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Gardening and More: Christmas gifts to buy for the gardener in your life

FEED THE BIRDS — Bird feeders can be beautiful and they can attract colorful songbirds to a winter garden. Bird feeders and bird houses make great gifts for gardeners.
You know that your friend or relative is a gardener and you would like to present them with a holiday gift that will help them enjoy that pastime.

But it can be hard to know what to choose, especially if you are not sure what that person would like. When you see an item that might suit him or her, you wonder if he or she already has one.

Here are five suggestions for gifts that gardeners will love that also won’t break the bank. If you are a gardener yourself, drop a hint, by circling your favorite items with a big, fat marker and leaving this article where a loved one might happen to see it.

I compiled this list with help from Jeff Salmon, president of Arbordale Nurseries & Landscaping, located at 480 Dodge Road in Getzville.

Bird houses and bird feeders

There isn’t much color in your garden during the winter. One way to add color is by attracting colorful song birds. Bird houses and bird feeders make great gifts for gardeners and family members, such as grandparents.

Solar lights

You might not realize that you can use solar lights in your garden, year-round.

“People tell me they took their solar lights in for the winter, and I say, ‘Why?’” Salmon said. “It’s a common misconception. You don’t have to bring your lights in. They look beautiful reflecting off the snow.”

If you receive solar lights for Christmas, how can you add them to a frozen garden? If the lights are on stakes, poke the lights into the snow. Not all solar lights are fixed on stakes.

Gardening tools

“Everybody needs an extra pair of clippers,” Salmon said.

Pruners tend to get misplaced. Once, I set mine down and could not remember where I left them. It was days later that I spotted them again, in my garden, obscured from view, by some tall plants. It’s nice to have a backup pair.

People also put up with poor tools for too long and your gardening friend might need something new. When Arbordale offers free sharpening, people will bring in tools that cannot be helped by sharpening.

“The tool is worn out,” Salmon said. “It doesn’t cut anymore, because the blades don’t touch!”

When it comes to hand pruners, buy something very sturdy that will not bend easily. Your gardening friend will thank you.

Any kind of sturdy digging tool is helpful, too, even if the gardener already has several.

Gardening gloves

Gardening gloves are something else that you can’t have too many of.

Salmon said that he likes the gloves that have a neoprene coating, so they are waterproof. Those are, by far, the most popular, and I can understand why. Unlike fabric gloves, which allow muddy water to seep right through, the neoprene-coated gloves keep your hands very clean.

They come in many colors, so you can customize them to your recipient.

Gift card

If your gardener friend is looking for something specific, such as a new pond pump, and you want to help, but have no way of knowing which one to choose, purchase a gift card. That is a great way to make sure your gardener friend gets just what he or she wants.

Connie Oswald Stofko is publisher of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email Connie@BuffaloNiagaraGardening.com.
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