When the sky is gray and the mercury is low, what do you buy for someone who enjoys digging in the dirt and watching flowers grow? Plenty, as it turns out!
From items they can use right now to ones that plant the seed of anticipation, these gifts will bring a little sunshine into your favorite gardener’s off-season.
Houseplant gift subscription. What better gift for a gardener than a growing plant in December (and January, February and March)? When you give a Horti plant subscription — available in three-, six- and 12-month options — getting through the cold offseason becomes bearable. Choose from “Horti’s Pick” or “Pet-friendly” options, and a “thoughtfully curated plant kit” will be on its way. Each kit includes a plant, care guidance and a 6-inch hand-painted pot and saucer. From $75 (for a three-month subscription including shipping) at heyhorti.com.
‘Glass Gem’ corn earrings. Not made of glass gems, but rather of actual kernels of heirloom ‘Glass Gem’ variety corn, these sterling-silver earrings crafted by artist Debbie Groat shine as if they were glass. Each earring stacks three dangling kernels in a variety of natural shades (yours may vary from the photo), and are roughly 1 1/2 inches long. $16 at the GardenGrownJewelry shop on Etsy.com.
Coconut-fiber planters. The pooch- and plant-lovers on your list will cuddle up to these adorable animal planters modeled after your choice of dachshund, pug, poodle, schnauzer, westie, or French or English bulldog. Measuring from 20 by 9 by 10.5 inches to 12 by 6.5 by 8 inches, depending on breed, these pups are made of sustainable coco coir by artisans in the Philippines. $60-65 at uncommongoods.com.
Pressed-flower serving bowl. Each of these stoneware tabletop bowls is imprinted with real flowers and then hand-painted by ceramicist Neena Jhaveri in Virginia. The Pressed Garden of Love Serving Bowls are dishwasher, oven and microwave safe; they 11 by 5 inches with an 80-ounce capacity. $165 at uncommongoods.com.
Indoor watering can. The iconic copper Haws watering can has been revered by English gardeners since 1886. Beloved for its perfect balance and polished finish, the can features a removable brass watering “rose” that provides plants with a gentle shower that mimics rainfall. Each holds 13 ounces of water and is 15 3/4 inches wide, 5 inches deep and 6 1/4 inches tall. Made in England; $134.95 only at williams-sonoma.com.
Water orbs for bees. You may set out water for birds, but have you considered how bees hydrate? These handblown glass balls — in orange or blue — provide a safe water source for our pollinating friends while adding a burst of color to the garden. And the orb never needs to be filled because dew and rainwater naturally collect on its ridges and bumps, from which bees can drink without the risk of drowning. Set them in the garden where you can see them and you’ll enjoy watching a steady stream of visitors. The orbs are 6 to 7 inches in diameter; $45 at whiteflowerfarm.com.
Ceramic toad house. Know someone whose tomatoes or hosta leaves were decimated last summer? Give them this glazed toad abode to place in a moist, shady garden spot, and their amphibious neighbors will move in. What will they eat? The slugs and insects that would otherwise ravage your friend’s plants! You’ll be the hero of next year’s garden. The house is 7 3/4 inches high, 7 1/2 inches wide and 4 inches long. $21.99 at The National Wildlife Federation, shopnwf.org.
Fermentation kit. Pickle packer, pickle pebbles and pickle pipes. Say that three times fast! Masontops Complete Fermentation Kit for Vegetables contains everything needed to ferment a variety of vegetables — home-grown or store-bought — into probiotic-rich pickles. There’s a recipe book and three tongue-twisting tools for pounding, weighting and brining vegetables, and an automatic gas release. Made of food-safe glass, silicone and Acacia wood, the supplies are sufficient for making four jars of sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi or other fermented veggies (canning jars sold separately). Available in two sizes, for filling regular ($44.99) or wide-mouth ($54.95) jars at masontops.com.
PORTABLE FIRE PIT. One of the best things you can gift gardeners is a way to enjoy their gardens at unexpected times, like, say, during winter. Enter the portable (15-inches by 12 1/2-inches) Solo Ranger Stove: Its innovative, low-smoke and clean-burning design includes air-intake holes along the bottom that pull air toward its fuel source, burning wood into a super-fine ash. It will keep you warm on a porch, deck or patio, and can be used for roasting marshmallows, hot dogs and more. Burns chunk wood and weighs just 15 pounds. $214.99 at solostove.com.