If you have a gardener on your holiday gift list we have some great ideas for you. Our master gardener writers each came up with a suggestion based on something they find invaluable for the gardener or something they would like to find under the tree to support their gardening habit.
Barbara Bates: A masonry trowel (about $15 anywhere they sell tools).
A masonry trowel is an inexpensive and readily available tool. It's simple technology that is durable. It does not require an owner's manual or fossil fuel consumption, nor does it contribute to urban noise pollution. They are small, light, feel just right in my hand and fit in a back pocket or your apron so you won't lose it in the garden. This tool is similar to a garden trowel with a pointed tip.
The pointed tip makes it easy to dig in compacted soils and to surgically remove weeds. Keeping the angled sides of the blades sharp maximizes the ease of use and speed of this tool. It can also be used to plant, transplant, create furrows, scrape weeds, chop, pry, tamp, aerate, smooth or level soil.
It is also a pest control device to flick, slice and smash garden pests.
Kitty West: Fisher Blacksmithing large trowel ($68)
In early 2013, I read an article about garden tools made by Fisher Blacksmithing (https://fisherblacksmithing.com), from Bozeman, Mont. Without question, this is an exceptional tool. It is hand-made, well-made and made in America. The name of the company is stamped onto the blade along with a small flower motif. (Pictured right.)
The trowel was not inexpensive. In fact, I had to think twice before I finalized my order!
But I am delighted with the trowel and predict it will be used as long as I continue to garden. If you want to give the gardener in your life a unique tool for Christmas, I recommend you visit the Fisher website and take a look at all of the possibilities.
Eileen Tully: Deluxe Rose Pro's by GardenWorks ($24.99)
The rosarian on your gift list will appreciate a pair of garden gloves intended for the thorny job of pruning roses. Deluxe Rose Pro's by Garden Works are made from 100 percent cow hide and designed with a forearm gauntlet that really protects. I find that the hand and fingers of these gloves are flexible, not thick and cumbersome. You can order them online or find them at Rick's Garden Center, 1827 W. Uintah St., 632-8491.
Fredricka Bogardus: Yard Butler hand garden rake (about $15)
It looks like a small rake, with very flexible tines. It is 19 inches long and has proved invaluable for spring and fall cleanup. The flexible tines allow you to really clean up around shrubs and perennial plants without damaging the plant. The tool is available at local garden centers as well as online at yardbutlerstore.com.
Another favorite is the biggest screwdriver you can find as an all-purpose weed lifting device. This might be a great gift from a child. Have some fun shopping at garage sales, nonprofit thrift stores or even your own tool collection. It doesn't really matter how beat up the tool is, as long as it is as long as a dandelion root and has a comfortable handle.
If none of these ideas appeal to you, consider a gift certificate to a local nursery or garden center to be redeemed when the weather warms up. Or if you are really stuck, how about an IOU for a Saturday morning of yard cleanup services provided by you.
Enjoy your holidays; once we pass the winter solstice, spring is officially on its way and we can get ready to garden again. Our column will be taking a break until Jan. 11. See you next year!
When you have questions, Colorado State University Extension has research-based answers. Get answers to your horticulture questions during the winter months by emailing CSUmg2@elpasoco.com.