Holiday Gifts for Gardeners 2008

Holiday Gifts for Gardeners 2008

Please note that items are listed in U.S prices.

1. Botanicalls DIY Plant Twitter Kit$99.00 How many of us really need this? I don’t really need this. I know when to water my plants. All I have to do is, you know, check them… With my eyes and hands. But the geek in me desperately wants this and that’s why I have listed it first even though I typically list the crazy, ridiculous items last. Place the leads in your plant’s pot and this little D.I.Y doohickey sends updates to a Twitter account on your plant’s status, reminding you when it needs water or has been given too much. The kit comes in pieces — you’ll have to put it together yourself, but for people like me who only passed high school computer science because I could build a working circuit (and those who passed because they could build a working circuit AND actually write and understand BASIC) that’s nearly the best part!

2. Plantable Seed Calendar$24.95 Here’s a pretty little botanically inspired desk calendar that has a life beyond 2009. Each month is impregnated with wildflower seeds that can be planted when the year is out. I also like that the plants are listed since the word “wildflower” is so grossly overused — what’s wild in one region can be horribly invasive in another. Most plantable products become a bit of a guessing game, which could be fun, almost like a botanical surprise pack, if not for the unfortunate surprise that can come once the seeds have sprouted.

3. Metal Word Herb Markers$22.50 These herbal plant markers are simple, understated and very tastefully done. FINALLY!

4. The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control$14.93 I always try to add at least one book to the list and this year I wanted to include something that gardeners of any skill and experience level can use and appreciate. This book is it. I’ve recommended this book countless times over the years because it is the one book on my own shelf that I have turned to most. Pests and diseases are the great leveler — all gardeners, regardless of skill level succumb to them now and again. I consider this book the bible, the go-to book whenever I need to identify an unknown pest or problem or get a good idea of the environmental impact of a particular spray or remedy. And at nearly 600 pages, this book doesn’t miss much.

5. Grobal Self-watering Pot$12.95 Now here’s something that the forgetful gardener can really use. They remind me of the 80s era self-watering planters made by Tupperware, only a heck of a lot nicer. Finally, a pot that is aesthetically pleasing, reasonably priced, and actually useful! Definitely go for the larger pot, the baby version is too small for most houseplants.

6. USB Greenhouse$19.99 Here’s a gift for gardeners doing the 9-5 in front of a computer in a dark and lifeless office cubicle. It looks like the small size could be a barrier to growing anything substantial although it might work for seedlings, or perhaps some leafy greens and microgreens to supplement the boxed lunch. I can’t vouch for the environmental impact of this product since it is running on electricity, but perhaps it makes up for that just a little bit by increasing mental health.

7. Flasher Planter$110 Another item on the pricey side but worth mentioning if someone out there can afford it. I recently suggested this item when Canadian Gardening magazine asked me what I’d like to receive for the Holidays this year. It was a bit of wishful thinking, really, since there is no hope in hell that this will be coming my way anytime soon but still, hilarious isn’t it? And completely appealing to my great love for dioramas.


Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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12 thoughts on “Holiday Gifts for Gardeners 2008

  1. Oh I totally want that USB greenhouse!!! Only thing I’m worried about though is last time I plugged in a complicated USB gadget into my computer it blew out the USB port ;) This greenhouse is so cool though, I might be willing to risk blowing out another one.

  2. Amen about the wildflower mixes being invasive. I’m still ripping up babys breath from a mix I used when I first started gardening. Perhaps in some places, baby’s breath is a tricky plant to grow, and delicately trods along and hesitantly sets new branches.
    Even though I never let it flower after that first year, the seeds just keep coming up, and I keep ripping it up. It was pretty the first year, though rather spooky how vigorous the baby’s breath BUSHES grew and spread into my tomato plots from this little bitty row I planted with a tiny packet of wildflower seeds I got for 10 cents at the Dollar Tree. All the rest of the flowers (weeds, really, except for the marigolds, which are useful in preventing bugs around tomatoes) died in the heat, but baby’s breath just took over.

  3. Think Geek has the plant twitter thing for only $79 (us)I would really only want it if it tweeted things beyond- “I need water.” Maybe mint could share plans of world domination, succulents could complain about being underappreciated at work, venus flytraps could tell me what they had for lunch.

  4. You could make the metal herb markers. Go to a craft store and check out the aisle where you find the metal sheets. You can make far more of them than you’d find in those packets, and for far less. And its lots more fun!

  5. Though nothing is as fun as that USB green house. By jimmany, that thing is calling to me. I may get that for myself!

  6. #4 Is a must! Here is CA we got turned onto that book during the master gardeners program we have. I love the book! Filled with soooo much info…I bet a lot of you could find used on

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