1. A Garden Dibble. This is the kind of thing gardeners won’t often buy for themselves. A dibble, a pointy hand tool, made of wood or metal is really handy bulb-planting tool, or it can be used to make quick holes for any seedling.
2. A funny Gardening Book to tide a gardener over the winter. I recommend Canadian author Des Kennedy, who has been described as “howlingly funny”. I would agree. His first book, Crazy About Gardening made me laugh out loud. I think I am due for a re-read. His newer books look enticing too. ( I think I am creating my own wish list here.)
3. An Amaryllis. (Hemerocallis) These super easy to grow bulbs give a floral display for a couple of weeks in the wintertime. Indoor gardening at its easiest and prettiest. You can’t go wrong with these, and they last for years if planted outside for the summer and brought in again.
4. A Garden Diary. Lee Valley Tools has an amazing one that goes for 10 years. Each year is stacked so you can compare the years easily. The Toronto Gardener’s Journal is also really very useful. Created by Margaret Bennet-Alder, it’s a diary that also comes with a weekly garden tip, and a massively comprehensive list of resources, like suppliers, soil maps, frost times and much more. Margaret has been revising this Journal for several years and it gets better every year.
5. High Quality Garden Tools. One of the best tools I own is a stainless steel transplanting spade, from Lee Valley. It’s especially useful in small gardens when you are trying to fit something in between plants that are already growing. I use it for everything, and it’s a great size for women.
6. High Quality Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder. Fiesta Gardens sells many different styles of bird feeders. Turning eyes outward to see nature is a wonderful way for a gardener—or anyone— to continue to enjoy their garden through the winter months. Don’t forget to wrap up some bird seed too. Black oil sunflower seed is the best for all birds.