Given the Christmas shopping season has officially began, lets look at some gardener gift ideas.
A few years ago I gave four gift ideas for the hard to buy for gardener in your life, today lets double it and do eight.
Part of my master plan for my new yard will be a large reduction in the size of my turf area. This will help to make it easier to ditch my gas lawnmower. Next year, I am going to be cutting grass with a manual reel mower.
I used to do this with an old style push mower for my Grandma and it was not exactly easy. Luckily technology has come to the rescue and we now have improved Reel mowers that are not only easier to push, they have a new modern look that I kind of dig. This one by Fiskars has winner of the 2010 Popular Mechanics Green Design Award.
Fiskars makes two different reel mowers, this 18 inch model and a lower cost 17 inch version. This one has some neat advantages such as a 1 to 4 inch mowing height, wider mower width, a more ergonomic handle and it just looks cooler too!
Anytime I can find a simple non powered tool that makes a job easier, I am at least interested in giving it a try. The key benefit of the ProPlugger is that it lets you stay upright as you are making the holes.
It allows you to make several 2 and 1/8th” wide by up to 6″ deep hole at a time while standing up, unlike other bulb pluggers.
The ProPlugger can help you more easily and quickly plant bulbs, ground covers, plug turf and even weed. I see’s it’s main use as a planting aid for bulbs and plugs.
While it is a bit expensive, when you consider the wear and tear you will save on your body, it may be under priced.
#1 – The Living Landscape
This is a book I have written about before. Last year, I recommended it as a great gift for the gardener in your life. Today, I am doing it again.
It is about planting a landscape that is alive. It should be required reading in every landscape design course. You can read more about it in my post here.
This book was recently released by Landscape architect Thomas Rainer and Claudia West and have received rave reviews. This book describes a way of planting designed plantings so that they function like naturally occurring plant communities.
Specifically, it shows how to arrange plantings like cooperative communities of complementary plants in order to build biodiversity and create low maintenance plantings. These ideas are not completely new, but they will be to many.
This humble book was a terrific find of mine at a used book store years ago. It was written by Carrol Henderson, who has written many great wildlife related books, including one I have been studying lately, Lakescaping for Wildlife & Water Quality as I explore landscaping ideas for my new house. If you happen to live on a Lake or river, I very highly recommend that book (and heck you can pick up a used copy for $0.01 plus shipping right now on Amazon!
Landscaping for Wildlife is a book that was ahead of it’s time. It is a perfect companion to The Living Landscape, especially if you are in the Midwest.
You can also find it on Minnesota’s Bookstore which is the publishing house for that state’s agency products sold to the public.
Three other ideas
- A gift certificate to a favorite local nursery or maybe a mail order specialty nursery like Prairie Nursery.
- A gift membership to a botanic garden such as the Chicago Botanic Garden.
- If you are looking for a gift for a native plant enthusiast, how about a gift membership to the Wildones.
Hopefully I have given you an idea for that a hard to buy for gardener in your life.