One of the many things we hear is what kind of presents can we give the gardener in our family?

One of the many things we hear is what kind of presents can we give the gardener in our family?

Well, we have to tell you that we are so easy to please! In this article we will give you different things that as gardeners we have received and loved and what we would like to have also.

One of the most wanted items is the gift of time. Yes that is correct. For the elderly gardener, the offer of someone younger to come and do items for them that they can no longer do for themselves. Of course the most obvious work is to rake and dispose of leaves or mow grass or even till a garden but those are the chores that are easy to hire people to do. Unless money is an issue then of course they are wonderful gifts to give.

The less obvious items are if they have a compost pile, they need to be 'turned' once a month and watered in a drought. It is not easy to do and is not a chore most people would think to offer to do. If the gardener just put in new trees or shrubs this year, they will need to be watered this winter if it stays dry. Hooking and unhooking the hoses are not easy. Flower pots need to be emptied in the fall and put away and then gotten back out and filled again in the spring. An IOU is a wonderful promise to give, to help in the spring to pick up and help put out potting soil and or mulch or fertilizer.

If you want to give a gift certificate for the spring, we love that but how about adding to the gift by promising to make a day of having lunch then going and picking out plants and then helping to put them in.

A young person that loves to garden is often overlooked when it comes to the gift of time. Working and caring for young children doesn't leave a lot of spare time to work outside for doing what gardeners can 'fun' work which does not include mowing the grass! If this describes a neighbor or a relative or friend, then how about an IOU for babysitting for an hour so he or she can work outside or going over or taking dinner so they can step out their door and play outside without interruption. Believe it or not an hour weeding or deadheading or planting is not work but relaxing and fun for a gardener.

Gifts that are always well received are of course gift certificates or gift cards from their favorite nursery or store. I don't know of any gardener that would turn away from receiving new gardening gloves or seeds or flower pots. Other items you can purchase are a good liquid or dry fertilizer or soil additive or even bags of good potting soil.
Some elderly people don't like decorating or it is too hard for them so how about a young Blue Spruce or other evergreen tree that is potted and then can be planted in the spring. This is can fill two purposes; it makes a great Christmas tree now and then an addition to the landscape in the spring. Make it even better by promising to plant it for them! Garden magazines are also well received by the young and old gardeners.

New tools, who wouldn't love a new rake, shovel or a hand tool? They now make ergonomic tools for people with arthritis and tools are made with lighter weight materials to make the work easier. In the catalogs an outdoor faucet and sink that is attached to your hose outlet to make cleanup easier. A potting bench that is high enough to protect the back when potting plants. There are also many types of stools and pads to protect the gardener's knees and backs which are always welcome.
Gardening décor items are well received as gifts also. Such as bird baths, statuary, benches, swings as well as countless small items.
Whatever you choose remember to make it personal to the receiver; don't give them something that will not fit in with their landscapes or to their circumstances.

If you have a horticulture question feel free to contact the Master Gardeners Hotline at: 913-364-5700.
Stop in at the Extension Office located at: 613 Holiday Plaza Lansing, KS 66043