Gift ideas for gardeners

PHOTO PROVIDED Above are a few examples of gift ideas to give the gardener in your life.

Choosing a gift for a gardener can be challenging, especially if you are not a gardener yourself. To make that task a little easier, I’d like to share a few gift ideas that might be suitable for the gardener on your shopping list.

As a gardener myself, I would have to put gardening gloves at the top of my list. I wear them out pretty quickly, and a new pair is always welcome. Not just any pair will do however. I have some pretty firm preferences when it comes to gardening gloves, and most of the gardeners I know have their own individual preferences as well. If you’re thinking of purchasing gloves for a gardener, you may need to do a little detective work to determine his or her preferences before making your purchase.

A new pair of pruners or clippers is another item that many gardeners will find useful. There are several types available, so it would be best to find out what sort of cutting the gardener will be doing. Bypass pruners are a good choice for cutting small, live branches on trees, shrubs and perennials. Anvil pruners can be used for cutting small dead branches, but are not a good choice for pruning live wood, because they tend to crush the wood as they cut. Loppers with bypass cutting blades are used for cutting larger living branches and can have a variety of handle lengths. For the gardener who will be cutting flowers or herbs, a pair of shears or small clippers, often referred to as snippers, will probably do the job.

Subscriptions to gardening magazines are gifts that can be appreciated for an entire year. They are usually filled with beautiful photos of gardens and backyards and offer tips on everything from container gardening, to vegetables to landscape design. During the long winter months, they can provide inspiration as well as information on new varieties of plants to look for in the spring.

Gardening books, on a multitude of topics, make good gifts and there are many from which to choose. Over the years, I’ve collected quite a few. One of the most useful, not surprisingly, is the Penn State Master Gardener Manual, which was recently revised and updated and is now available to the public. It’s an 800-page hardback book full of information and color photographs that can be an excellent resource for Pennsylvania gardeners.

Just in time for the new year, the Penn State Master Gardener Program has produced a beautiful 12-month calendar featuring photography from Master Gardeners around the state and a gardening “to do” list for each month. I’m happy to say that it includes photographs from Clinton, Centre, and Lycoming counties. It can make a very nice gift or stocking stuffer.

Finally, if you want to give a gardening-related gift but don’t know what to choose, consider a gift certificate to the gardener’s favorite greenhouse or garden center. That way, it can be used for whatever he or she selects.

I hope I’ve provided some useful gift ideas for the gardeners on your shopping lists. If you are interested in purchasing the Master Gardener Manual or 2019 Calendar, please call the Penn State Extension Office at (570) 726-0022 or stop in at our new location at 232 E. Main St. in Lock Haven. Best wishes for a happy holiday season and a good start to the new year.

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