(Carol O'Meara / CSU Extension)

Searching for the perfect gift to give your gardener this year? We've got a few ideas for your green thumb friend. Whether you want whimsical or functional, here are gifts to grow with.

Early spring chill, birds, and nipping wind wreak havoc on young seedlings, so protect them with Row Shelter Accelerators from Gardener's Supply ($17 at gardeners.com). Made from greenhouse mesh fabric, these collapsible, 45-inch long covers fit over spring seedlings or fall crops to help lengthen the season. Be sure to purchase earth staples to secure the row cover to the soil; otherwise your gift goes sailing to Kansas in the first strong wind.

Row accelerators are available in designs to fit over taller tomato plants or shorter cucumber plantings as well. If rabbits or squirrels pose a bigger problem for your gardener, consider their sturdy Crop Cage ($100) or Row Garden Cloche ($70).

Art meets garden in the quirky Ostrich Metal Planters made from recycled metals by Kenyan artists. These not-so-big birds are perfect for tucking into smaller nooks in the garden. They come in two sizes — 20-inch tall and 24-inch tall; the area for a moss basket comfortably holds one or two plants. Available through Uncommon Goods ($52 and $68; uncommongoods.com/product/recycled-metal-ostrich-planter).


Advertisement

Is your gardener looking to add water-wise beauty to their space? Give them Pretty Tough Plants, a book by Plant Select ($16.96 at plantselect.org). This is a must-have tome for serious gardeners and those wanting to dress up their landscape but not add to the water budget. Showcasing 135 plants from the premier plant program, Pretty Tough Plants is sure to be a joy to read and get ideas from.

Whimsically shaped fruit adds flair to children's meals or party platters, so if your gardener has a fun streak, give them fruit or vegetable molds from Fruit Shaper ( fruitshaper.com). With these clear plastic molds, your fruit will grow into stars, squares, hearts, even faces. Simply place the mold over the newly formed fruit so it grows and ripens in to shape your gardener desires. Prices vary based on mold design and size; $6 and up.

Once your gardener has everything just so, help them take photos to show off their garden to others with a lens attachment for their smartphone camera. This gift takes a bit of thinking and knowing what your gardener likes: macro, fisheye, or high detail are some of the features individual lenses offer. Also, not all lenses fit all phones, so be sure you know if the gardener has an Android or iPhone. Then head over to the pros at your local camera store and talk to them about what is perfect for your gift and your budget.

RazorTOOTH saws by Corona make pruning trees and shrubs a snap. With six, high carbon steel teeth per inch, you don't need to be a lumberjack to lop off a branch. It folds for easy, safe storage and locks into position when in use. RazorTOOTH saws come in several lengths, from 7 through 14 inches ($26.70 and up; coronatoolsusa.com).

Carol O'Meara is the extension agent in horticulture entomology for Colorado State University's Extension in Boulder County. Contact her at comeara@bouldercounty.org.