When it comes to holidays, Valentine’s Day is tough to beat. I decorate my house in pink and red, snack on conversation hearts, and can’t wait to drop cute paper love notes in the post to my family and friends. I embrace pretty much any excuse to celebrate the people in my life, and without all the bustle and pressure of certain other occasions, (I’m looking at you, Christmas). Thoughtful, personalized gifts are always a welcome alternative to the standard heart-shaped box of chocolates or cellophane wrapped roses. Consider one of these Valentine’s Day gift ideas if you want to express some love for the gardener in your life.
I know what you’re thinking. Every gardener has a pair (or two) of gloves. But if the gardener in your life is anything like me, half those pairs are stiff, wrinkled, worn out, and probably missing a mate. I remember the first time I splurged on a fancy pair of gloves – the lightweight, flexible, breathable kind that allow for maximum dexterity and actually feel good on my hands. They came with a nitrile coating and a slightly heftier price tag, but the trade off in comfort was worth it. Ten years later I still have them – both of them! Because such gloves can be a bit more expensive, they make a great gift for gardeners who may be hesitant to treat themselves. Does the person in your life grow roses? Pick up a pair of leather elbow-length pruning gloves to protect her arms from thorns and twigs and brambles. Is your gardener a bit indecisive, constantly planting and transplanting all season long? Get him a pair of heavy-duty claw-tipped gloves, They make digging around and uprooting the Astilbes quick and easy. If style a top priority, select a pair with a pretty floral pattern or eye-catching color scheme. For an extra touch, have them monogrammed.
Let’s face it, gardeners are a voyeuristic bunch. They love peeking over the garden gate, so to speak, and enjoy ideas from friends, neighbors, and complete strangers for new designs and things to try. During the long winter months when they can’t actually be working outside, remain indoors with a stack of books poring over beautiful color pictures and plotting, scheming, and picking out plants to try in the season to come. Every year brings a new crop of glossy, hardcover coffee table books, perfect for cozying up with a mug of tea on a snowy February day. There are also the more practical guides to different types of flowers, shrubs, and trees that can be an indispensable part of a gardener’s library. Or consider an attractive gardening journal, with space for detailed records and planting notes that can be used from year to year.
Something as simple as a packet of heirloom seeds tucked into a charming greeting card can be a thoughtful and inexpensive token for the gardener in your life. Pick a favorite veggie or choose the “ingredients” for a themed salsa garden or herb garden. And, you can’t go wrong with seeds for romantically named old-fashioned favorites like forget-me-nots, (Myosotis), kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, (Polygonum orientale), or love-in-a-mist, (Nigella damascene). A unique and special gift, your recipient will look forward to planting seeds in a few weeks, and think fondly of you when the flowers bloom or veggies ripen later in the season.