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story.lead_photo.caption As seen at the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, garden ornaments appeal to many interests. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Janet B. Carson)

The countdown has begun on holiday gift buying, and if you are a procrastinator, it is crunch time. If you have gardeners on your list, rejoice: You have plenty of options that should be readily available.

As with any hobby, there is always something new and exciting on the horizon. There are items for gardeners of all ages and levels of expertise, and in all price ranges.

Gallery: Gifts for gardeners

• What gardener can ever find two work gloves that match when they need to garden, or who wouldn't love some new

pruning shears?

• Ergonomic tools for our aging gardeners, hand tools and even kid-sized tools are available in many different sizes and shapes.

• Power tools abound, from mowers to chainsaws, mulching machines, blowers and trimmers.

• Almost any gardener would love a load of compost.

• They may need a wheelbarrow or cart to haul it with, or better yet, willing hands to spread the compost for them.

AWAKEN INTEREST

If you have newbie gardeners on your list, or you want to get your children or grandchildren excited about gardening, consider a raised bed garden kit or a fairy garden. There are miniature items to create a wonderland with small plants to add to it.

To encourage people of all ages -- but especially our young people -- to get outside instead of sitting in front of a television or computer screen, think about butterfly nets, watering cans magnifying glasses and birdhouses.

AMATEUR METEOROLOGISTS

If you know any gardeners, you know we are obsessed with the weather. One of my all-time favorite gifts that I use daily is my weather station, which monitors not only temperature and rainfall, but wind and more -- plus it keeps a record for me. I can access it from anywhere in the world using my cell phone.

A low-tech option is a rain gauge.

EASIER WATERING

Another unique gadget that you also can use with your cell phone is the B-hyve Sprinkler timer, which works with your sprinkler system. I can monitor each zone and turn it on remotely, even when I am traveling.

Speaking of sprinklers, if the giftee doesn't have a sprinkler system, consider a drip irrigation kit, hoses, sprinklers or spray wands. Even with a sprinkler system, a garden will have pots to water.

AFICIONADOS

Most gardeners have specialties. Some prefer flowers, others love vegetables or lawns and others like orchids, African violets or herbs. If they have a specialty, you have even more options.

Think flowering plants or outdoor shrubs or trees for those into landscaping, vegetable seeds or season extenders for the vegetable gardener, fertilizer spreaders or rakes for the lawn enthusiast ... and a new variety of their special plants is always a winner.

There are few gardeners or non-gardeners who wouldn't enjoy a poinsettia or other flowering plant right now, or an amaryllis bulb or some paperwhite narcissus to keep color indoors after the holiday decorations are taken down.

GIFTS THAT GO ON GIVING

• If they love to read as much as garden, consider a subscription to a gardening magazine or buy one of the myriads of gardening books that are available. There are books for gardeners of all ages, with a whole host of youth gardening books, loaded with activities to do together. Whether their interest is fruits and vegetables, ornamentals, houseplants or herbs, there is a book on that topic.

• Consider the gift of membership in a local plant society such as the Native Plant Society, Herb Society or Orchid Society.

• If they love fresh vegetables but don't have time or room to grow their own, give them a share in a CSA (community supported agriculture) program where they get fresh vegetables each week during the growing season.

• Container gardening has never been as popular as it is today. Containers come in all shapes and sizes, and can be whimsical or utilitarian. Raised bed kits are simply large containers and also come in all sizes. If the gardener's mobility is an issue, there are salad tables and herb beds that are tall enough for you garden while standing up. There are garden scooters and kneeling benches that can also help. Add some bagged soil, seeds and fertilizer to the mix and they will be good to go.

• Hydroponic and aquaponics systems are readily available in a variety of sizes for home use, and there are systems that can sit on the kitchen counter to grow fresh herbs or salad greens. Specialized LED light kits with many different options are available and reasonably priced, so they can now grow their own transplants even if they don't own a greenhouse.

• Greenhouses open up another endless array of options to buy, but don't give a greenhouse to a gardener unless you are sure they want one. Greenhouses do require some time and talent. The smaller the greenhouse, often the more difficult it will be to moderate the temperature.

• Outdoor living is big business. People are expanding their living space by creating kitchens, seating areas and more outside. Whether the giftee needs a big item like patio furniture or a new grill, or just an outdoor candle or wind chime, there are plenty of things to give.

• Add to the outside decor with yard art. From outdoor paintings to lamps, statues and fountains, these gifts can be traditional or whimsical and in every color or style imaginable.

DRESS THEM UP

Don't forget apparel. There is big business in garden wear. Most gardeners are conscious of sun protection and wear hats or lightweight, loose clothing. Shirts and pants are available with sun-blocking and insect repellent.

Footwear is also needed, from garden boots to clogs and even waders for a water garden.

For those who can't be away from their phones, you can also buy aprons or cell-phone holders to keep things handy.

And, seriously, no gardener can ever have enough gardening gloves.

If you are in the panicked stage of what to buy, I hope you have some gardeners on your list. The problem will be narrowing down your choices. Happy holidays and happy gardening!

Read Janet Carson's blog at arkansasonline.com/planitjanet.

HomeStyle on 12/21/2019

Print Headline: Gifts for growers

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