It's that time of year! I've been nagging my family to complete their holiday wish lists--full disclosure, we are an Amazon family. I would say 80% of our holiday shopping is done through Amazon (We have enough Amazon cardboard in our garage to line at least 20 raised beds). It's quick, easy, and using wish lists ensures there's little to no returns. Whether you're a gardener creating your own wishlist, or you are shopping for your favorite gardener, sit back and relax--I've got you covered. Over the past two decades, I've spent hundreds of dollars buying gardening products that I never used--many are sitting on the shelves in my shed collecting dust. Over the past two years, I have upped my spending game and have spent hours and hours researching--reading reviews, comparing similiar products, and test driving them. What follows is the list of my tried and trues. Please note that I earn a small commission when items are purchased through the Amazon affiliate links below.
Hori Hori Garden Knife - Man, I wished I had listened to Martha Stewart all those years ago when she talked about this gardening tool on one of her shows. I think she actually sells her own version (it involves her signature green plastic which doesn't appeal to me). This version, however, is a quality gardening tool that you will find endless uses for. I use it for weeding, digging gardening holes (it has measurement markers engraved on one side...perfect for planting bulbs or seedlings) and even opening bags of soil. The serated edges are extremely sharp, so be careful, this is not a tool you should share with the kids. The lovely wood handle is comfortable for extended use and the leather sheath can be attached to your belt for easy access. It comes in a nice giftbox--ready for wrapping!
Felco Pruning Shears F 5 - Please do not waste your money on cheap knockoffs. There are no better pruners on the market than Felco's. I have had my pair of F5's for the past 20+ years. They were given to me by my sweet dad who shared my love of gardening. He's gone now, but everytime I pull those shears out to prune one of my roses, I remember his smile, his voice, and his guiding hands. You might say he's my gardening muse and these Felco pruners are the conduit to all my wonderful memories of him. Yup... a hunk of metal, albeit an exquistely crafted hunk of metal, can bring me to tears. Many gardeners (especially females) prefer the F 2's (I actually have those on my wishlist this year, just to see what the hubbub is all about), but because my F 5's have special meaning, I will never be without them. I like the Felco's because the company stands behind their product. They promote sustainability by selling replacement parts. Right now, both models are on sale for 40% off! You can't beat that with a stick.
Apollo Tool Organizer - Another can't live without item for the gardener. This is like a tool belt for gardeners. You attach it to a 5 gallon bucket (I got mine at Home Depot for a few dollars) then load it up with all your gardening tools. Intially, I used this as weeding bucket--that was an epic fail because when I went to empty the weeds, all the tools fell out with the weeds--not my brightest moment. It also comes in green/black, but I got the pink because it's easy to see in the garden. For $12.99, it's a great stocking stuffer (just roll it up and stuff into your favorite Christmas stocking!).
Fiskars 30 Gallon Hardbottom Kangaroo Garden Bag - Listen carefully foks, make sure you spring for the hardbottom version. I originally purchased the soft bottom which was a big mistake. I grow some roses and as I dragged this thing around the yard pruning my roses it did tear the bottom a bit--not to the point of making the bag unusable, but it was a bit disappointing since it happened on its maiden voyage. Honestly, every gardener you know should have one of these. It pops up easily, it's lightweight and stores flat for those of us with limited space. I've used this for spring/fall cleanups--picking up leaves, weeding and pruning debris. I have mine hanging in my shed and wouldn't be without it.
Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel - While it's a bit on the pricey side (it's on sale now for 20% off), this shovel is worth it's weight in gold! During a very dark period in my life, my garden went to the weeds. I had lost complete interest and it showed. It was during that time that my neighbors planted huge shrubs and trees on the property line. Can't say as I blame them. When I woke up out of my coma, the disaster which had become my yard stood before me--I truly didn't know where to start. I tried tackling the mess with a regular shovel but didn't make a dent. I did some research which led me to this lifesaving tool. The product is aptly named Root Slayer--it will slay your roots (careful... it's sharp), but will also slay your underground sprinkler lines if you're not careful (let's just say I've become an expert at repairing sprinkler lines).
Fiskars Softouch Mirco-Tip Pruning Shears - If I have my Felco's why do I need these too? These are perfect for cutting herbs, deadheading some of my finer perennials like coreopsis or scabiosa, or trimming out seedlings. They are lightweight, brightly colored (so I rarely lose them in the garden), and relatively inexpensive. This is another great stocking stuffer for the gardener in your life.
Bond Bloom Telescoping Shrub Rake - While this is not the one I have (mine is decades old), this one looks to be a definite step-up from mine. Another gift from my dad, this kind of rake is a must have for every garden. It's small enough to get in between shrubs and perennials. The handle telescopes so it can be comfortably used by gardeners of different heights. If I wasn't so sentimental, I'd add this one to my own wish list.
COOLJOB Gardening Gloves 6 Pairs - I wish I had the perfect gardening gloves to recommend--I don't. I've gone through endless pairs of gardening gloves over the years, and one thing I have found is that I'm better off with cheap, comfortable, knit gloves. These fit the bill. They are on sale now for $13.99 for SIX pairs. That's a steal. Don't expect to prune roses with these, but for everyday maintenance--weeding, planting, etc. these will work just fine.
Keter Urban Raised Garden Bed/Box (Self Watering) - I've been using this great little garden box on my patio for the last few years. It's the perfect height for an older gardener with back issues (ME) or a differently abled gardener. It has held up beautifully over these past three years (I actually have a dark brown one, but I don't see that available at the moment--the Dark Gray is really nice too). I have used it to grow dwarf tomatoes, herbs, and even lettuce. This year I'm hoping to score some Proven Winner strawberry plants (Buried Treasure) and plant this up with some strawberries.
Velcro Brand Plant Ties - Velcro is probably right up there in my book with duct tape and sliced bread. A wonderful invention that graduated me from cut up pantyhose (my supply dried up when nylons went out of season) to these sustainable plant ties. I recently ordered the precut ones simply because I am a lazy gardener (yup, that domain name was taken). These you can cut to any size you need. I've used them to stake tomatoes, climbing roses, and flopping hydrangeas. The color is spot on for blending into the foliage and it is gentle on delicate plant stems. Another great stocking stuffer!
If you made it this far--God bless you! Happy shopping and happy holidays from Bumbling Gardener--Flowers. Vegetables. Weeds.