Ask a Local Master Gardener: How to gift a green thumb for the holidays 

  • This photo shows a gardener from Langley, Wash., preparing to plant some tomato seeds in her hobby greenhouse.   AP PHOTO/DEAN FOSDICK 

For the Gazette
Published: 12/19/2019 4:02:23 PM
Modified: 12/19/2019 4:02:11 PM

Q: Help! I am not a gardener and need gift ideas for my friend who is an avid one. Any suggestions? —S.C., Northampton

A: What a kind friend you are to ask, S.C. Never fear! There are almost as many gift ideas as there are types of gardeners. Here are some to consider:

Buy local

■Gift cards for locally-owned garden centers, hardware stores or building supply stores.

■Membership to local environmental organizations such as the Hitchcock Center for the Environment or Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.

■A University of Massachusetts Amherst garden calendar is both useful and beautiful. Available in stores such as Hadley Garden Center and online through the UMass website.

■Offer to purchase local farm compost or straw for their spring garden. Compost is like black gold to an avid gardener!

■Pay delivery charge for a mulch delivery.

Get creative

■Garden helper coupon book: Create a coupon book out of card stock in whatever format you like containing coupons for three to five “garden helper” services you can provide. One coupon per service. Sample service ideas include helping spread mulch or compost, watering garden during friend’s vacation or helping set up trellises/plant supports.

■Create a gift basket out of a terracotta pot. Include seeds, a pair of garden gloves and a small winter season indoor plant, such as a cyclamen.

■Create a gift basket out of a metal watering can. Include soil thermometer, seeds and attractive plant labels with grease pen. A tube of gardener’s hand lotion is good, too.

■Create a gift basket for cozy indoor days. Include a gardening magazine, garden-themed stationery, and a teacup/mug filled with tea bags.

■An air plant (tillandsia) in an attractive open glass jar or container.

Lend a skill

■Good at carpentry? Give a card offering to build a cold frame or bentwood trellis.

■Good at plumbing? Offer to help install a garden irrigation system.

■Are you a visual artist? Create a piece of outdoor art or sign for your friend’s garden.

■Work with metal? Make decorative hose guides or plant supports.

■Are you a photographer? Offer to take photos of your friend’s garden through the seasons.

■Use this list to get the wheels rolling for other ideas you may have as well.

Enjoy your gift-giving, S.C. Thanks for asking a (local) Master Gardener.

Have a gardening dilemma? Please send questions, along with your name/initials and community, to the Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association at One question will be selected and answered per week.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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