It’s that time of year again! That time when we realize we don’t know our loved ones all that well, and are left turning to lists of gift ideas that refer to your partner as your “main squeeze“, and ask you to ponder questions like whether your best friend is more of a “dreamer” or the “ultimate bohemian.” And as this years “Gifts for the Gardener” lists begin to appear, I feel I need to make a public service announcement about what gifts you should definitely not be giving the gardener in your life.
1. Seed Bombs Seed bombs are a favor you give to guests at a wedding, who will then throw them out the window on their drunken drive home and forget it ever happened. And although they were once “all the rage” and let you use phrases of the moment like “guerilla gardening,” they are not something you give to a serious gardener. This person spends hours of his or her life carefully curating the exact look and mood of their outdoor space. To suggest this person simply “bomb” their garden with a handful of unidentified seeds is horrifying.
2. Herb Garden Kit Trust me, if you have a close friend who identifies as a gardener, I can guarantee you that person does not need a kit to start an herb garden. I can also guarantee you that they already have an assortment of at least 20 variously opened and unopened herb seed packets, and may or may not be currently waging a war on the mint that is running rampant through their flowerbed. Herbs are some of the easiest plants to come by and grow, so if you want to show your gardener friend some respect, why not give them something challenging and exciting?
3. Gardening Journal I have never met a gardener who took the time to write out and track by hand exactly what was growing in their garden and when (with stickers, no less). This is the 21st century. That’s what we have blogs for.
4. Spoon Garden Markers Just no. Absolutely not. If I wanted my yard to look like someone dumped their dishwasher out on it, I’d do it myself. What’s more, if I have an herb garden and I want things to be marked, they’ve been marked. I’m not going to DIY extra antique spoon markers because the set of six you gave me doesn’t include anything fun like shiso or borage. And for that reason, stay away from garden markers altogether.
5. Terrariums DON’T DO IT, MAN! The last time the terrarium was a non-ironic gift was back in 2009.
Keep in mind that this list assumes your friend is an actual, dyed-in-the-wool plant lover and knows their stuff. An herb garden kit might actually make a decent gift for someone who’s never gardened before but has expressed interest in growing something. But for the most part, these are things that are bound to either be re-gifted or lost in a drawer somewhere. If you’re interested in getting the gardener in your life something totally kickass, on the other hand, stay tuned for our next post, 5 Awesome Gifts for the Discerning Gardener.