What was your favorite Christmas gift? I remember a metal dollhouse from Santa when I was about 5 or 6. The red mesh-like stocking was always filled with fruit, mixed nuts, firecrackers and sparklers and once a birthstone ring way down in the toe. David and I are practical in our gift giving to each other. I have enjoyed the large wheelbarrow with two front wheels. The 60-inch zero-turn lawnmower has been my favorite and the garden tiller is helpful as the tractors are always at Camp David!
Do you have a gardener to shop for? Let me see if I can help you. Snoop around and see if a good set of hand tools is needed. The tools should have a sturdy handle. Grip each one to see how they feel when you hold them. Be sure the metal is rust resistant. A trowel with etched measurements is helpful when planting bulbs or young seedlings at the proper depth. Pruning shears are always needed. A good pair of garden scissors come in handy for snipping blooms for a bouquet. My research mentioned a Hori Hori or soil knife that cuts, digs, saws and measures and a small hand sickle for precise weeding.
A garden tote bag will keep those hand tools organized. It should be constructed of sturdy fabric with various sized pockets to keep those essentials handy. I have one that fits around a five-gallon bucket and fabric flips to the inside of the bucket with more pockets. It has plenty of room for a bottle of water and a cell phone. What about a work apron with lots of pockets to protect their clothes while working in the yard or greenhouse?
Gardening is rewarding but hard on the back. Does your gardener have a garden seat? I use a padded kneeler that flips to a seat for resting. The sides of the kneeler are steady for getting up, also. It is lightweight and folds for easy storage or transporting to work on a Master Gardener project.
Every gardener needs a big, floppy, wide-brimmed sun hat. It should be rated UPF 50+ for maximum sun protection. Add a pretty pair of work gloves, a few packs of flower seeds, a cute watering can and a subscription to a monthly gardening magazine. Penny and Britney have given me plants in pretty pots.
Josh bought me a pair of gardening clogs many years ago. They are waterproof, easy to kneel in, easy on and off. A good garden hose is a very practical gift. Shop for one that never kinks and is flexible. Many members of our family have received a rain gauge, the one with the large numbers that can easily be read from indoors.
I think I will make a Christmas list this year. Our three “Sweet Things” can help me write it, as they each gave NanO and Poppy quite a long one. I think I will put a trip to Amsterdam during tulip season on my list, well a trip to Holland, Michigan, would work! Merry Christmas!
Former elementary teacher and avid gardener Olivia Sansing lives in the New Hope community and shares timely tips on behalf of the Lowndes County Master Gardeners.