You don't have to be a hardcore gardening enthusiast to become the grateful recipient of a few cool tools. Even novice green thumbs will be inspired to grow things all year long when they unwrap the items on this gift list.
If you're in the mood to give a little GIY (green-it-yourself) motivation, you'll soon discover these gadgets aren't like the ones you'd find in your father's tool shed. We've got some surprising -- and surprisingly handy -- ideas for helping your lawn or garden thrive. These gifts are so engaging, it may be hard to give them away. See what we mean, next.
Garden Tools for the DIYer
This year, you could wrap up a suite of standard garden tools, like a trowel, fork and pruner. Or you could give a high-tech weed assassin. The Rittenhouse Electro Weeder uses heat to obliterate weeds. The tool's ceramic tip heats to a whopping 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius); simply push the tip into a weed and proffer a death sentence that reaches all the way to a weed's roots.
Likewise, you can't go wrong with garden gloves. We prefer Ethel for its lovely patterns and Atlas for its precision fit. In fact, Atlas gloves were initially designed for industrial workers who needed not only gloves, but ones that allowed them to position minute materials.
If the vintage garden marker at Anthropologie were a suitor, we'd have eloped by now. We just can't resist the charm of repurposed silverware that's been etched with a word like "parsley" or "lavender." Not only does it bring order to our garden, but an inspired dash of whimsy, as well.
Better still are the Anthropologie's seed bombs. If you're into guerilla gardening (and who isn't?), these soil and seed balls can simply be thrown into one's yard or garden -- no need to dig a hole -- and wildflowers will begin to grow. The seed mixtures are region specific, they're designed to attract butterflies and birds, and they even come in a cat-friendly version with catnip.
For all the good eggs on your list, opt for "egglings." When cracked open, these ceramic eggs from Red Envelope reveal organic soil and ready-to-grow seeds. Soon, there will be strawberry, mint and petunia plants growing from these unique windowsill containers.
If you're ready to thrill a serious yard master, check out the ideas on the next page.
Yard Tools for the DIYer
Once you move from garden to yard, the toys get bigger -- and come with more serious firepower. Before you spring for a snow blower or tree trimmer, however, consider a gift that brings together this elusive triad: lawn maintenance, golf and a few good laughs. What more could you want from a yard tool?
Hammacher Schlemmer's weed-whacking golf driver is a club that looks like an over-sized driver. But it has a secret panel that, with the push of a button, reveals a working grass trimmer. Sure to make your swing out of the rough go down in history, it's also a good motivator for those who'd rather be hitting the links instead of the lawn care.
For a new take on a classic tool, consider the Hula-Ho. This hoe, shaped like a saddle stirrup, uses a self-sharpening blade to slice through roots below the soil line. The blade wiggles (hence the "hula" in its name) as it cuts through roots without displacing the soil. Pair it with the innovative Snap!Bagger, and your gift selections will remain popular from spring to fall. The Snap!Bagger holds a leaf bag open so you can scoop piled leaves into it -- in one swift motion.
Of course, you could opt for a more artful take on yard tools -- especially when it comes to outdoor pot stands. An iron pot stand with alligator or stork feet offers a Tim Burton-esque twist, and something that surely won't be replicated by other gift givers.
If you'd rather offer a way to solve an age-old tool storage dilemma, we've got stylish options, next.
Lawn and Garden Tool Organization and Storage
Organizational aids -- you know, all those buckets, bins and hooks -- only work if they're part of a larger system that makes sense. Even if you've got the best storage bin on the planet, if it's not located where you need it, you won't reap the benefits. So unless you really understand the organization needs of a gift recipient, consider a gift card to a retailer with lawn and garden storage systems.
That said, there are still a few neat and orderly gifts that simply make sense -- no matter what a person's organizational challenges. We like the Macbeth Collection's tool caddy as much for its good looks as its helpful nature.
Use a cutlery organizer to store and organize small tools. It's a great way to make a drawer full of tools less messy. Plus, the days of reaching blindly into a drawer and having your finger poked with a random pruner will be a distant memory. Just make the cutlery organizer part of your garden tool gift, wrapping it with the tools and all.
An old-fashioned Caldrea galvanized steel bucket in cheery yellow is a great way to decoratively store garden hand tools. Simply fill it with sand and linseed oil to protect the tools when not in use. Likewise, the container itself can become part of the gift. Simply fill it with a few tools, top it with tulle and a bow.
- Anthropologie. "Vintage Garden Markers." (Nov. 15, 2010) Anthropologie.com. http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?subCategoryId=HOME-GARDEN-ACCESSORIES&id=973835&catId=HOME-GARDEN&pushId=HOME-GARDEN&popId=HOME&sortProperties=&navCount=10&navAction=top&fromCategoryPage=true&selectedProduct>
- Anthropologie. "Seed Bombs." (Nov. 15, 2010) http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=073025&parentid=BAYNOTE
- Ethel Gloves. "Ethel Gloves." (Nov. 15, 2010)http://www.ethelgloves.com/
- Family Handyman. "Savvy Home Tool Storage." (Nov. 15, 2010) http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Home-Organization/Tool-Storage/savvy-home-tool-storage#step1
- Hammacher Schlemmer. "The Weed Wacking Golf Driver." (Nov. 15, 2010) http://www.hammacher.com/Product/79148?promo=Outdoor-Living-Garden-Lawn&catid=171
- Red Envelope. "Egglings." (Nov. 15, 2010) http://gifts.redenvelope.com/plants/egglings-25816703?viewpos=67&trackingpgroup=YouMayAlsoLike&REF=REDSRCHgoogkwd_gift+garden+tool_b&PRID=SRCHribbonlad
- Reid, Diana. "Who Invented the Garden Rake?" GardenGuides.com. (Nov. 15, 2010)http://www.gardenguides.com/132086-invented-garden-rake/
- Rittenhouse. "Electro Weeder." (Nov. 15, 2010) http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/Product.asp?PG=2197
- The Macbeth Collection. "Tool Caddy." (Nov. 15, 2010) http://www.themacbethcollection.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_