Here in British Columbia, we are putting out Christmas lights and, if the rain would let up, putting some bulbs in the ground and in pots for a pretty display in the spring. My son and I were once again squabbling over his Japanese garden knife and that got me thinking about Christmas gifts. There are so many possible gifts for gardeners and so many of those stay in the shed or on the bench because, as charming as they are, they don’t do the basic things a gardener needs. With some input from my son, I narrowed the list to 5 Great Gifts for Gardeners.
Landscaper at Work!
My son is a supervisor of a landscape maintenance team for one of the local landscape companies. They don’t just cut and blow and move on. They do everything from weeding and pruning then shearing hedges to geometric perfection. My son has been suspended off condo buildings in a harness in order to maintain the shrubs on the balconies. “What a view!” he said. He has honed his own personal tools to a specific few and I thought this short list would be a great gift list.
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5 Great Gifts for Gardeners
1. Quality pruner, or snips, with a belt case. The belt case is vital. Once you get into the habit of wearing the case you will never leave your pruners lying somewhere in the garden, only to be found next spring. You will never leave them in a back garden while you are now in the front looking to tame an unruly rose. The professional, who visits upwards if five sites a day, can not afford to leave his snips at the previous worksite. They will always be at hand. ( neither my son or I recommend anvil pruners. These have only one blade and a plastic surface on the bottom arm. I bought a set years ago and I believe the label said the these would be the last pruners I’d ever need to buy. (Last one of this kind, certainly!). If you have a lefty gardener on your list look for real left handed snips with the blades reversed (Pygar Inc Felco F-10 Classic Pruner , Felco Leather Holster with clip).
Nisaku Japanese Hori Hori Garden Landscaping Digging Tool with Stainless Steel Blade and Sheath
2. Japanese Hori Hori Gardening knife with belt case. This is your universal garden tool. Trowel, knife, weeder and more. It’s great for dividing perennials whether they are cut apart or carefully wheedled into separate tubers.
Work Sharp WSKTSC Knife and Tool Sharpener
3. Universal sharpening tool. If you want to make your gardening experience a happy one sharpen everything. The obvious things are axes, snips, loppers and mower blades but try sharpening your shovels and hoes. I couldn’t get over the difference when my son sharpened mine. Work is so much better when the shovel cuts through the earth with ease. Why didn’t we think of this sooner??
Zenport LRT11 Telescopic Ratchet Anvil Lopper, 23.5-Inch to 35.8-Inch
4. Ratcheting loppers. These let you get a bit more work done without dragging out another tool. It is also good for those of us, who are not a muscled 20-something, who have some serious pruning to do. The ratcheting mechanism allows you to put more power into the cut when you need a bit extra.
Bogs Women’s Urban Farmer Waterproof Shoe, Batik Black, 7 M US
5. BOGs Urban Farmer shoes. This is my contribution. I bought mine two years ago and love them. They are comfortable and sturdy. They have a steel shank so you can step on the shovel (the sharp one) or garden fork. I thought they might be too low but I have never had an overflow, even on the soggiest of days. They slip on and off, so I can easily dash into the house, and can be hosed off. Unlike tall boots these are comfortable to wear on hot days because you don’t sweat up a storm with half your legs encased in unbreathable rubber.
I hope one of the 5 Great Gifts for Gardeners will help you find something to thrill your gardener.
The Hori Hori knife is on my list this year.