The Environmental Gardener: A few holiday gift suggestions for gardeners

With Christmas and Hanukkah just around the corner, our Environmental Gardener columnists Greg Levine and Erica Glasener collaborated on this gift guide for gardeners.

Bluestone Perennials

We both find that as we get older it can be challenging to buy gifts for friends and family who don’t really need anything. But for our friends that are gardeners or lovers of plants, we have a range of gift suggestions. 

A Living Present

Erica’s Pick:  It’s hard to go wrong with a living arrangement in a beautiful decorative pot, whether it’s a simple phalaenopsis orchid for indoors (almost foolproof), or a container garden for the patio with winter blooms. Try including violas, snapdragons, and herbs like parsley or rosemary. 

Greg’s Pick: A garden’s caregiver knows the niches that need filling and which plants would be the best to do it. I really enjoy thumbing through a plant catalog (often ordering too many plants), so my first suggestion is a gift certificate from one of the many mail-order plant nurseries. I have always had great luck with Bluestone Perennials.  They have a great selection of robust, unusual plants that come in compostable pots, a nice extra for nature lovers.

A Book

Erica’s Picks: It’s hard to pick just one book, but I still refer to my copy of “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses” by Michael A. Dirr on a regular basis. This comprehensive reference has long been a favorite of keen gardeners and was the textbook for many that studied horticulture in college. 

Greg’s Pick: “The Complete Guide to Gardeners – The Plant Obsessed and How to Deal with Them” by Joseph Tychonievich is a light and humorous read with stick figure illustrations by the author.  A fellow gardening friend got me this book years ago and it is 100 pages of laughter that I have read several times. It makes fun of the healthiest addiction in the world, gardening.  


Erica’s Picks: My favorite tool is my pair of Felco #2 hand pruners. I don’t have any affiliation with the company, but I would be happy to be spokesperson for these bypass pruners which are sharp and worth the price (probably around $50 these days)

Greg’s Pick: Erica and I don’t always agree, and this is one of those times. I discovered Osaka pruners when I was lucky enough to go to the Chelsea Flower Show, where I got to handle about a half dozen of the best pruners on the market. This was my favorite; the design is remarkable. The lock is easy to open and shut, and the pruners cut as if you were going through cream, not wood. They cost a bit more than your average pruner, about $65, but I promise it is worth it.

A Trees Atlanta Holiday Tree Greeting

Our Last Picks 

Erica’s Pick: For the particular gardener, consider a gift certificate to your local garden center or a garden consultation with a garden design company. 

Greg’s Pick: A membership to the Atlanta History Center Garden or the Atlanta Botanical Garden will help get your gardener out of their garden. This helps support public gardens and their missions to make a greener world. 

From Both: A gift for the gardener with no more room or yard to plant in is Trees Atlanta’s Holiday Tree Greeting. A $25 donation to Trees Atlanta supports tree planting, and a locally designed card is sent to your friend or loved one.  All of these nonprofits have a myriad of unique and important educational opportunities that your membership or donation helps to support.

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