Gift giving to the gardener

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Last year I wrote about some gifts for the gardener or that one who spends time outside working in the yard. As I look at the calendar and the little time left before Christmas, I’ve got a few more ideas for you to give your gardening enthusiast.

Obliviously plants are going to top my list. Citrus is a good one that can offer years of abundant fruit. Newer varieties of Satsumas can take our colder weather as well or better than Meyer lemons.

Other great options for more traditionally grown fruit in east Texas are figs or pomegranate or even a native Mayhaw. Mayhaws don’t require a bog to grow in. They can do quite well in a traditional yard if watered occasionally. Do a little research online and you’ll find some selected varieties of this local gem.

You could find an antique/heirloom plant that you could gift. True gardeners most likely know all about “pass-along-plants”. The problem is that we really don’t pass along to many plants due to the large selection of several, quality nurseries. Let me propose that heirloom plants can certainly be purchased from local and online nurseries!

Garden structures such as fire pits, fancy birdhouses, or an obelisk may be a fine addition to the landscape, and certainly won’t need any maintenance.

Quality tools are always a good option. We still tell the family story where we got my dad a wheelbarrow. My younger brother simply could not keep secrets and when pressed for a single hint, he told my dad that it “had one wheel”! Dad laughed hard and teased about getting a unicycle!

Quality tools command top prices, but provide years of service. I cannot remember how many cheap hand pruners I’ve gone thru. My current lopper even broke the other day and that was just one year after buying a new one where the handles weren’t bent.

Felco pruners and loppers are for the serious gardener. True, they’ll command a price tag of almost $50, but oh, my, they made strong and are outstanding quality. The loppers are much stronger than your average pair and will be over $150.

For older gardeners that do have a full landscape and garden, but are having troubles working outside, there are several rolling seats, kneeling cushions, and other aids to make tending to plants easier.

Lastly, I think of gardeners as lifelong learners. They must be. They learn from trial and error, and sharing with others the secrets of how things grow best. For them, a quality vegetable gardening book such as Texas Fruit & Vegetable Gardening by Grant would be ideal. More historical books such as Antique Roses for the South by Welch are available too. Perhaps my favorite book to pore over from time to time is Heirloom Gardening in the South by the both authors above, Grant and Welch.

Wander the aisles in our local nurseries and ask what’s been a favorite. Consider what tools are worn out and think of the additions that help your gardener enjoy the garden and landscape even more.

Author

Cary Sims
Cary Sims

Cary Sims is the County Extension Agent for agriculture and natural resources for Angelina County. His email address is cw-sims@tamu.edu

Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.

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