It is hard to find a glove that will work for all gardening jobs so sometimes it is best to buy an assortment.

A good hand cleaner, hand cream and soft nail brush are important for the times when it is much more efficient to ignore the gloves.

Look for items that are recommended to clean and protect hands from drying conditions and dirty jobs. With only a couple days left until Christmas go out and find something that will help the gardeners in your life.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist and educator living in Rocky Mountain House. You can contact her at your_garden@hotmail.com

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