Mark Cullen with the best gardening gifts
Mark Cullen, Canada AM gardening expert
Published Wednesday, December 12, 2012 7:44AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 12, 2012 7:47AM EST
With more than 80 per cent of the Canadian population taking part in gardening activity of some kind of other, it makes sense that you would want to reward the people on your Christmas gift list with more of the stuff that they can use.
Truth is, gardeners are the original consumers. Gardeners and farmers. We feed the soil, sow seeds and plant plants in the garden every year, following the 4 season cycle of life that all of us are familiar with, to a T.
Supplies. Decidedly unromantic, but practical, soil, soil additives like peat moss and fertilizer, compost and mulch all have their place, though, maybe not under the Christmas tree. A gift card for the aforementioned would work.
Extend your thinking to more compact but useful products like compost starter, water soluable 20-20-20 or the longer lasting 'Once and Done' fertilizers and you get the idea.
Moving towards 'romance' but not quite in that realm there are all kinds of wonderfully practical gardeners gifts. Remember, for instance, that gardeners like to gather information in winter much like squirrels like to gather nuts. Gardening themed magazines, books and the Old Farmers Almanac are always welcome.
Hand pruners, hand tools like a quality trowel or cultivator always have a home with an active gardener. In other words, you can't have too many!
How bout Gardeners Gear? A Tilley hat [or a wide brimmed one at any rate], sun screen, rubber boots or Holey Soles are all very useful. Insulated gloves for the shoulder seasons and good work gloves for the summer work well.
Less practical? A digital camera for the tool shed or garage, because you never know when you are going to see a hummingbird. Binaculars for the same reason [again, two things that you can't have too many of]
And finally, if romance is the key, give the gardener on your list a trip to see great gardens. A pass on the Via Garden Route, or a flight to Victoria to see Butchart Gardens, Toronto to see Canada Blooms in March, Montreal for the Botanical gardens - you get the idea. You don't have to travel across the country to treat your gardening pals to a special experience: there are public tours of private gardens in virtually every community across the country. Give them a certificate stating that you will pay for 2 tickets and top it off by offering to share the experience with them.
If there is one thing that all gardeners have in common it is a love for sharing the experience.