COLUMN: How to buy gifts for the gardener on your list

Birdbaths and feeders are nice ideas for shut-ins or children, columnist Brian Minter suggests

When it comes to gardening gifts, passionate gardeners are very particular, so here are some suggestions that you might find helpful.

Attracting wildlife to gardens has become quite a trend these days. Birdbaths, feeders and birdhouses are great gifts for children and shut-ins. Birding is the number two leisure activity in North America, and bird feeders and accessories are nice presents for those who enjoy this hobby. With Anna’s hummingbirds staying around during the winter, a vintage glass hummingbird feeder is a practical and attractive gift.

Winter-blooming plants, like Camellia sasanqua that provide nectar for them, are also great gifts. Creating bee habitats is an important issue today. Mason bee houses are a terrific start, and the process of colonizing mason bees is fascinating. The bees, normally available in garden centres starting in February, are essential pollinators in gardens and most eco-systems.

There are a whole host of gardening gift ideas from gardeners’ soap and richly toned wind chimes to ergonomically designed tools for ease of use. Treat the gardeners on your list with high quality shears that will serve them for years to come. Complete gardening wardrobes are also available – from gardening hats, gloves, aprons and footwear to knee pads and garden tool belts.

Research has revealed that of all the gifts people receive, flowers make folks the happiest. Long-lasting and perfumed Christmas bouquets with seasonal fragrant greens are a real treat anytime over the Christmas season.

Gardeners love plants best of all, and there are some wonderful new hardy plants they can enjoy in the late fall and winter. The new ‘Gold Collection’ Christmas rose (Helleborus niger), winter-blooming jasmine, viburnums and winter-blooming sasanqua camellias, especially ‘Yuletide’, are fabulous. Peeling bark maples, coral bark maples and contorted willows are a joy in winter. Everbearing raspberries, like the new ‘Raspberry Shortcake,’ the new improved haskap berries, figs and dwarf fruit trees will be the hot items for food gardeners in 2020.

By stepping out of the box a wee bit, there are some wonderful European garden tours being offered. Garden makeovers are all the rage today, and a gift certificate for a quality garden designer is also a wonderful gift.

Tickets to the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival in Seattle, which runs from February 26 to March 1, would be a treasured gift. Tickets or season passes to some of our wonderful Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island gardens would also be a splendid idea.

Most gardeners have their favourite garden store hangouts, and a gift card from one of these locations would allow them to splurge a bit on something they really would like.

Most gardeners appreciate something unique and different. Quality and usefulness are, perhaps, the two most important criteria to keep in mind.


@TheProgress
editor@theprogress.com

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