Just a few more shopping days until Christmas.
I try to get all of my shopping done early, but it seems that every year I am in the stores on Christmas Eve trying to get those last few gifts.
Growing up, my father, brother and I would make it to the stores Christmas Eve and spend hours looking for that perfect present for Mama. Now, we spend many hours on the Internet looking for presents and often order them online.
If there is a gardener in the family, there are many items that can be given as Christmas presents.
But sometimes it can be hard to choose that perfect gift for a gardener. Here are some ideas for gifts for those who like to garden.
Gardeners are always looking at new tools. This past year, I saw someone pruning their overgrown shrubs with a reciprocating saw powered by a battery. The saw was light-weight and the narrow blade allowed this person to get between limbs without damaging the rest of the plant.
How about something to read? Every gardener can enjoy how-to garden and reference books on those chilly, winter days.
There is very little to do in the garden during the winter, and this is a great time to read and learn new things.
Many gardeners have their favorite authors, but a few authors to look for include Walter Reeves, Allan Armitage and Michael Dirr. These authors are here in Georgia. Another option would be a subscription to a gardening magazine.
As gardeners get older, and I count myself in this category, it gets harder to bend and stoop. Stooping can be the bane of many gardeners who end up with sore backs and knees.
There are kneeling pads and garden stools that can help alleviate this problem. Garden stools are designed to get the gardener down close to the action without having to stoop, prop on their knees or sit on the ground. There are some wagons on the market that will double as carries for the equipment and yet they are still low enough to use as a seat.
Another idea is to build raised beds. This makes gardening easy because the area is small and very manageable. There are many plans for raised beds, but the best are usually 4 feet wide and 8 feet long.
One of the best items that can be used in a garden is compost. If the gardener likes making compost, then there are many composting aids available. The first is the bin where the compost is made. This bin can be made from simple wire mesh, which is the easiest to make, or the more complex polyurethane compost tumblers made from recycled plastic. There are collapsible bins, food composting containers, biodegradable composting bags, compost thermometers, choppers, turners and even books on how to compost.
One of the hottest selling items on the market is rain barrels. They are used to collect natural irrigation water. Another water-saving idea is to put in a drip irrigation system. This will reduce the amount of water that is used in the garden.
Many garden gift baskets are on the market, too. For less than $50, garden gift baskets with such essentials as small garden tools, a rain gauge, seeds and gloves can be purchased. The deluxe package will include the basic tools plus a moisture meter, pH tester and a thermometer for around $100.
Another great Christmas present would be a good pair of gloves.
Garden art is another option for a gift. A garden gnome costs as little as $35 and is supposed to bring good luck to the garden. Birdhouses, feeders and bird baths can be options as well.
If all else fails, opt for an obvious gift: the gift certificate. Sometimes, it is best to let the gardener pick out his or her own gift.