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Garden gifts for Florida gardeners

Do you need gift ideas for the Florida-Friendly gardeners in your life?

Gardeners can be the easiest folks to please when it comes to choosing holiday gifts.  If you have gardeners on your Christmas list, here are some gift ideas that will be sure winners.

Books

Gardeners love books, but be aware that plants and growing conditions of our central Florida location are very specific, often differing greatly from other areas of the U.S.  Since many gardening books address gardening in other climates, make sure your book selections address Florida gardening issues.  (Books on design, inspiration, history and similar topics, of course, are fine for all climates.)

Books for Florida Gardeners

Books for Florida Gardeners. Photo credit: Molly Griner, UF/IFAS Master Gardener

One good source for Florida gardening books is the University of Florida Extension Service.  You can order books online from the University of Florida, IFAS Bookstore.  Book titles cover a great variety of gardening topics:  butterfly and pollinator gardening, sustainable gardening, edible gardening, lawn care, plant identification, native plants for urban landscapes and much more!

Magazines

Magazines and journals are also great gifts.  One magazine that is published especially for Florida gardening conditions is Florida Gardening, published 6 times a year.  This magazine often has articles which include Florida-Friendly and/or sustainable gardening topics.  It also includes informative articles on seasonal garden issues,  written by University of Florida Extension Agents.

Plants
Evergreen shrub wrapped for gift giving.

Evergreen shrub wrapped for gift giving. Photo credit: Molly Griner, UF/IFAS Master Gardener

This seems an obvious choice, and for a good reason:  gardeners love their plants!  At this time of the year, choices could include holiday plants (poinsettias, bromeliads, red-blooming annuals, or potted amaryllis that can be planted later in the landscape).  A Florida-Friendly gift plant idea is a native Eastern Red Cedar tree.  When young, this plant is shaped like a Christmas tree.  You can “wrap” the container with burlap and a red bow to be used as a natural decoration during the holidays.  After the season, this wonderful tree can be planted outside.  (This tree needs a sunny space with lots of room to grow.  If your gardener does not have space at home, he or she can perhaps donate this tree to a school or church that has more growing space.  In time, the cedar tree will mature and offer shade and a welcoming home for birds.)

Gift baskets

Garden-themed gift baskets can be made with a lot of fun and creativity.  Pack a terra cotta pot with gloves (gardeners ALWAYS need gloves!), Florida wildflower seeds, hand clippers, small trowel, garden magazine, sunscreen, reusable water bottle and any other garden item you can imagine.

Garden gift basket

Garden gift basket. Photo credit: Molly Griner, UF/IFAS Master Gardener

On a tight budget? 

How about offering your time?  Give your gardener a “gift certificate” for a morning spent in his or her yard, helping out with weeding or other chores of their choosing.

Gift Certificate

Still trying to think of a gift for your gardener?  Gift certificates are certainly always appreciated.  In addition to our large corporate stores, think “outside the box”.  Polk County is home to some incredible locally-owned small nurseries and shops from which to choose.  Shop locally for interesting and different gardening possibilities.

These are only a few gift ideas for your Florida-Friendly gardener.  Any of them will add joy to your gardening friend or family member!

This blog post was written by Master Gardener Molly Griner under supervision of the Master Gardener Coordinator and Residential Horticulture Agent Anne Yasalonis.

For more information, contact UF/IFAS Extension Polk County at (863) 519-1041 or visit us online at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/polk.  The Plant Clinic is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm to answer your gardening and landscaping questions. Visit us in person, give us a call, or email us at polkmg@ifas.ufl.edu.

The Florida Master Gardener Program is a volunteer-driven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and the citizens of Florida.  The program  extends the vision of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, all the while protecting and sustaining natural resources and environmental systems, enhancing the development of human resources, and improving the quality of human life through the development of knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and making that knowledge accessible.

An Equal Opportunity Institution.

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