March 04, 2024

Fresh-picked holiday gift ideas for gardeners

This image provided by Jessica Damiano shows a Video Camera Bird Feeder available on SharperImage.com.

NEW YORK (AP) — The best holiday gifts for gardeners are the ones that keep their minds in the dirt, even during the off-season.

These gardening and garden-themed gifts will sow the seeds of anticipation for greener days to come and spread a little sunshine just when it’s needed most.

Smart Video Camera Bird Feeder: This device not only feeds your feathered friends, but also identifies and records them as they visit. Mount it outdoors, then download the free app to your iPhone (iOS 11 or later) or Android (OS 5.0 or later) and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. When a bird lands on the solar- charged feeder, AI identifies its species and sends alerts, ultra-wide HD images, live stream video with sound and species details to your smartphone. Includes 8 GB memory card. $219.99 at sharperimage.com.

This image provided by Growgreen Limited shows an aspara Nature Smart Grower and packages of hydroponic seed kits.

Hydroponic Smart Grower: This award-winning grow system allows you to grow fresh food indoors year-round without sunlight or soil. The 16-plant unit has 86 LED lights and 10 smart sensors that monitor plants remotely and communicate with the free aspara mobile app, which sends alerts when care is needed. Two vegetable, herb, fruit or edible flower capsules are included; others are sold separately. $399 at grow-green.com.

This image provided by Modern Sprout shows a collection of Glow and Grow candles, which can be recycled into planters using their included seed packs after they burn out.

Modern Sprout Grow and Glow: Enjoy the soy-blend candle over the winter, then upcycle its footed ceramic vessel into a planter and grow the included seeds in spring. Choose from Herb Garden (gray pot with basil seeds), Wildflower Fields (dark brown pot with daisy seeds), Desert Oasis (light brown pot with aloe seeds) or Frosted Forest (white with spruce tree seeds). $40 at modernsprout.com.

This image provided by Bridgewater Candles shows a Sweet Grace flower diffuser.

Sweet Grace Flower Diffuser: This cleverly designed oil diffuser looks like a pretty silk blossom in a bud vase, but it’s actually a fragrance delivery system in disguise. Fill the vase with the included Sweet Grace oil and insert the ivory flower’s wick “stem,” then watch as the blossom gradually opens and turns pink. It will perfume your room with a blend of passion fruit, sparkling tea and patchouli for about 50 days. $35 at bridgewatercandles.com.

This image provided by Noble Oak shows a 750ml bottle of Noble Oak bourbon. For every bottle sold, the company plants a tree in partnership with One Tree Planted, a Vermont-based reforestation nonprofit.

Noble Oak Bourbon: Every time a bell rings, an angel may get its wings, but this bourbon brand goes one step further to please gardeners: Every time a bottle is sold, a tree gets planted in partnership with One Tree Planted, a Vermont-based reforestation nonprofit. So far, the collaboration has resulted in more than 1 million new plantings. And the award-winning whiskey, finished with sherry oak staves, would make a nice addition to eggnog. $36.99 for a 750-ml bottle at select retailers nationwide; find one near you at nobleoak.com.

This image provided by STIHL Inc. shows a STIHL HSA 26 cordless gardening shear.

STIHL HSA 26 Cordless Shrub Shears: These cordless gardening shears make easy work of pruning hedges, taming bushy perennials and cutting back ornamental grasses. Lightweight construction — the tool weighs less than 2 pounds — an ergonomic design and rubberized grips provide comfortable maneuverability, while an easy-switch button allows for tool-free changes between the included grass- and shrub-cutting attachments. An LED indicator informs on battery life, which runs 80 or 120 minutes on a single charge, depending on the attachment used. $149.99 at stihlusa.com.

This image provided by ZoomBroom shows a lightweight, cordless ZoomBroom stick blower in use.

ZoomBroom: This cordless stick blower is lightweight and easy to operate. It assembles in minutes, holds its charge via USB-C for up to 30 minutes and clears walkways, patios, decks, cars, RVs and other surfaces of leaves and debris quickly and quietly. $189 at zoombrooms.com.

This image provided by Back to the Roots shows a Back to the Roots organic mushroom growing kit bearing a full crop

Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Grow Kit: If you want to grow your own mushrooms, but aren’t up to sourcing fungal spawn and substrate, you can raise a crop in a cardboard box right on your kitchen counter. After soaking the substrate brick, open the box’s side panel, mist daily with the included spray bottle and your harvest of organic, non-GMO shitake, oyster, or button mushrooms will be ready in as little as 10 days. Each crop yields 3 to 4 servings, and each box grows two crops. $19.99 to $39.99 at backtotheroots.com.

This image provided by Justine Damiano shows the lily pond at Old Westbury Gardens in Old Westbury, New York, one of more than 350 public gardens and arboretums whose admission is included with a membership in the American Horticultural Society.

Botanical Gardens Reciprocal Membership: Membership in the American Horticultural Society comes with a great perk — free admission and privileges at more than 350 public gardens and arboretums in 48 U.S. states, Canada, the Cayman Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Your gift will also include a subscription to The American Gardener magazine, discounts on educational programs and garden shows, access to members-only online gardening resources and more. Dues, which support AHS educational programs, are tax-deductible. $35 at https://ahsgardening.org/gardening-programs/rap/.

This image provided by OASIS Forage Products shows a floral arrangement, right, created using an OASIS Create Kit.

Forage Floral Design Kit: Gardeners, wildflower foragers and wannabe florists will enjoy crafting one-of-a-kind arrangements with this seven-piece design kit. Clip flowers and fillers using the included ergonomic scissors, then arrange them decoratively in the 4-inch, eco-friendly pot using the set’s mossing pins, teal bind wire and one of three included floral foam bricks. $39.99 at Oasis Forage Products.

This image provided by Soltech shows a Vita Grow Pendant houseplant grow light, which emits full-spectrum lighting that mimics natural sunlight.

Soltech Vita Grow Light Pendant Kit: Houseplant parents will love this grow light because, well, it doesn’t look like a grow light. But don’t let its stylish vibes fool you — the dimmable Vita emits full-spectrum lighting, closely mimicking natural sunlight. Designed to have a 5-year lifespan, it’s available with a black or white cord; bronze, black or nickel pendant; and with a lampshade ($160) or without ($105) at soltech.com.

This image provided by Hartley Botanic shows a Patio model glasshouse with its hinged top pane open.

Hartley Botanic Patio Glasshouse: What do you get for the gardener who has everything? If your budget allows, this elegant, space-saving model will delight them year-round and for years to come. At 2 feet 5 inches deep, 4 feet 2 inches wide and 4 feet 6 1/2 inches tall, the Patio Glasshouse is perfect for starting seeds, nurturing cuttings and extending the season. A hinged top pane and double sliding front doors provide easy access to three levels of plants. Crafted in Lancashire, England, where the company, Hartley Botanic, has been manufacturing glasshouses since 1938, the Patio is available in 15 colors. $4,400 at hartley-botanic.com.