Good to Grow: Gifts for gardeners

Oh what fun it is dashing and dancing my way through the Christmas holidays! Most of my shopping is done, but I still have a few folks on my list. Luckily they are gardeners, and I have some ideas.

What gardener doesn’t love a new container? Try mixing it up this year and giving galvanized metal buckets. They come in all sizes.

I have seen the large ones planted with tall shrubs used to create a movable patio screen — great idea. Maybe a large, round one would work as a holder for this year’s Christmas tree (I would use a waterproof container inside the metal one to prevent water mishaps).

Visiting a restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina, the large, oblong ones were planted with herbs and sat under the front windows. Useful and attractive! The traditional whiskey barrel will serve the same purpose, but the metal seems a bit trendier, thanks to the popular farmhouse craze.

Speaking of trendy, the smaller buckets can be used inside to create fun storage that doesn’t need to be hidden away behind cabinet doors. I use flower pots to display pens, markers and candy on my office desk. They help me think of my garden during long work days and give a hint of personality to my work environment.

While you have the sleigh parked at your local garden center, why not check something for your stylish garden friends off the list? Goldcoast Sunwear is UPF 50+ certified. The hats come in all styles, floppy (my favorite), cowboy and fedoras. I have worn my share of baseball caps in the garden, but the bigger brim provides more sun protection.

This is also a good place to browse around. I bet you’ll find garden shoes, garden gloves and maybe even sunglasses. Can’t make up your mind? Ask if they have gift certificates.

The Gardener Supply Company has several gifts choices I like. My favorite: the traditional New England Hod. This is a basket that was originally used by clam diggers, but is perfect for holding veggies and flowers as you harvest in the garden. The wire bottom lets them breathe and makes is easy to rinse off the garden soil.

For the art lovers on your list, what about an individually crafted pottery vase or platter by Randy Selbe? Her art is a unique and thoughtful gift.

Maybe someone on your list dreams of gardens — then a piece of art from Patty Stewart’s Fantasy Garden series is for them. Each canvas from this group is bright and cheerful — guaranteed to make them smile on Christmas morning and every day after.

Both of these artists and many more are members of Allied Artists and show their work in several places around the state, including Gallery Eleven in downtown Charleston on Quarrier Street and in the Charleston Town Center mall.

Another great downtown spot for art is the locally owned Art Emporium. Stop by and visit with Traci Higginbotham. She will guide you through the many gifts on display, the connecting gallery, and even help with your framing needs (maybe a favorite photo or a child’s drawing of your garden).

What would Christmas be without a book under the tree? Maybe a book on shade gardening or combination plantings, such as “Carrots Love Tomatoes” by Louise Riotte. “The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2020” or Llewellyn’s 2020 “Moon Sign Book” are two of the favorites. “All the President’s Gardens” by Marta McDowell would make an interesting read to curl up with during the chilly winter months. With this book, you learn about how White House gardens have evolved from 1800 to the present day.

I haven’t met a gardener yet who didn’t need a good hand cream. There are lots of choices out there. Think about a new pair of garden gloves and jar of hand cream — that’s a great gift. Bonus points if you throw in a card for a winter manicure.

During the summer, I received a box of Garden Bon Bons. No, not chocolates (but never the wrong choice when shopping for me), but a bon bon of seeds. These garden truffles can be planted directly into the soil (when it’s warmer) and up pop plants. There are several choices to choose from on

I love a hand-written note and keeping a hand-written garden journal. This is an easy gift opportunity. A beautiful set of gift cards and a sheet of pretty stamps or elegant writing pen, what a thoughtful gift.

I could go on and on about how to shop local and make gardeners happy. Did I mention a Blenko vase? J.Q. Dickinson Salts? Still at a loss for ideas? How about a subscription to a garden magazine, better yet — a subscription to the Charleston Gazette-Mail? I hear they have a great garden column (wink wink).

May your holidays be merry and bright. Gift giving is fun, but remember, it really is the thought — not the price tag — that will make your gift memorable. Shop local when you can, be creative, and enjoy the season. From this gardener, her pup and all at the little house on a big hill, Merry Christmas.