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While I love what I call “indoor crafts,” sometimes there’s nothing like digging in the dirt to soothe my soul, and growing things–whether it’s a bonsai, an orchid, or a tomato plant–really is a craft. Most of us gardeners spend the winter months dreaming of summer and plotting for spring, so reward the green thumb in your life with one of these garden gifts.
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Box of Ladybugs ($40 for 4,500)
I have always secretly wanted a box of ladybugs. How cool is that? The mailman drops off a box of thousands of live, beautiful, wish-bestowing ladybugs! And then they clear up your aphid problem. Enough said. (You can even buy them a cozy house.)



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West County Gardening Gloves ($20-$30)
Every gardener needs a good pair of gloves. I must admit I am partial to West County gardening gloves (shout out to my hometown!), but they are seriously good gloves. Some models are made from recycled plastic bottles; others are reinforced with kevlar for tough jobs. There’s a wide range of sizes for a snug, comfy fit, and even a pair for the little budding gardener in your life. (I can’t wait for until my son is old enough to need a pair.) The comfort and durability make them a no-brainer, the machine-washability is a plus, and the fun, bright colors are the icing on the cake.

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Mini Greenhouse ($45 and up up up)
Not everyone has room for a greenhouse to extend the growing season (or the pocketbook to buy one), but there are a surprising number of smaller (and cheaper) options, ranging from cold frames to “lean-to” greenhouses to portable greenhouses. Eat your own tomatoes next New Year’s Day (or have fun trying)!

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Grobal Self-Watering Pots ($25+)
Brookelynn, our in-house hydroponics and bonsai guru, pointed me to these yumdelicious self-watering pots. These can turn anyone into a green thumb! Place one in your living room to add a spot of color or create an installation.

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Micro-Tip Scissors ($16)
Brookelynn also recommends these Fiskars Micro-Tip Scissors; in her words, they are her “all-time favorite scissors for bonsai and cut flowers.”

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Tobisho Pruner ($72)
In that vein, my all-time favorite pruner is this traditionally hand-forged Tobisho pruner. It’s not cheap, but after agonizing in the store for 45 minutes, I couldn’t be happier. It is so sharp it makes pruning a pleasure. Hida Tools also has a range of great gardening saws, shears and loppers.

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How To Grow More Vegetables ($20)
And don’t forget gardening books! This is a modern classic that will have valuable tips for even seasoned gardeners, whether they have a few containers on a roof or a luxurious vegetable garden out back. The plant guy at our local farmer’s market got his recipe for “plant crack” from this book, and I can attest that it does wonders.

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Common Landscape of America ($29)
While not a gardening book per se, this fascinating history of landscape by Harvard professor John Stilgoe is scholarly but a riveting read. You’ll never look at the world we live in quite the same way again. (His Outside Lies Magic is an even quicker read, but less specifically about gardening.)