Gifts Gardeners Will LoveAre you looking for a gift for the avid gardener in your life? Here are books, pottery, tools and more we know they’ll love.
Finding a thoughtful gift for a loved one can be a challenge, but we’re here to help! Here are our favorite gardening gifts—curated from the pages of Garden Design magazine.
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Garden Design magazine can be enjoyed by people across zones, coasts & garden sizes. Featuring the best garden photography in the world without any ads, subcribers call it pure inspiration. Plus, it's delivered four times a year! Limited time offer: Buy a gift subscription and get a free 2018 Garden Design calendar!
The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden
“There is no reason we can’t create convenient, beautiful landscapes that also meet the needs of many, if not most, of our animal neighbors,” says Doug Tallamy, who authored this book with Rick Darke. Together they explain how to create a beautiful home landscape that nourishes and fosters wildlife. Includes examples and strategies for designing and maintaining a diverse landscape.
Sticks & Stones: The Designs of Lew French
Lew French composes in stone. He builds pieces that look as if they have stood for eons. Whether it’s a raspy slab of granite or a smooth tumble of river rocks, he puts stone where it seems to want to go. This book explores his work, which seems to defy the laws of time and gravity, both in the garden and in interior spaces.
The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual
Author Barbara Pleasant wants people to grow more houseplants. Her guide provides advice and in-depth information on hundreds of houseplants, plus useful “interiorscaping” tips. Easy-to-use plant directories, care information, and trouble-shooting guides will benefit even experienced houseplant enthusiasts.
Designing with Succulents
“Today, it’s possible for anyone, anywhere to cultivate any kind of succulent,” writes Debra Lee Baldwin in this completely updated version of her best-selling classic. With hundreds of plant recommendations, as well as plenty of photographs, this is an essential resource for those designing a succulent garden.
Gardening with Conifers
Conifers first captured Adrian Bloom’s imagination in the ‘70s while he worked on Foggy Bottom, his experimental garden at Bressingham. In this book he shares his advice on using conifers to create year-round interest in the garden. It also features 600 conifer varieties with information on planting, pruning, propagating and more—all accompanied by stunning photography, taken by Adrian’s son, Richard Bloom.
Gardening with Foliage First
According to authors Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz, many gardens lack a cohesive sense of design. This collection of 127 combinations introduces gardeners to the idea that a well-planned garden starts with a solid framework of foliage. Organized by season, with options for sunny and shady locations, each plant combo includes design descriptions that will equip readers with the knowledge they need to get creative and devise their own.
The Bold Dry Garden: Lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden
A must for any garden-lover’s bookshelf, this book pairs Johanna Silver’s eloquent storytelling and Marion Brenner’s exquisite photography to show how the Ruth Bancroft Garden evolved into the 3.5-acre waterwise garden that it is today.
Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change
Larry Weaner, who has been creating, restoring, and managing native landscapes for more than 30 years, shares his expertise in this valuable reference for anyone looking for a more ecological approach to gardening and landscape design. Weaner shows how choosing plants that are more suited to the soil and climate of their site will provide a vibrant and beautiful landscape for years to come, with much less maintenance.
The Thougtful Gardener: An Intelligent Approach to Garden Design
In this book, award-winning garden designer Jinny Blom shares her insights from designing over 250 gardens around the world. Readers will appreciate how Blom integrates the history of a site into her design, always taking the environment into consideration. Her story and knowledge will appeal to a wide range of garden enthusiasts.
Kevin's Kitchen: 100 Recipes for Delicious Living
In this new book (available in December of 2017), Kevin Lee Jacobs, creator of A Garden for the House, a popular food, garden, and lifestyle website, shares recipes that focus on the simple pleasures of preparing a good meal at home. Whether using homegrown ingredients or items purchased from the farmer’s market, this book helps remind readers to slow down and enjoy making and eating their food.
Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix
“For me, a big part of the fun in food gardening is trying new edibles; from quirky cucamelons and burr gherkins to super-sweet ground cherries or amaranth,” says author Niki Jabbour. In her new book (available in February), she shares over 200 plants for adding variety to veggie gardens. Her enthusiasm for garden experimentation is contagious.
How to Window Box: Small-Space Plants to Grow Indoors or Out
Popular bloggers Chantal Aida Gordon and Ryan Benoit, of The Horticult, present 16 indoor and outdoor window box projects. Their book (available in February) includes plant combos ranging from succulents to vegetables, as well as choices for full sun and shade. “Even though window boxes have a reputation for being classic and traditional, they are also an excellent way to experiment, especially if you're working in a small space,” they say.
Grow What You Love
Creator of the celebrated blog, Pass the Pistil, Emily Murphy has a new book (available in March of 2018), that shows how easy it is to grow your favorite produce. She shares how to fit gardening into modern life with little time or effort, as well as some of her favorite seasonal recipes.
Handmade Ceramic Vases
Self-taught potter Frances Palmer creates vases, cake plates, urns and dinnerware that are both elegant and distinctive. We love her whimsical vases (such as the H&G Loop Vase shown) and how she pairs them with lush flowers from her cutting garden.
Large Ceramic Modern White Hanging Planter
This 6.5-inch hanging ceramic planter, from Digs Inside & Out, is perfect for displaying a tillandsia or succulent. Can be used as a single accent piece or arranged in a group.
Seibert & Rice Shell Pot
Crafted in one of the oldest terra cotta workshops in Italy, this pot is equally stunning empty or planted. Seibert & Rice, a company specializing in fine Italian terra cotta, makes planters like this available in the U.S. The Shell Pot is part of their Ornamental Collection, which features pieces distinguished by their sculptural detail.
Bee Bungalow with Trellis
For those looking to invite pollinators into their garden, this is perfect nesting space. Made with hand-cut natural lake bed reeds and drilled-out branches with a variety of opening sizes, the Bee Bungalow with Trellis provides a garden support system for both flora and fauna. Available in 7 different color options.
Available in orange or white, this elephant planter from Potted makes a great home for a 4-inch plant, air plant, or as an accessory on a desk or side table.
Cool and Modern Birdhouse
This Urban Birdhouse is sized for songbirds. It can be hung as a diamond or square, and its sliding panel makes for easy cleaning. Dimensions: 6.25” W x 6” H.
Garden Conservancy Gift Membership
A membership in the Garden Conservancy helps save and share gardens, fund education programs, and support preservation work. Membership also offers entrance to exceptional gardens through Open Days. Last year, over 300 private gardens in 18 states were opened, allowing thousands of people to discover beautiful spaces not usually accessible to the public.
Brown Farmer-Florist Toolbelt
This leather toolbelt was designed by North Carolina leather artist Wheeler Munroe for Erin Benzakein of Floret Flower Farm. It holds in-the-field go-to items including heavy-duty pruning shears, flower snips, pens and a cellphone.
Fish Garden Art
Maine artist Tyson M. Weiss makes these unique ceramic fish sculptures that appear to lazily cruise through pristine plantings. A school of three is ideal for conveying the impression of movement. They can stay outdoors all year and come with garden rods. The Medium Salsa Fishie is shown, but there are a variety of koi and trout in many colors.
Molly Muriel Gardener's Friend Soothing Oils Set
If there were a contest for the most trusted gardener in America, Annie Hayes would be on the short list. A favorite of the staff at her Richmond, Calif. nursery, these oils are perfect for gardeners who just don’t know when to quit. Trauma Healer is great for treating bruises, scrapes and inflammation, while Muscle Ease is good for soothing sore muscles. The set arrives ready to gift in an eye-catching, pin-striped, natural box with raffia ribbon.
Greenway Garden Birdbath
Barbara Israel, an authority on American garden ornament, rescues statues and other garden items from ivy-covered obscurity. Modeled after an antique original from England, this well-proportioned birdbath is part of her Garden Traditions line of historical replicas. It is available in Weathered Limestone or Classic Buff.
Spun Aluminum Planters
Cool space-age pots like these aluminum Pod Planters by PAD Outdoor make bold, clever partners for plants with high personialty, like Agave striata (narrowleaf century plant), Cycas revoluta (sago palm), and Kalanchoe beharensis (velvet elephant ear).
Staghorn Fern Plaque
Staghorn ferns can be stunning works of living art, indoors or out. Pistils Nursery offers them pre-mounted on a rustic cedar plaque with a built-in hook. They are a great way to liven up small spaces like a sunny kitchen or bedroom.
This apron, made of wax canvas, comes with a lifetime guarantee. It’s crafted from heavy-duty materials and boasts reinforced pockets. In addition to gardeners, it’s a favorite among woodworkers, mechanics, and the like. Available in three sizes and four colors: rust (pictured), olive, black, and slate.
Forged Dual Cut Bypass Pruner
Corona Tools is known for making sturdy, functional tools that serve gardeners well. This pruner has a second curve within the hook of the blade that allows you to easily cut branches up to 2 inches in diameter. It also has an internal spring, so it shouldn’t get bumped loose as you’re reaching inside a tangled shrub. This is a solid midrange model for the weekend warrior who prunes for short periods of time.
Okatsune No. 103 Pruners/Secateurs
With no gearing, cushioning, or added leverage from the handle, these no-frills pruners by Niwaki rely on a sharp edge and hard steel to achieve crisp cuts—even on fibrous materials like bamboo. The latch can be slid open or closed on your hip, and the Japanese-style spring doesn’t fall off. In a nod to ergonomics, the blade has a slight angle downward. For those who appreciate simplicity and strong steel, this minimalist model is a satisfying choice.
Perforated Mud Shovel
When working in wet ground, ordinary shovels can get stuck in the muck. That’s where this shovel by Bully Tools sets itself apart. The holes in the blade let it slide free with less sticking and its welded I-beam keeps the handle attachment from cracking under heavy, mucky loads.
The HERShovel was built to make the most of a woman’s stature and strength, but the company has also received positive feedback from men who have used the shovel. Its steel blade with extra-large step and its two-handed grip reduce shoulder and back strain while digging.
Said to add trace amounts of copper to the soil and repel slugs when planting vegetable starts, the copper-tin alloy on this Austrian-made trowel is also more stable and longer-lasting than steel. Because of its sharp tip and edges that most trowels lack, it’s great for vegetable gardening, where the broad scoop helps reshape the surface of the soil quickly.
Leonard Deluxe Stainless Steel Soil Knife
The tiny, jagged serrations of this American–made soil knife by A.M. Leonard are great not only for weeding but also for finer applications like scoring the roots on annual flowers and opening bags of potting soil. The twine-cutting notch and 6-inch ruler stamped onto the blade are helpful additions. However, though the curved shape of the handle is the epitome of comfort, it also shortens the area where you grasp the knife, making it most suitable for gardeners will smaller hands.
Serrated Farmer Dagger
With its thick, highly sharpened teeth and nearly unbreakable boron steel blade, this knife by Dewit could be as useful in a dark alley as it is in the garden. It’s incredibly sturdy; a hammer can be used on the flat top of the handle to drive the tip of the knife through hardpan or rocky soil. It can be used right- or left-handed. For gardeners working in hard soil, it’s indispensable.
Compact Extendable Pruning Saw
The long pole and heavy head of many pole pruners makes for an awkward balancing act. This pruning saw by Fiskars solves that problem with a pole that collapses to 3 feet. The oval pole extends to 8 feet and is made of steel for added strength and stiffness compared with lighter aluminum tools.
If your friend or loved one is always thinking about their garden and dreaming of new ideas, Garden Design makes a great gift. The quarterly, ad-free publication comes four times a year. We think a subscription to Garden Design is the perfect gift for anyone who loves gardens, and readers agree. Here are testimonials from two subscribers:
“Everything about it is beautiful, including the paper it is printed on. If you have a strong interest in landscape and garden design, I urge you to subscribe.” —Deborah Silver of Deborah Silver and Co.
“A garden magazine that can be enjoyed by people across zones, coasts, yard sizes, and levels of horticulture knowledge.” —Nick McCullough of McCullough’s Landscape & Nursery LLC
Use this link to give a gift subscription to Garden Design magazine and we will send you a free 2018 Garden Design calendar.