Gifts for the gardener

Horticulture Hints

With holiday shopping to begin in full swing after Thanksgiving, here are some gift ideas to share with those gardening friends and family on your Christmas list.

Gardeners can always use another reference book or magazine subscription to add to their horticultural library. A few book suggestions include “Pollinator Friendly Gardening” by Rhonda Fleming Hayes; “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants” by Michael Dirr; and “Herbaceous Perennial Plants” by Allan Armitage.

Live plants are also gifts appreciated by gardeners. Richard Jauron, of ISU Horticulture, suggests seasonal plants such as poinsettia, Christmas cactus, Norfolk Island pine, cyclamen, amaryllis bulbs as great for gifts. Certificates from a local garden center or nursery may be the perfect gift solution as to allow the recipient to select their favorite tree, shrub, or other plant next spring.

Perhaps a membership to Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University, the Iowa Arboretum or the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden would be an appreciated (and educational) family gift.

Other possibilities include new pruning shears and by-pass or anvil type lopers, which always seem to become dull quickly for the avid gardener. Clothing such as hats, mud boots, or kneeling pads are also great gifts and don’t forget most of these are also available in youth sizes. Garden gloves are always needed, as a right-handed gardener my right glove quickly wears out, leaving me with an overabundant supply of left-hand gloves. Any lefties looking to trade?

Accessories for the garden, such as bird feeders, fountains, garden statuary, and rain gauges are also other popular gift ideas.

A homemade certificate for a day of gardening help would also make a lovely gift, as to share your time and energy with the gardener in your life.

Did you know? The 2018 ISU Garden Calendar, “Celebrating with Plants” is now available. This calendar features a monthly holiday-inspired horticulture image along with the story behind the tradition. These calendars are great for gifts and available on line at: or at your local county extension office.

Horticulture Questions? Contact McCormick at for information or advice.