’Tis the season for giving

This time of year can be a time of exchanging gifts for many people. With that in mind, I thought it might be a good idea to share a few gift ideas for someone who has gardening interests.

The first consideration is to decide how much you would like to spend. With all of the marketing and consumerism it can be easy to get side-tracked when you are shopping. Once you decide how much you want to spend, next consider what you believe the person will enjoy.

Some people like certain brands or prefer certain qualities. Others prefer something that is unique or perhaps hand-crafted by you or a local artisan. So if you want your gift to hit the mark, it is important to give thought to the person’s likes and dislikes. Sometimes it is a good idea to have a subtle conversation or two.

There are many places to get gift ideas. You can check out some of the many gardening catalogues available in print and on the internet. I find the Lee Valley catalog and website has diverse items and unique gift ideas.

A pocket knife is one item that is very often used in a garden or orchard. A suggested brand for me is the Opinal. Not overly expensive, and a simple, yet durable design. A gardening journal is also a good gift. There are garden-specific journals out there that have a lot of detailed format which makes it easier to capture the information needed so that it can help in future years. Alternatively, a good notebook can do the trick, again, depending on budget and what the person receiving the gift likes.

Garden tools such as a good-quality hoe are something that every gardener can use. However there are many different shapes, styles, and types of hoes and other garden implements, so it might be best to get input from the recipient (again that subtle conversation comes in handy). Books also make great presents. There are many books on gardening—I like the subject of four-season gardening as there are many tips and techniques to extend the duration of vegetable harvest.

Yet another option is to make some preserves or homemade potpourri. There are just so many types of preserves that could be a great gift. Better yet, have a basket containing several jars of different preserves. If preserves or potpourri are not your forte, then you could get some at the many craft fairs that occur this time of year.

If your loved one is interested in orchard tools, then hand-saws by Silky and pruning shears by Felco are the gold standard. These are a bit pricey but are excellent quality in my opinion.

Well, I guess that is all for now. In early January the new seed catalogues will start to arrive which signals the start of the next season. I cannot wait for the excitement.

Stay safe and happy gardening.

About Christopher Dunbar

Christopher lives in western PEI along with his spouse and 4 kids, on a property that was once owned by his great grandparents. He grew up in a large farming family and has deep island roots. This rural background and exposure to outdoor living has given him a keen interest in our maritime culture and the many plant types that grow here. He furthered his interest in growing things by obtaining a master’s degree in in plant biology. Not surprisingly, all of his 25-year career has been involved in agriculture and food. He spends some of his spare time growing berries, flowers, vegetables and tree fruits of all kinds in his gardens. He and his family really enjoy the unique lifestyle that PEI has to offer.
Writing creatively about adventures in rural living is also one of his passions. Feel free to contact him if you want to share any of your interests.

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