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Nov 05, 2021

Gifts for the Gardener in Your Life

By Lori Draz with Rachel Weston and members of the Shrewsbury Garden Club

The gardening craze really caught on during quarantine, and fortunately for the environment, the love affair with gardening has taken root. There are more enthusiasts than ever. So many new gardeners have joined the ranks; there were even local shortages of certain seeds and plants. There’s a good chance you may know one of these green thumbs. With help from the Shrewsbury Garden Club, you will learn some excellent holiday gift choices for the gardener in your life. 

The Shrewsbury Garden Club drew inspiration from its upcoming 2022 programs to offer these gift-giving ideas. In January, the club meeting will be at Barlow’s in Sea Girt to learn about houseplants. A houseplant is a thoughtful holiday gift, and taking care of a houseplant is a great New Year’s activity too. You can bring some green into the winter with a gift certificate to many local nurseries and businesses that have excellent houseplant offerings. Your recipient will enjoy spending a cold afternoon in the warm greenhouses of the area locations like Sickles in Little Silver or Dearborn Market in Holmdel. For those who would like to order plants online for delivery, club members prefer ordering from The Sill based in New York City. 

“Their houseplant bundles range in price from $24 to $76,” club members share. “You can choose from many selections such as plants for easy care, advanced care, pet friendly or the ‘Best Friend Bundle,’ and you can even add an optional gift note. They also offer a monthly plant subscription which will deliver a new plant and ceramic planter for three months or more.”

In February, the club’s program will be about gardening under glass with terrariums. “This was popular during the Victorian era and again in the 1970s,” according to club members. “Now, gardening under glass is experiencing resurgence once again. West Elm in Red Bank has several styles of vessels to choose from, priced from $20 to $150. Geometric-faceted glass and metal ones make excellent desktop gardens for those who work from home. Their wood and recycled glass terrariums are statement pieces worthy of display on a coffee table or kitchen island. Another gift for those into miniature indoor growing is bonsai trees. Amazon has a lot of options. For those patient enough to grow a tree from seeds, there are kits like the Grow Buddha Bonsai Tree Kit comes with seeds, pots and clippers for $26.99. And for immediate gratification, purchase a tree already grown and shaped for a few years.”

SGC club members are always sharing information on their favorite tools. This season, quite a few members became proud owners of mini shovels, which are great for kids, but especially handy for working in tight spaces or containers. Try the Craftsman 10.75” wooden handle shovel at Lowe’s in Eatontown for $12.98. Another item that got members revved up is the Black and Decker cordless electric leaf blower. It’s super light, quick to charge and is literally a breeze to use. It is also available at Lowe’s for just $79. Gardeners with achy joints will appreciate a kneeling pad for weeding sessions. The Gorilla Grip Extra Thick Water-Resistant Comfortable Kneeling Pad comes in a variety of fashionable colors and is much thicker than others on the market. Amazon has it for $16.79. Many gloves have been lost when proud growers take them off to snap selfies with pretty flowers for Instagram. Here’s the answer – the Eglove by Foxgloves. They’re just $30 and are designed to work with touch screens on phones. 

Gifts that pamper the weary weeders are always welcome. Soothe a sore back with a massage, club members suggest. Local salons are always there to refresh a manicure – the perfect fix for gardeners who forget to wear their gloves. 

For those who fancy a spot of tea, a botanical-themed teapot, cup and saucer or mug will warm a gift recipient’s heart. “The Annie Tea For One set, $38, at Anthropologie in the Grove, Shrewsbury is a stackable teapot and mug that makes a proper afternoon tea a snap,” SGC members said. “You can choose just the right blends for your friends at Harney & Sons. Whether you choose loose tea in tins, samplers or tea bags by the box, their offerings are unparalleled. We particularly love the Chinese Flower, a blend of green tea and flower petals and the black tea blends Rose Scented and Caribe with hibiscus, cornflower and marigold flowers. Finally, for the true tea aficionados and those that grow their own herbs, head outdoors now to snip mint, lavender, lemon verbena or other fragrant herbs to make your own DIY tea blends. Package with a tag that shows you grew the tea with love.”

And then there are the gardeners whose real love is relaxing and smelling the roses. “Hangloose Hammocks Hawaii have colorful hammock options made from parachute silk and Mayan cotton that are easy to install outdoors or indoors for optimal lounging,” club members point out. “They’re priced from $64.95, and you can see them at HangLooseHammocksHI.com. If all that swinging hasn’t lulled you to sleep, a gardening book or two is perfect for down time during winter or armchair gardeners. Our club members suggest ‘Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques’ by the American Horticultural Society, ‘Flower Flash’ by Lewis Miller and ‘Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlia’s’ by Erin Benzakein.”

If the gardener on your list has developed a strong commitment to a certain type of plant or flower, why not give them a gift of a membership to a plant society? The American Horticultural Society offers members a magazine, special admission privileges and discounts at more than 345 public gardens throughout North America and much more, all for $35. American Rose Society members enjoy a magazine, an annual journal, discounts to member partners and more benefits for $49. 

Finally, for a garden-inspired gift for the community, Shrewsbury Garden Club members come together annually to support Operation Sleigh bells run by Family & Children’s Service. This year, it is easier than ever to help this cause by purchasing gift cards of $25 or more from Target, Walmart, Visa or local food stores that will be distributed to local families in need. You may also make a donation online or learn more about the program at FCSMonmouth.org. 

Members of the Shrewsbury Garden Club are always happy to answer your questions and welcome you to become a member. For more information on the club, programs and membership, visit ShrewsburyGC.com. Follow @theshrewsburygardenclub on Facebook and @shrewsburygc on Instagram. Email shrewsburygardenclub@gmail.com with questions.