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O’Meara: Practical gifts for the gardener in your life

From knee pads to pruning saws, here are a handful of gift ideas

Andrea Montoya, of Boulder, waters a recently planted pollinator garden in Boulder in September. Carol O’Meara offers gift ideas for the gardener in your life.
Andrea Montoya, of Boulder, waters a recently planted pollinator garden in Boulder in September. Carol O’Meara offers gift ideas for the gardener in your life.

The season for gift anxiety is rolling around, and my Facebook feed is pushing articles with lists of items to give to serious hobbyists of various things. Some have good ideas, others not so much. One list stood out with so many ridiculous items for the “serious cook” that my cousin, a chef, sent it out with an outraged snarl.

I don’t blame him: The guide featured Hello Kitty measuring spoons, a Flying Spaghetti monster colander and oven mitts designed to be bear paws — complete with felt claws that stuck out well past the mitt. The photos of the items did nothing to sell their usefulness. The Hello Kitty spoons just laid on a counter, the oven mitts were used by the model to entertain his children, and the colander, inexplicably, was being worn on top of a model’s head. I don’t cook that way.

But good ideas for gift giving are hard to find when you don’t participate in that hobby; you love your person, but can’t relate, especially when it comes to gardening. So here are a few suggestions to gift the gardener in your life:

Stackable growing tower

This is a great gift for gardeners who have limited space or have filled every nook and cranny of their yard and still want more plants. There are several towers out there to consider, depending on your budget. Look for sturdy towers that have easy access to fill the water reservoir, have large enough planters that roots aren’t cramped and stay stable during windy events.


Serious gardeners love the broadfork for turning soil without the use of motors. With two long handles, the gardener thrusts the sharp tines into the soil, then stands on the flat center of the broadfork to add weight to the downward push. Stepping off and rocking the broadfork will lift and loosen the soil. Using a broadfork takes some strength, so be sure your gardener is able to do strenuous work before gifting it to them.

When choosing a broadfork, like any tool, means shopping for quality. The broadfork will have stress applied to it when it’s pushed into and rocked out of the ground, so you don’t want to buy a cheap product, or it will break. This translates into somewhat costly, but your gardener is worth it.

Kneelo knee pads

These pads have a memory foam design that takes helps gardeners to protect their knees. With a contoured fit and double layer of foam padding — one layer is shock-absorbing EVA and the other layer is memory foam — these knee pads are comfortable to wear. For $30, this is a nice way to tell your gardener that you care about their knees.

Razor-toothed pruning saw

Slicing through limbs larger than 1 1/2 inches requires a saw, and to make the job easy, a razor-toothed pruning saw is a good choice. A curved blade follows the round branch nicely and keeps the cut tidy. These aren’t too expensive; a good one will cost between $25 and $30.

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