Gifts for gardeners

It’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s garden. Stuff a stocking, create a basket or give these garden gadgets on their own:

Pot Toes™ (Lee Valley, $1.40). Give decorative pots a little lift to prevent moisture rot and staining on decks and walkways. These spaces slide under any size of round or rectangular pot to provide good drainage. (As an alternative, try Deck Protectors, which can be cut to any size — $12.50/pair.)

The World’s Kindest Nail Brush (Lee Valley, $1.70 per pair, $8.50 a dozen). It’s the perfect stocking stuffer gift for people who like to get their hands dirty. The soft, nylon bristles are gentle enough to use on skin, and they can get under finger nails and in cuticles. (It’s also the kindest vegetable brush too).

Combine it with a bottle of All-Natural Hand Cleaner ($11.50 – $21.50) and Gardener’s Clay Soap ($17.95) for a complete clean-up kit. To sooth dry hands, try Badger Balm ($8.95, available in scented and unscented).

Seed Spoons (Lee Valley, $3.95). We know those tiny seeds can be tricky to pick up and sow. These spoons have a small cup in the end — simply dip it in the packet and you’ll bring it out with a single seed.

Miniature Spade (Lee Valley, $4.50). It’s the right-sized tool for indoor gardeners and people who like to start their own seedlings. Work around tiny leaves, and separate delicate roots and seedlings.

Tabletop Tarp (Lee Valley, $4.95). Because dirt never seems to stay where it’s supposed to, this tarp has snaps in the corner to form standing “walls” along the side. Use it as a work surface for other hobbies too, and keep the car clean when it’s time to buy plants in the spring.

Flexible Blossom Crown (Lee Valley, $5.95 – $6.95 each or $9.50 for a set of three). Make floral arranging easy. The floral patterned wire mesh will fit into just about any vase or container, and it will hold flowers in place even when you take them out to change the water. (You can use artificial flowers too — we won’t tell.)

Want to show off the flowers without worrying about storing glass? Try a moldable Collapsible Vase instead ($6.50).

Gardener’s Coffee Mug (Lee Valley, $5.90) . These mugs are shaped like terracotta pots (with handles and glazing, of course). Fill with homemade chocolates and top off with an artificial flower for a unique gift.

Upside-Down Sprayer (Lee Valley, $8.50). No need to fight gravity to get at the underside of leaves or into tight spaces. This sprayer has a weight fastened to a flexible intake tube so you spray from any angle. (The head fits any standard screw-neck container too.)

Big Grip® Garden Knife (Canadian Tire, $9.99). Get up-close-and-personal with weeds. This tool is easy to grip, and has a forked tip for weeding along with a serrated edge for cutting tough plant parts. The sharp edges also make it a great tool for digging holes.

Stainless-Steel Adjustable Hanger (Lee Valley, $10.50). Turn any rimmed pot into a hanging pot with this adjustable steel wire hanging system. Plastic beads and tubing protect and grip pots without damage, and the hanger can support a pot measuring up to 12″ and weighing up to 20 lb.

Garden Bucket Caddy (Fiskars, $10.99 USD). Think of it as a tool belt for the trusty garden bucket. The caddy has pockets to hold a variety of garden tools, a cordless phone, seeds and a water bottle. (This product isn’t widely available in Canada so it would make a nice surprise.)

BackSaver Grip® (Lee Valley, $11.95). Take the “back breaking” out of your garden work with this handy accessory that fits on a variety of household tools 00 including shovels, rakes, brooms and paint rollers. The D-shaped ring shape makes it easy to grip, and reduces stress on your joints and muscles.

WaterStik (Lee Valley, $15.95 – $16.50). Take the guesswork out of watering those indoor plants. The WaterStik can be used to test moisture levels in all the plants around the home, or can be left in one plant for continual monitoring. Not only will the different coloured lights tell when it’s time to water, they’ll also warn you if the soil is too wet.

Flower Towers (Lee Valley, $17.50 – $24.50). Whether wall-mounted or free standing, these towers are the perfect solution for decks or small spaces. Holes all the way up let you plant multiple flowers, herbs or strawberries — while a channel down the centre makes even watering a snap.

Umbrella Lights (Canadian Tire, $19.99) . These clear-coloured lights attach to the spokes of a patio umbrella to add a little extra light to evening parties. (They can even stay put when the umbrella is folded up.)

Foxgloves™ (Lee Valley, $23.95 and $24.95). These unique gardening gloves not only protect your hands while you work, the close fit and silicon dots make it easier to get a grip on gardening tasks. Perfect for the gardener who hates traditional, heavy gardening gloves.

Berry Scoop (Lee Valley, $24.50). Stop picking those tiny berries one by one! The tines on this scoop won’t damage your plants or produce, but they will certainly cut down your harvest time — especially for blueberries and gooseberries.

Haws Watering Jug (Lee Valley, $24.50). It’s an alternative to the traditional watering can that also doubles as a container for a floral arrangement. Made from hot-dipped galvanized steel, there’s a choice of ruby or green — perfect for the holiday season as well as the summer months.

Garden Tote Bag (Lee Valley, $24.95). A large interior surrounded by twelve external pockets makes this the perfect place to stash tools and other garden essentials. Even though the bag is built for the garden — with weather-proof, tough material — it’s ideal for artists, photographers and other hobby lovers too.

PlantMinder™ Water Bulb (Lee Valley, $25.95/package of 2 standard, or $27.50/package of 4 mini). Don’t let potted plants go dry — especially when there’s no one home to tend them. Simply fill these globes with water and the porous terracotta cone will water plants for up to three or six weeks (depending on size). Great for container gardens and indoor plants too.

Drywalkers™ (Lee Valley, $29.95 – $32.95). These slip-on covers solve the problem of having muddy garden footwear on when you really need to get something in the house. An anti-slip strip on the bottom keeps them safe too.

San-Kaku Hoe (Lee Valley, $34.50 or $67.50). This Japanese-made hoe has a uniquely shaped triangular blade set perpendicular to the handle. It’s the ideal tool for breaking up soil, digging trenches or furrows and removing shallow-rooted weeds.

Fiskars Deluxe Telescopic Stand-Up Weeder (Canadian Tire, $39.99). While this product isn’t new to the market, it’s bound to be popular this year as new bans on pesticides come into effect in communities across Canada. The telescopic handle means you can adjust the tool to your own height and dig out pesky weeds while standing up (which is good for the back). The serrated teeth on the blades grip and yank out stubborn weeds like dandelions and thistles.

Ergonomic Stainless-Steel Digging Tools (Lee Valley, $44.50 – $115.00). At first, these tools may look a little odd with their “o” shaped handles, but the unusual design gives you more room to grip (with both hands too). Look down and you’ll see nice wide steps to help you drive the tool into the ground. Don’t worry — they’re sturdy too!

Do you have some help in the garden? Radius tools are also available for kids — $29.95 buys a “Junior” rake and spade set.

DIY Rainwater Reservoir Kit (Lee Valley, $64.50). Rain barrel clashing with your outdoor decor? Use this kit to create an attractive and customized container to collect rainwater — and it can be placed up to 70′ away from a downspout.

DeWit™ Spork (Lee Valley, $69.00). This tool combines the features of a hoe, cultivator and fork to remove weeds and break up hard soil. The blade has pointed tips like a fork for breaking up tough clods, and open slats to prevent suction when digging and mixing. (A handheld version is available for $39.00.)

Motion Activated Sprinkler (Lee Valley, $79.00). Find yourself chasing away animals with a garden hose? The motion sensors detect movement and deter pests with a spray of water (even when you’re not around to watch). The device uses less than three cups of water per spray, so you can use it without wasting water.

Updated November 2012 with new items and current prices. Please note prices and links are subject to change.

Photo © Mehmet Ali Cida

Top 10 gardening mistakes
Grow your own grub
Hot trends for outdoor décor
Hot gifts for the grill
Entertaining on a budget


For more festive ideas and inspiration, visit our Holiday section. –>