Friday, November 29, 2013

Garden Oriented Gift Ideas and Buying Locally

by Debbie Teashon
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Since I am launching our new blog for Rainy Side Gardeners on Black Friday—the infamous shopping day after Thanksgiving—I am going to share with you some gardener-friendly gift ideas for the holidays! I don’t know about you, but I try to stay clear of the Christmas shopping madhouse and buy locally from artists and artisan and small businesses. Shopping online helps too, but I want to be sure that I support the artistic talents or entrepreneurial spirits of those who live around me. 

Two extra special gifts that I received last year from my daughter were tickets to the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle. The other gift was a Discover Pass to Washington State Parks from a friend. Both bring benefits to my community and state, which makes them extra special.

I thought about some gift ideas for gardeners, some I’ve talked about before in articles, and I don’t mind rehashing them again as they make fine gifts.

First on today’s list of gift ideas is a membership in a local plant society or club for someone who loves to share with like-minded gardeners. There’s a society for almost every kind of plant genera out there. Many have local chapters. If your spouse loves fuchsias, a year membership in a Fuchsia Society would be welcome! A search for garden clubs and societies should let you know which ones are available in your area. Here's a compiled list of Northwest Garden Societies.

As I  am about to be writing for a regional home and garden magazine after the first of the year, I thought about subscriptions to localized print media. Subscription gifts are a boon to the local print Medias, as well as to those who receive the gift. I picked up the Edible Seattle magazine the other day and thought what a perfect gift this would be for a vegetable gardener. Alternatively, the magazine I will be writing for regularly— West Sound Home and Garden, in which I am proud to be contributing to such a beautifully crafted, high quality magazine. National magazines such as FineGardening, Horticulture, Gardens West (BC), or Organic Gardening also make fine gifts. Whenever I give a magazine subscription, I buy one from the newsstand to wrap, pull out a subscription card, and send it with the person’s name and address filled out for them. 

copyright Debbie Teashon
Of course, gift certificates to nurseries are gifts that the gardener in your life can use when spring fever hits and they are itching to get out and plant. A few plant dollars in the pocket, some shiny new handcrafted tools, and garden gloves would certainly make my day! What I love about shopping USA homegrown companies is, when I buy from them, I help our economy—a gift that keeps on giving. Even after Christmas, be sure to check out some of the places that keep the dollar home.

I adore this water feature, two cobalt blue, hand-blown glass by Barbara Sanderson.She also has exquisite art that dress up the garden beautifully. You can order pieces online or give a gift certificate. Some of these pieces are beautiful art for the home.

The sales are hitting my e-mail inbox. First, a 24-hour ticket discount for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. On Cyber Monday, December 2, 2013, you can buy tickets online and pay only 12 dollars. The day of the show, ticket price is 22 dollars. I wrote it up in this article where you can get the code for the sale.
Botanical Interests (one of my favorite seed companies) has a 20% off sale on through December 2. This holiday weekend is geared for shopping. One thing great about ordering through cyberspace is you don’t have to be stepped on, poked, elbowed, or shoved to get the good deals. If you have a subscription to their newsletter, you probably received notice for their 20% off sale during Black Friday, November 29 until Cyber Monday, December 2, 2013. Gift Certificates for the vegetable and flower grower are an ideal gift too if you missed the sale!  
Womanswork goatskin gloves

Womanswork is a company owned and operated by women. Although not all their products are made in the USA, here is their list of products that are! I’ve been trialing one of their gloves for a review and so far so great! I will be writing up my favorable review in time for the garden season, I want to see how they hold up during the colder months of gardening. In the meantime, check out their gloves, they are amazing! 

Renee’s Garden has everything from gift certificates, and a fabulous offering of heirloom seeds and a few great cookbooks to help bring your harvest to the table. Another woman-owned company that is based in the USA. Here’s a page of wonderful holiday gift ideas, for the gardener or yourself! 

Hume Organic Seeds
Nichols Garden Nursery located in the Willamette Valley in Oregon is another great nursery, offering seeds and other offerings! If you think you don’t have enough space to grow your own edibles you haven’t read Rose Marie Nichols McGee and Maggie Stuckey’s book “The Bountiful Container”, you are in for a treat! I highly recommend it for your library.  Visit their page and let them help you reap what you sow! 

Territorial Seed Company is a place I have ordered from for over two decades. They are another Oregon based company. They have provided us with Northwest oriented advice for years and continue to offer seed that works for our unique climate. They do not offer any GMO seed, so you can buy without worry from them. Moreover, despite rumors, the Monsanto, Corporation, does not own them. 
Gift bags from Authentic Haven
If you are Northwest gardener, you know you can’t get any more Northwest based than Ed Hume’s Seeds. They report that they do not sell treated or genetically engineered seeds. Plus, some of their product is certified organic. Besides being one of our own, the best part about shopping with them is the prices are always reasonable. 

How about giving a gift of manure? Now before you go poo-pooing the idea, hear me out! I know a few women who loved receiving a dump truck load of composted manure for their garden. However, before you order a steaming pile of doo to be dumped onto your property, you better know your gardener well enough that you know he or she would love it. Otherwise, they may wonder what exactly is the message behind the gift! Better yet, and especially if you are not sure how well it would be received, give some gift bags of manure tea from Authentic Haven. Their soil conditioning teas are quality, organic products that will help grow healthy plants for your gardening friend or spouse. Makes a great stocking stuffer!

Moss Lettuce Basket
copyright Debbie Teashon
Succulent Globe
copyright Debbie Teashon


If the gardening person in your life is crafty, and loves to make unusual plantings, print out the directions on how to make a sedum globe, bird cage planter, or a moss lettuce basket. You could make a little gift basket of the items she/he will need to make these. All these pages are very popular, even Martha Stewart showed her approval by pinning one of them to her Pinterest Board.

If you have some great gift ideas or products for gardeners, please share below!

I wish you happy and relaxed gift shopping days for you!


  1. Discover Pass! What a great and useful gift, and the folks who camped with you at Cape D are so glad you had it! ;-)

    Gorgeous photos, good references and helpful ideas as always.

    1. LOL! You remembered. Out of blunderings, years of laughter in its wake.

  2. A nice new blog discovery - with lots of useful info. Thanks, Debbie, and Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks for your note! I am glad to hear it is useful information. Happy Holidays to you too!

  3. Nothing beats a gift certificate at a local small garden shop or nursery. Nice new blog. Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks Ricki, I so agree, these are the places that bring us quality plants, grown and selected for local conditions. Which also means success for the gardener.

  4. Loved the article in West Sound H&G !

  5. Thank you Elena, I haven't seen it yet, but Peggy who did the write-up was a fantastic interviewer!

  6. We bought that pot lifter and even though it works great, we don't use it! Too impatient, I guess. I think we might use it more as we get older.

    I hereby present you with the Dragon Loyalty Award for all your good commenting! No strings attached and you don’t have to follow the “rules of acceptance.”

  7. Thank you for the award, I am honored!


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