With the holidays just around the corner, the gardener and horticulturist in your life would appreciate a thoughtful gift to fuel their passion for growing. We've rounded up a list of gift ideas including clever tools and supplies to use in the garden or ways to bring the outdoors inside during the upcoming winter months. Whether your recipient is the keeper of a palatial estate or the curator of an indoor jungle, these gifts will hopefully level up those plant parent skills for your loved one this season. Consider finding some of these garden gift ideas at your neighborhood nursery or hardware store to support the local small businesses this season.
Hori Hori Garden Knife
The hori hori garden knife is a popular Japanese garden knife. Hori hori roughly translates to “dig dig”. This beloved multi-purpose tool is built for versatility. From digging up weeds to measuring planting depth with the handy inch marks, it has many uses in the garden. The tool is rust-resistant and double edged, and it has the ability to dig, trench, or cut away at plants and root systems. You can replace several tools with this one knife. Approximate price range: $20-50
Gardens are places of constant change. The way to a green thumb is to practice observation of the changes over time so you don't make the same mistake twice. Essential for gardeners of every skill level, a horticultural diary helps track both
successes and lessons learned. Approximate price range $10-30
Microgreens Growing Kit
Growing microgreens is one of the easiest, quickest, and most successful experiences for gardeners of all levels. They can be grown on the kitchen countertop without a lot of special materials or tools. Microgreens are essentially the sprouts of common edibles such as cabbage, radish, cilantro, sunflowers, kale, etc. You harvest the sprouts when
they're just a few inches tall. Scientists estimate you can get as much as 40 times the nutrients from microgreens, compared to mature plants! Approximate price range $20-40
Forcing Bulbs Indoors
Forcing bulbs such as paperwhite narcissus or amaryllis for holiday bloom couldn't be easier. Plant the bulbs in a container with a few inches of rocks or marbles. Add water to just below the bottom of the bulb. They will bloom in approximately four to six weeks. Paperwhites grow so fast, it makes a particularly fun science project to do with
kids. If you start them about four weeks before Christmas, a fully blooming pot of paperwhites can make a cost-effective and fragrant holiday gift for loved ones. Approximate cost: $5 or more depending on the container or rocks you choose.
Have you ever bought a pair of pruning shears from the big box store only to have them bend or rust before the season is out? Bonsai tools are a gardener's secret weapon. Bonsai growers have been using the same pruning shears, hand-held digging tools and bud trimmers for thousands of years. Bonsai tools are made of high-carbon steel and have been designed and shaped by Chinese and Japanese bonsai masters for use in the art of shaping and dwarfing a bonsai tree. Consider purchasing Bonsai shears, pruners or saws as an unexpected garden gift that lasts a lifetime. Approximate cost $25-60+
We all have family and friends whose happy place is working with plants in the garden or indoors. The best holiday gifts are personal, tailored to the recipient's interest, and will bring joy for years to come. Both beginner and well-experienced horticulturists are sure to welcome new tools, bulbs or seeds, or other interesting botanical-focused gifts. Happy holidays!
This article was written by UC Master Gardener Jamie M. Chan who enjoys her beautiful garden in San Francisco. The article was edited by UC Master Gardener Cynthia Nations.