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Green Thumbs

DP’s Gift Guide for Gardeners

These gifts will make a gardener’s heart blossom.

Gardeners come in many stripes. There’s the true green thumb who can, and does, identify obscure flower species at the drop of a hat and can actually reap what’s been sown (eats tomatoes they grow themselves). 

There’s the urban gardener who balks at the idea of grocery store basil and is “starting to get into hydroponics and vertical farming.” There’s the garden-appreciator who has no actual planting or growing experience, beyond doing a lovely job displaying that florist-bought bouquet. 

And then there’s the marijuana grower who’s been doing it since it was illegal. (In full candor, we want to be friends with that one.) For all types of “gardeners” on your to-gift list, we’ve put together things they’ll love and actually use. And hopefully some of it they’ll use to your benefit, too. 

A copy of The Japanese Garden is for the gardener in need of serious inspiration. This is a detailed look at 100 featured gardens from ancient Shinto shrines to contemporary Zen gardens. $65.75 

If a book isn’t gonna cut it, take them on an overnight to The Newt in Somerset, the grounds of which are so beautiful and manicured, they could turn the gardening indifferent into a regular at their local plant nursery. Rooms from $785/night. (Or, sure, they have a lovely book, too. $43.91

Croquet lawn of The Newt in Somerset, UK
For inspiration, treat them to a stay The Newt in Somerset, UK. This country estate has acres of gardens, woodland, farmland, and apple orchards to explore. Photo by Peter Titmuss/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Cover of The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker
The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker explores the history of this unique Asian art form with 100 examples—ranging from ancient Shinto shrines to contemporary Zen gardens.

Not all gardeners use their powers for good. (Nor should they.) Encourage a bit of green thumb mischief—while you’re across the pond anyway—with a stop at the  Alnwick Poison Garden. It’s home to around 100 species of dangerous, toxic and harmful plants—belladonna, laburnum and, of course, the famous opium poppy. Alnwick was the stage set for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. Stay in nearby supremely comfortable, Charlton Hall, just a 15-minute drive away, and take your inner wizard out for a spin. Tickets, $23 per adult

Belladonna flower
What’s their poison? While you’re across the pond, check out the dangerous, toxic, and harmful species—like belladonna—in The Poison Garden at Alnwick (no touching allowed!). Photo by Bluered/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Dining room of Alnwick Castle
The dining room at the iconic Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, UK. Scenes from Harry Potter and Downton Abbey were filmed here. Photo courtesy of Alnwick Castle

Once they figure out how to grow it, they should figure out what to do with it. Why not gift them a four-week herbalism class with Supernatural? They’ll learn to use herbs to benefit their (or your) nutrition, gut health, mental health, and much more. $350. 

But let’s be real. The herb you really want them to grow is weed. Maybe a copy of  The Cannabis Growers Handbook is all the nudge they need? $37

For the more traditional gardener, a Flora Animalia basket gardening apron is a quick way to really look the part. $155

Cover of Cannabis Grower’s Handbook by Ed Rosenthal
Cannabis Growers Handbook by Ed Rosenthal. All they need to know to cultivate great marijuana.
Woman putting beet plants into the pockets of a gardening apron
The traditionalist will love this apron from Williams Sonoma.
Woman dropping essential oils into a glass beaker
Those who want to use their green thumbs for medicinal and therapeutic purposes will love a four-week herbalism class.

Throw in a proper weeding sickle that anyone who knows what a weeding sickle is would sincerely appreciate. $14.79

And while you’re at it, pair it all with these legit Japanese herb shears ($32) and a pair of green leather gloves ($22) to prove once and for all that you have been listening when they regale you with their riveting, detailed garden updates.

You’ve also been listening when their knees crack every time they stand up from tending to their roses. Let’s fix that with a lightweight garden kneeler, complete with pockets for all of their tools. $33

Walnut-inlaid garden shears and flowers with vases
A pair of Japanese-inspired scissors for snipping and trimming in comfort. The handles are ambidextrous—and inlaid with walnut—so they’re comfortable, even without gloves.
Woman watering her garden
It’s said that gardening can lighten mood and reduce levels of stress and anxiety. What better way to show them you care? Photo by Michael Dunning / Getty images
Gardening gloves with scissors and potted herbs
Save their hands with a pair of work gloves. Choose ones that are tough enough to take on prickly plants and dry bark—as well as weather-worn tool handles.

Since they’re spending so much time out there, bright a little storage to them. A natural wood potting bench table is practical (a great spot for their watering can and that weeding sickle you got them) and charming (especially when they give a coveted top spot to their potted basil plants). $72

For the garden lover who has just moved to the big city, something a little more vertical. Like this Farmstand Starter Kit, which is a sustainable vertical garden system that measures 4’10” and is (bonus!) actually not ugly. $599 

If they’ve been “urban farming” (okay, growing mint and rosemary) for a few years and they’re ready for a real upgrade, gift them an urban beehive starter kit. But maybe encourage them to check in with their neighbors first . . . $125 

Trio of herb planters in Famille Rose design
These Famille Rose-patterned herb planters, featuring a multicolored design of botanicals, birds, and butterflies, can be used indoors and out.
Wooden urban beehive
Honey, honey! The city cultivator who wants an upgrade can join in the beekeeping buzz with this urban beehive starter kit.
Everyone needs a classic, weathered urn to proudly display the fruits— flowers or plants—of their labors.

An urban farmer is also likely to be passionate about composting. Help them set a good example for the rest of us with this design-meets-function Mill kitchen food recycler. It uses a smart, tech-y backend to dry and grind food scraps without emitting bad odors. $360

All of this beautiful gardening work deserves a beautiful vessel. Like this 19” stone French urn, perfect for displaying bright, blooming florals ($448). Or perhaps this herb planter set, with Williams Sonoma’s charming Famille Rose motif, designed to be set out and shown off. ($80)

But if you’re not convinced they can be trusted (yet?) with a real-life plant, Afloral has a vast collection of fakes for practicing on. Their Euonymus Japonicus plant would look fabulous in any entryway. ($138)

Hero photo by Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd/Getty images

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