August 9-11, 2022 | Wisconsin Center | Milwaukee, WI

Sharing the Joy of Gardening this Holiday Season

The holidays are a great time to introduce someone to a hobby that will bring them joy for years to come. While some of the items listed above might not be ideal for the more experienced gardener, they certainly make the idea of gardening fun, simple, and exciting for the newcomer.

People come to the garden center during the holidays for poinsettias, Christmas cactus, decorations, and, of course, Christmas trees. But the garden center can also be the place to create new gardeners this holiday season. When customers come in for their holiday plants and decorations, they are in a position to share their love of everything green with their friends and family. Here are a few gift ideas for you to pass on to your customers.

Seed Kits
A small, manageable project that will yield immediate results is always a great way to get into something new. Growing kits make gardening accessible to everyone, and there are kits for just about everyone’s tastes. These kits typically include a planter, soil, seeds, and instructions for growing. There are kits for growing salad greens, kits for growing herbs, even kits for growing tea. And for those who want to nurture the next generation of gardeners, there are lots of fun kits for children.

These little gardens look great on a kitchen windowsill, but for those without such a luxury, there are indoor herb gardens with their own LED lights. The Harvest 360 by AeroGarden, for example, includes an LED light with automatic timer and a sensor detailing when to add water or fertilizer.

Raised Beds
For the new gardener not willing or able to till up their whole backyard—and for the gardener who just doesn’t have the space—raised beds are the perfect solution. While container gardening itself makes growing for food or decoration less intimidating, taking the uncertainty of watering out of the equation makes it even more approachable. There are many manufacturers with self-watering raised beds on the market at a wide range of price points. These beds include a reservoir that provides water to the soil above through a wicking action.

Transporting and assembling a bulky raised bed might seem like too much work for a new gardener. The Smart Pot is one portable product that takes assembly out of the picture. Rather than a wooden or metal box, Smart Pots are made from a flexible fabric that can last up to five years. Plus, for the independent garden center where space is at a premium, collapsible Smart Pots don’t take up a lot of space on the floor.

Gardening Gear
Seeds, soil, a container to grow it all in…the only things missing are the tools. Getting the right tools can be overwhelming for a new gardener. Do I need a hoe? Pitchfork? Hand tiller? Pointy shovel and flat shovel? Which one is called a spade? Do I need both? Good thing there’s a single tool that makes all of these questions irrelevant.

The hori hori is a fashionable, functional, and intuitive multipurpose gardening tool. It has a concave, pointed blade with a straight edge and a serrated edge, so it can be used for digging, cutting, and sawing. Think of it as a trowel, pruning saw, and machete all in one. Some models even have a 6 in/15 cm ruler etched into the blade. Such a tool simplifies the workflow keeps the user from bending and twisting in search of tools, as the right tool for the job is always at hand. Both novice and experienced gardeners would be excited to unwrap one of these.

They say you should dress for the job you want. That same logic extends to hobbies, as well, and that new gardener on your customer’s shopping list might feel a lot more at home outdoors if they looked the part in an apron and a pair of gloves. Nitrile gloves are hypoallergenic, easy to clean, and allow for greater freedom of movement than cloth gloves. Paired with a matching apron, they’ll be gardening in style. And speaking of style, the Roo apron is both stylish and innovative. Their aprons come in a variety of colors, with a unique kangaroo pouch on the front capable of carrying a bountiful harvest.

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