Finding the perfect gift for a gardener can be fun as the possibilities are great. First consider the obvious: plants. Grocery stores and garden centers like Loews and Home Depot provide a large selection almost any time of year. A plant that can go from the windowsill to the garden is especially desirable, and one that has fragrance as well as beauty is a double winner. Some plants that I have seen this winter in the stores include; rosemary, French lavender, gardenia, azalea, hydrangea, miniature rose, oriental lily and cyclamen. If you want to upgrade the plant buy a decorative pot in which to set the plant, and/or add a bow.

If your gardening friend likes to raise plants from seeds try a selection of seed packs, either flowers or vegetables depending on the inclination of your friend, together with peat pots, a bag of potting soil, and a container of fertilizer. Or perhaps you might find one of those little mini windowsill green houses instead of the peat pots.

A garden ornament is another much-appreciated gift for the gardener and is available at garden centers as well as big box stores and mail order suppliers. A small statue of concrete or resin can be bought for as little as $5. Animals are especially nice and I have recently seen birds, rabbits, groundhogs, turtles, and frogs. Other garden ornaments include a birdbath, bird house and feeder, decorative handle for the garden spigot, hose guides, plaque featuring plants or a garden quote, and wind chimes

If you want to really knock the socks off a gardener send him/her an Edible Arrangement. These are beautiful creations made of a variety of fruits, especially melons, and may include strawberries, dipped in chocolate if you wish, as well as pineapple and grapes. The number of arrangements they offer is large hitting many price points and occasions. This is truly a treat! For more information go to:

Items that would make life in the garden more pleasant may be in order for the serious gardener. A unique watering can, a kneeling pad, a sharp pair of shears, gloves to keep the hands tender, or waterproof shoes or boots (English Wellingtons perhaps?), would be appropriate. A carrier for tools, attractive plant labels, and bucket for weeds all make fine practical gifts.

And what does the local mall have to offer? Any department store might be the source of garden inspired accessories such as earrings or pins replicating flowers, scarves, and tee-shirts. The bookstore could provide a garden calendar, a garden diary or journal, stationary, playing cards, as well as books on a huge variety of garden topics. Alternatively, you might buy a copy of one of the good gardening magazines and follow it up with a subscription. Garden Gate (no ads), Fine Gardening and Horticulture offer excellent content at a reasonable price, while The English Garden provides a wealth of photographs and tips for American gardeners that want the British look.

One more shopping tip: if you are lucky enough to be near a large public garden such as the Atlanta Botanical Garden go to the gift shop. The selection of garden inspired merchandise is awe-inspiring and you will surely find something suitable and unique.

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What is the best garden related gift you have every received?

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By Karen