Since it was still a few weeks away from Christmas and I’ll score a few points with the wife by using one of her suggestions, today I am going to give some gift ideas for the gardener.
So how did I decide what would be good gift ideas for the gardener? Well, I figured if I bought it in the past and would buy it again after having and using it a while, it was a good candidate.
Dirr’s Woody Landscape Plants – $66
This is the Bible of the Landscape/gardening world. If you are in the Midwest of the US and are a plant geek, you MUST own this book. It is 1325 pages of pure information about every important WOODY plant grown in the landscape in the cooler parts of the US (don’t get this for Florida plants).
No you won’t read it all, but if you want to find out all about a plant in your or anyone else’s garden, you will find it here. My favorite thing about this book is the fact Dirr happily gives his opinion about plants in a frank and often humorous way. No beating around the bush here.
If you know the gardener in your life does not have this book, it would be number one of my top gift ideas for the gardener. Unless of course, they don’t read. Here is the Amazon page(*affiliate link) for this book.
ARS V-8 pruners (and related models) – $40
This heavy duty hand pruner is great for cutting smaller tree and shrub branches. Most professionals use Felco brand pruners, but these in my mind are far superior.
The best features are their strong sharp blades and simple solid die cast aluminum construction. They just feel shaped to fit my hand perfectly. They are lighter weight, better balanced, and longer lasting than any other hand pruner I have tried.
Their $50 street price is right around Felco’s and other professional grade pruners. Here is a link to them on Amazon and also to a brochure from their American distributor.
ARS Long reach pole pruners – $86 – $105
No ARS does not pay me anything, but I probably could sell their products as I like them that much. Their long reach pruners are my single favorite pruning tools. I personally prefer to use hand pruners when pruning all trees especially in the Japanese style, but the reality is getting a ladder into all the tight spots in a tree or climbing to the top of spruce is impossible. That’s where using these 6 feet long pruners come in.
There are key differences between these long reach and other ones I have tried. They are light and comfortable. Trust me when pruning all day every day for weeks at a time, even one ounce lighter saves tons of fatigue and achy muscles.
Besides being light they are almost ergonomically perfect (I actually had an Occupational Biomechanics class in college so trust me on this one). My favorite is the ARS LA-180R18 Long Reach Pruner – 6 Foot as it is the lightest and easiest to use all day. Definitely choose the “Razor” blade NOT the “Cut and Hold Blade” as the Razor blade works much better. Here is a link for them on Amazon.
If you don’t mind a more weight and the ability to cut a little larger branch, the ARS LA-180L18 6-Feet Heavy Duty Long Reach Pruner may be a good choice. Here is a link for them on Amazon.
Silky saws POCKETBOY 170 – $30
Silky is a great brand of saw with ultra-sharp fast cutting teeth. Yes, ARS also makes some fine saws, but I prefer Silky as they feel better in my hand and cut just as well if not better. They make very fine clean cuts.
A nice one for most people would be the Silky Folding Landscaping Hand Saw POCKETBOY 170 Large Teeth. This is the large tooth blade which works well for most pruning.
Other good ideas for gardeners include gloves, sun hats, and I-pods.
I could go on and add a bunch of books about Japanese gardens or pruning or landscape design, but those topics are for another day. Hopefully, these suggestions can help you find some gift ideas for your favorite gardener.
Brian Cairns says
I live in New Jersey and have traveled up to Massachusetts this summer. I have noticed that white pines are dying all over the northeast. I have asked several sources but do not get a definitive answer. Usually something about the warm winters. Do you have any idea as to why these pines are suddenly dying?
I don’t understand how gardners can work without a good set of pruners. They may seem like they cost a lot of money but not really, because you will never have to replace them. Mine are Felcos and I have had them for 20 years. Truly I use them a lot. If I ever lose them, I would be willing to try the ARS brand. I would also recommend Atlas Nitrile Gloves. Mine are 2 years old and I use them every day on our farm. Excellant ideas.
If your gardener likes to listen to music while doing his or her thing, the Panasonic RPHJE120K In-Ear Headphone are a great low cost ear bud. I have tried almost every ear bud available under $60 and for $6 for one from Amazon, these are by far the best bang for your buck. Best sound from an ear bud for under $20 and pretty durable.