Best Gifts for Gardeners: What They Secretly Wish They Get

I’m smiling right now. I’ve got the perfect gardening gift for my friend who is retiring – a bag of seed starter soil mix. What can I say? I nailed it. If you want to find the best gifts for gardeners, you have to think like them.

What you think is a bad gift, is glorious to them. I empathize with gardening enthusiasts when they add something to a Christmas wish list, and nobody gets it for them – because they think it’s dumb.

Take it from me, a fellow gardener, when we say we want something, we mean it! Step away from the windchime and cheesy garden gifts. I’m about to rock your world and give you a solid list of gifts for gardeners who have everything.

If you are struggling to find a Christmas or birthday gardening gift (or retirement gardening gift) for mom, dad, or special someone, it will be easy. They are going to love you forever because they will finally be heard and understood.

Let’s begin!

Table of Contents

Gifts every garden enthusiast will love

There are some very basic gardening gifts that work well, regardless of the type of gardening. Consider these all-around garden gifts that work great for a gift basket or solo.

  • gardening gloves
  • gardening clothes/aprons
  • gardening boots
  • gardening UV hat
  • good quality gardening tools/equipment
  • tool sharpening services
  • sun tan lotion/hand repair lotion
  • books about gardening (I’ve enjoyed many of the Jerry Baker Gardening Books)
  • subscription to a gardening magazine
  • gift card to a garden center, local nursery, or home improvement store
  • repotting mats
  • new plants (exotic plant seeds or more challenging plants to grow, unusal like carnivorous plants, or just a new flower color they don’t have in their perennial garden)

HNXTYAOB Repotting Mat for Indoor Plant Transplanting and Potting Soil Mess Control Portable Succulent Planting Potting Tray Gardening Gifts for Women Men Plant Lover Gifts (Orange 26.8" x 26.8")

Berlune Men Sun Hat with 2 Solar Fan Fishing Hats Wide Brim Sun Hat for Outdoor Summer Camping Beach, USB & Solar Powered (Simple Style) Dark Gray

Osznmmg Gardening Apron with Pockets,Gardening Apron for Harvesting Gardening Weeding,Home Cleaning,Waterproof and Adjustable,for Mother's Day Gift

Gifts for older gardeners

Just a note about buying gifts for older gardeners. Obviously, you want to look for gifts that are not too heavy, are ergonomic and won’t fatigue hands. If this is a retirement gift for someone, they may not be an elderly gardener now, but aches and pains will come! Make their gardening days as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.

  • Comfortable knee pads or a kneeling pad to provide cushioning and support while gardening.
  • A lightweight and durable garden apron with multiple pockets for carrying tools and supplies.
  • A raised garden bed or elevated planter to make gardening more accessible.
  • A selection of easy-to-grow and low-maintenance plants.
  • A folding garden seat or stool to provide a place to rest while working in the garden.

If you have a gardening enthusiast in your life, you know how much they love spending time in their garden. Whether they have a small balcony garden or a large backyard garden, they appreciate gifts that help them take their gardening to the next level. Here are some gift ideas that every gardener will love.

Experience gifts for gardeners

An experience gift may be the perfect non-material gift for the gardener in your life! Here are some experience gift ideas:

Special garden art decor

I’m not talking about plastic garden decor you buy from Walmart. If this is a gardening gift for mom or dad retiring, you want something extra special.

Consider a beautiful water fountain, an artist-made pot, or antique garden sculptures. Nice antique garden sculptures. Think unique, like an armillary, antique birdbath, a vintage cement urn, or a sundial.

Quite honestly, I’m feeling pretty giddy of the possibilties. There is a whole world out there beyond same-old same-old kitschey garden baubles. I’m begging you, elevate your garden gift!!

You might even consider outdoor wall art for outdoor living spaces. If this works in your climate, go for it!

Gifts for balcony gardeners

If your gardening friend has a small balcony garden, they will appreciate gifts that help them maximize their space. By the way, “balcony gifts” start with the letter B. If you need an idea page for balcony decor, check that out.

Apartment dwellers with balconies can garden on a small scale. A gift box filled with small pots, a pot maker, and some seeds is also a great idea. A tote bag to carry their gardening supplies is another useful gift. Consider this line up of great gifts for balcony gardeners:

  1. Compact and stackable planters to maximize space and allow for a variety of plants.
  2. A balcony railing planter box to add greenery without taking up floor space.
  3. Hanging planters or baskets to create vertical gardens and add visual interest.
  4. Lightweight and durable gardening tools specifically designed for container gardening.
  5. Self-watering planters to help maintain consistent moisture for balcony plants.
  6. A selection of compact and low-maintenance plants, such as dwarf varieties or succulents.
  7. Solar-powered garden lights or lanterns to add ambiance and extend outdoor enjoyment.
  8. Potting soil, coco coir bricks (they are great since they keep forever and don’t need much room), fancy mineral substrate for succulents.

Bloom: Flowering Plants for Indoors and Balconies

2B-GARDEN Window Deck Box Railing Planter Boxes with Coco Liner (Pack 4), 24'' Window Basket Deck Railing Planter Boxes, Weatherproof/Durable Metal Hanging Flower Planter for Outdoor Garden Fence Law

The Edible Balcony: Growing Fresh Produce in Small Spaces

Gifts for indoor gardeners

For indoor gardeners, a grow kit is a great gift. It comes with everything they need to start growing their own indoor plants, including seeds, soil, and a container. A self-waterer is also a great gift for indoor gardeners because it takes the guesswork out of watering their plants. A watering wand and a pair of pruners are also useful tools for indoor gardeners.

If your friend wants to start a new hobby, they should check out a Bonsai Starter Kit. “Bonsai Trees” are another gift that start with the letter B. On that page, I cover all the Bonsai-related tools to start this hobby (that’s why kits are a good way to get started. Also know that the Bonsai hobby promotes relaxation – perfect for a retirement gift!

Herb Garden Hydroponics Growing System - MUFGA 12 Pods Indoor Gardening System with LED Grow Light, Plants Germination Kit(No Seed) with Pump System,Height Adjustable, Ideal Gardening Gifts for Women

Bonsai Tree kit -NIFSEL Bonsai Growing Kit - Complete Starter kit, 5 Types of Trees - Culture Medium, Plant Marker, Burlap Pots - Indoor Garden Gardening - Unique Garden Gift, Housewarming Present

Gifts for flower and herb gardeners

Flower gardeners love anything that helps them grow beautiful blooms. They will enjoy raised herb beds.

A set of gardening gloves is a great gift for flower gardeners because it protects their hands while they work in the garden. A set of shears is also a useful tool for flower gardeners to prune their plants. A watering can is another great gift for flower gardeners because it allows them to water their plants without disturbing the soil.

My daughter-in-law’s mother is an avid herb gardener. She uses outdoor boxes like these so she doesn’t have to bend down:

Best Choice Products Elevated 8 Pocket Herb Garden Bed, Mobile Raised Customizable Wood Planter for Herbs, Vegetables, Flowers w/Lockable Wheels, Storage Shelf, Drainage Holes - Acorn Brown

FOYUEE Raised Planter Box with Legs Outdoor Elevated Garden Bed On Wheels for Vegetables Flower Herb Patio

Other gifts for flower gardeners: a flower they don’t have. There is always room for one more flower in their flower garden. Growing flowers gives joy and personal fulfillment – it’s good for the soul!

Gifts for aquatic gardeners

If your gardening friend has an aquatic garden, they will appreciate gifts that help them maintain their pond or water feature.

A pond net is a great gift for aquatic gardeners to keep their pond free of debris. A water testing kit is also a useful gift for aquatic gardeners to ensure the water quality is optimal for their fish and plants.

Pond hobbyists are always looking for things to tuck in and around their pond. Consider water plants and pond-friendly plants, as well as ornamental grasses to surround their favorite water spot. A garden bench makes a great resting spot so they can sit and enjoy looking at their pond.

DEERFAMY Pond Net Dome, 10×14 FT Pond Cover with 2 Doors, Pond Mesh Tent with 4 Ropes, 16 Stakes, and Fiberglass Poles, Pond Netting for Koi, Outdoor Ponds, Pool and Gardens, Black

Aquascape 74004 Pond Shark Net Skimming, Maintenance and Water Garden Tool, Blue 60-inch

Toledo Goldfish Standard Fin Koi, Variety of Colors and Patterns - Beautiful Live Fish Perfect for Ponds, Tanks, and Aquariums - 4-5 Inches, 10 Count

Gifts for seed starting saving

Bless those special people that save and start their own seeds. You already know how passionate they are about this special hobby.

For novel gifts, look into memberships to a heritage seed site. It can give them access to a wider variety, discounts and freebies. A friend shared with me that memberships help fund various display gardens and business expansion. You can even gift a membership to a local organic growers co-op.

Seed starting gifts can include:

These photo storage boxes (center photo) are excellent for storing seeds (just scooped this tip up from a seed starting class I took this weekend!). If you want to be a real rock star, give a timer to add to the grow lights. My favorite is the BN-LINK timer (I even use it to set my Christmas tree lights!).

2 Pack 21W Seedling Heat Mat for Seed Starting,10" x 20.75" Waterproof Heating Pad for Indoor Plants Germination

Photo Storage Box 4x6, 18 Inner Extra Large Organizer Acid-Free Photo Keeper Storage Case, Plastic Craft Storage Box for Stickers Stamps Seeds (Clear, 18 Boxes)

iGrowtek 2ft Grow Light for Seed Starting,LED Grow Lamp for Indoor Plants,Seedling Grow Light with Stand,Seed Starter Light Kit with Natural White Spectrum,Height Adjustable,Iron Frame,ON-Off Switch

As mentioned previously, consider an experience gift to a place like This nationally-recognized organization in Iowa saves heirloom seeds and offers them to the public for sale.

From their website: “Seed Savers Exchange stewards America’s culturally diverse and endangered garden and food crop legacy for present and future generations. We educate and connect people through collecting, regenerating, and sharing heirloom seeds, plants, and stories.”

Gifts for backyard gardeners

There are loads of gift opportunities for gardeners with gardens in their backyard. There is no shortage of space for gardening equipment, plants, and related hobbies. These are the real gifts that gardeners desire:

The gift of dirt

You heard me right – dirt. There are backyard gardeners dreaming about premium compost, aged manure, rotted bales of straw, and any source of mulch. Beware of free public grass clippings as they may contain chemicals. Be their gift hero and give it to them.

Another related gift is to arrange to borrow someone’s truck to pick up/deliver these soil-enhancing products. I just found out about the website Chip Drop. Gardeners get free wood chips, while arborists have a local drop site for their wood chips and logs. Yeah!

Don’t forget some nice bark for landscaping. That cost adds up fast, I know I would be grateful to receive it (as I envision my dream backyard!).

Espoma Organic Seed Starter Premium Potting Soil Mix - All Natural & Organic Seed Starting Mix with Mycorrhizae. For Organic Gardening, 16 qt, bag - Pack of One

Wiggle Worm 100% Pure Organic Worm Castings Fertilizer, 30-Pounds - Improves Soil Fertility and Aeration for Houseplants, Vegetables, Gardens, and More – OMRI-Listed and Mineral-Dense

Along with the gift of dirt, you can also gift the labor to go with it. That manure and compost isn’t going to spread itself! I look forward to Mother’s Day because that’s when I guilt the entire family to work in the garden (real gardeners would rather have this than go out for brunch).

Gear for hardcore backyard gardeners

These gardeners aren’t kidding around. They have some big wish items on their dream garden gift list. Is this the year you splurge and give it to them?

  • Electric weed trimmers
  • Wood chipper/shredder
  • Greenhouse
  • Garden shed
  • Rain barrel
  • Composter
  • Raised beds
  • Tubtrugs and other large moving containers
  • Irrigation systems (gift certificate to
  • Pest control, traps, BB guns for pests
  • Solar-powered fan hat (it’s a thing, they will be excited if working outside in hot weather)
  • GOOD garden markers – best thing I did was to buy some cheap white marker flags just to mark where things were before they sprouted
  • Bird and squirrel feeders, and equipment like a birdbath de-icer
  • Quality garden hose and sprayer/nozzle
  • Rocks, landscaping chips, paving bricks, landscaping edging
  • Big rocks (I lovingly refer to this as a “statement” piece rock)
  • Garden wagon/wheelbarrow
  • Special chair to sit on when working soil/landscaping
  • Professionally built garden fence
  • Compost tea brewing system or some Boogie Brew (I’ve enjoyed many of the Jerry Baker Gardening Books – he talks about compost tea in them)
  • Weed control! People rave about the Fiskers 4-Claw Weed Puller or similar device for dandelions
  • High-grade tools, and the right tool for the job, like a Hori Hori garden knife (I don’t have one, all I know is that gardeners rave about it!)

DWVO 6' x 4' Outdoor Storage Shed, Large Metal Tool Sheds, Heavy Duty Storage House with Lockable Doors & Air Vent for Backyard Patio Lawn to Store Bikes, Tools, Lawnmowers,Dark Gray

Miracle-Gro 4-in-1 Garden Stool – Multi-Use Garden Scooter with Seat – Rolling Cart with Storage Bin– Padded Kneeler and Tool storage - Accessible Gardening for All Ages + FREE Scotts Gardening Gloves

Greenhouse for Outdoors with Screen Windows, Ohuhu Walk in Plant Greenhouses Heavy Duty with Durable PE Cover, 3 Tiers 12 Shelves Stands 4.8x4.8x6.3 FT Plastic Portable Green House with Shelf Clips

Technology gifts for gardeners

I’ve heard that when people retire, they just want peace and quiet. It also turn out that gardening gifts for retirement are well sought after. Here are some technology gifts to help your gardening friend be one with nature.

Gardening can be a calming and meditative activity, but sometimes you need a little extra stimulation to get through the day. Technology can provide that stimulation. Here are two technology gifts that can help make gardening more enjoyable.

Gardening classes

Gardeners are always learning! If your family or friend is entering retirement, they may be picking up a new hobby or want to learn more. Whether it’s enjoying a class hosted by a state extension service, or partaking online, classes are great gifts for gardeners. They can enjoy in-person or online.

If your gardener is not familiar with the world of YouTube, set them up with a tour and show them topics that they can enjoy online.

Noise canceling headphones

If you’re working in a noisy environment, noise-canceling headphones can be a lifesaver. They can help block out the sound of traffic, lawn mowers, noisy neighbors, and other distractions so you can focus on your gardening. You can even listen to your favorite music or podcast while you work.

Some popular noise-canceling headphones include the Bose QuietComfort series and the Sony WH-1000XM4. Both are wireless and have excellent noise-canceling capabilities. They’re also comfortable to wear for long periods of time, so you can garden to your heart’s content.

3M Worktunes headphones/ear protection with a real noise reduction rating, and they’re great, can’t hear anything when the music is going.

Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones Bundle with Adapters and Cables - Over Ear, Black

3M Worktunes Bluetooth Hearing Protection with Am/fm Radio, Black and Grey

Waterproof speaker

If your gardening friend doesn’t like to wear headphones, they might go for a waterproof speaker instead. They’re great for singing in the shower, enjoying the tunes at the beach, camping, or of course, gardening. This versatile gift idea would get a lot of use. They can connect it via bluetooth and listen to podcasts or books on tape for long days in the garden.

NiceBuy Rock Speakers Outdoor Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Garden Speakers with TWS Pair Function,Outdoor Landscape Speakers Low Voltage for Deck Patio Yard BBQ

Upgraded, Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker with IPX5 Waterproof, Stereo Sound, 24H Playtime, Portable Wireless Speaker for iPhone, Samsung and More

EBODA Bluetooth Shower Speaker, Portable Bluetooth Speakers, IP67 Waterproof Wireless Speaker with LED Light, Floating, 2000mAh, True Wireless Stereo for Kayak, Beach, Gifts for unisex -Black

Podcast subscription

Podcasts are a great way to learn about gardening while you work. They’re informative, entertaining, and can help you stay up-to-date on the latest gardening trends. There are many gardening podcasts to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that suits your interests.

Some popular gardening podcasts include The Joe Gardener Show, Epic Gardening, and The RHS Gardening Podcast. You can listen to them on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Just subscribe to your favorite podcast app and start listening.

Apps for gardeners

Your gardener will enjoy being able to quickly identify plants, plan their garden, and get fast gardening advice from these gardening apps. As long as they’re outside, they would also enjoy the Merlin bird identifyer app for birds they see and hear – it’s free!

  1. Garden Tags: This app helps gardeners identify plants, connect with other gardeners, and keep track of their garden’s progress.
  2. Gardenize: Gardenize allows users to plan, organize, and keep a digital journal of their garden. It also provides tips and reminders for gardening tasks.
  3. SmartPlant: SmartPlant offers plant identification, care advice, and a digital garden journal to help gardeners keep track of their plants.
  4. iScape: This app allows gardeners to virtually design and plan their outdoor spaces, including adding plants, trees, and hardscape features.
  5. My Garden: My Garden provides personalized gardening advice based on the user’s location and the plants they are growing. It also offers a garden journal and plant care reminders.

These apps can help gardeners with plant identification, garden planning, care advice, and connecting with other gardening enthusiasts.

The gift wrap up

I hope you can see how lame it would be to give a gardener a gift of windchimes. There is a world full of magnificent gardening gifts, now you just have to narrow down your choices.

Yours in gardening, Renee

Older man kneeling down gardening in his backyard.
Many people look forward to gardening after retirement.
Smiling young woman working in her garden.
People find joy when working in their garden!

Renee Cavvy
Renee Cavvy

Renee brings over 30 years of gift giving experience to holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, workplace and faith events. Every life moment is cause for celebration or those times in life when we need the "the gift of support". Her mission: Let's all be better in appreciating one another, put an end to meaningless gifts that clutter our lives, and give from a place of love and kindness. This midwest mom (and grandma) offers novel and creative ideas to do gift giving better!