gifts they might actually want

The Best (Strategist-Approved) Gifts for Gardeners

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

If you talk to any gardener or horticulturalist, they’ll tell you that while tending to a garden may start out as a hobby, it can quickly become a lifelong passion. On its surface, a hobby for life would seem to make gift shopping easier — but in reality, that can mean the gardener in your life already owns a lot of practical tools or planters or other items simply by keeping up with their favorite pastime. So, what do you get the gardener whose greatest pride is their verdant, flowering oasis? Below, we’ve rounded up 34 ideas that are sure to delight, most of which we’ve written about before. From artisanal brooms to heritage watering cans to smart, self-watering herb gardens that take the guesswork out of growing, our list includes something for pretty much everyone — whether they’re the proud cultivator of an impressive English-style cottage garden or a humble apartment gardener hoping to hone their green thumb. Yes, spring may still be weeks away, but it never hurts to plan ahead — or to have something to look forward to.

For beginner gardeners who are eager to start growing something before spring (or want to improve their green thumb before growing anything in earnest), consider this affordable Bonsai grow kit that Strategist contributor Daniel Moldin says is pretty much killproof. It comes with everything you need to sprout the tiny tree, and all you have to do is remember to keep its vessel’s reservoir filled with water; a wick that leads from the roots of the plant to that reservoir takes care of the rest.

If they tend a garden, chances are they have a patio or a greenhouse or even just a chair or two where they can sit and admire it from. The bold patterns on these cushions would instantly make any garden-adjacent seating look a little more lush.

If your horticulturalist wants birds to visit their garden, birder Juita Martinez recommends installing an open platform feeder like this because birds of any size can land on it.

This fun vase shaped like a peace sign can hold their fresh-cut stems — and, unfilled, can even double as décor, thanks to its sculptural design. It is made by Jungalow founder and designer Justina Blakeney and available in the “cloud” color shown here as well as in bronze, mint, or clay.

They might need a pair of shears to cut their greens or prune their houseplants. These, from outdoor-goods company Barebones, are made of steel with handsome walnut accents on the handles.

A wide-brimmed sun hat is essential when they’re toiling away outdoors, and this one, which no less than two Strategist writers own (and love), is super-affordable and functional. Not only will its brim protect their face from the sun’s rays, but it has an adjustable cord that makes it easy to wear around the neck if they want to take it off for a bit. It comes in several colors, too.

If you want a hat that’s even more functional, here’s one that Chris Black recommends for daylong hikes, which any gardener knows can be just as exhausting as daylong planting sessions in the sun. The fast-drying bucket hat comes with special water-activated cooling crystals that help regulate temperature.

Sustainably made from 100-percent-recyclable plastic hemp, these waterproof clogs from France are ideal for tromping around in a vegetable patch (or any other garden). Both Strategist writer Hilary Reid and senior editor Katy Schneider own a pair, and Schneider says, “They remind me of something my mother would have worn gardening in the ’90s, and they’re just really pretty and unusual and perfect.”

We wrote about the rise of the artisanal broom a few years ago, and we’re sure that the gardener in your life would appreciate a tool that is as useful (for cleaning up dead leaves) as it is beautiful. This gorgeous push-broom from French brush-maker Andrée Jardin is made of thermally treated, humidity-resistant ash wood, which means your gardener can use it all year long. It’s available with black or coconut bristles, and you can also buy it with or without a handle, if you’d prefer to supply your own.

For something a little more versatile, consider this garden rake that Strategist contributor Joseph Truini, a gardener of four decades, swears by. The lightweight aluminum-alloy rake features a telescopic handle and an adjustable head that goes from 7½ inches to 21¾ inches wide — the better to squeeze into those narrow spaces between rows of plants.

If your gardener doesn’t have one of these pruners from Swiss company Felco, it’ll make a fantastic gift, as the F2 model is considered the industry standard. It tops our roundup of the best expert-recommended pruners and, according to Kurt Morrell, the VP of landscape operations at the New York Botanical Garden: “A good gardener or horticulturalist anywhere in the world is most likely going to have a pair of Felcos.”

If your gardener is left-handed, this pair of Felco shears is made for them and comes recommended by one of the Strategist’s resident lefties, junior writer Leah Muncy.

Also for that lefty gardener, this set of pocket-size notebooks for left-handers will make it even easier for them to keep track of their plants’ growth and watering schedule. (You can get the same notebook for right-handed gardeners here.)

This sculptural planter inspired by the shape of a cog has beveled edges, a unique base, and a mouth that’s cut on an angle. It’s a favorite of Marc Hachadourian, the New York Botanical Garden’s director of glasshouse horticulture and senior curator of orchids, who likes to use it when he brings in his orchids from the greenhouse to put on display.

There are many (cheaper) copycats of the Modernica planter out there, but real heads say the original is a touch above for its craftsmanship and aesthetic. Darryl Cheng — the Canadian “plantfluencer” behind House Plant Journal — counts it among the insider goods he and other plantfluencers swear by.

If your gardener cares less about the origins of the planter than the plant within it, here’s a Modernica dupe that’s a bit cheaper than the real thing.

The pure-copper watering can from British heritage brand Haws has a storied history and a cult following among serious horticulturists (including Martha Stewart). That’s in large part thanks to its gleaming finish, architectural silhouette, and “rose” nozzle, which puts forth an even spread of water that “can simulate a very gentle rain,” according to Cheng. Yes, it’s pricey, but if you want to make an impression on the gardener who has everything, here’s your chance.