Looking to gift a gardener? Think green.

It’s already December. How did that happen? Holidays and celebrations are fast approaching. If you’re searching for just the right green, economical or resource conserving gift for a gardener, here are a few ideas.

Why not take time to write a check (whether it be tiny or large) to a local food bank. People in Kitsap who have never had to ask for assistance in their lives are now hungry because of worldwide (and local) events that have possibly touched every one of us. It’s amazing what our local food banks can provide for the hungry with donations of just $5, $10 or $15. A donation in your loved one’s name will be a gift that gives back multiple times.

Kitsap County has many parks and preserves, all would welcome a donation of any amount. They are often the first hit with reductions of funding and resources in tough times. Just a few of these are: Stillwaters Environmental Learning Center (Kingston); Bloedel Reserve (Bainbridge Island); IslandWood (Bainbridge Island); Kitsap County Parks and Recreation; Poulsbo Parks and Recreation (Fish Park & Centennial Park); City of Bremerton Parks; City of Port Orchard Parks; and City of Bainbridge Island Parks. The parks in the county and cities are often maintained by grants and donations. Donations from the public count as matching funds for these grants. It is actually amazing what these parks departments manage to provide to the public for free. In tough economic times every penny they receive in donations counts and helps.

How about the gift of your time given to a beloved gardener friend or family member? It doesn’t cost anything to help someone weed, plant or construct items for a garden. Maybe you even have a much coveted plant in your garden. Your friend or family member lusts after the plant, and it turns out the plant is able to be divided and shared? Dig, divide, pot it up and decorate the container with a lovely ribbon and gift it to him/her.

Think recycling, too. Haunt local thrift stores for decorative containers. Add a bag of bulbs, a bag of homemade compost or potting soil, some seed packets or any combination of low-cost gardening accoutrements. Remember to check out the hardware and tools often found at thrift stores. These are often a treasure trove of items any gardener would welcome.

Avoid the crowds and stay at home creating one-of-a-kind items for your favorite gardener. If you sew, make a gardening apron or hat. Paint? How about a small art print of a plant, flower or vegetable? Compose a gardening poem; hand written on a lovely piece of paper and framed. Your writing isn’t too sharp? It’s amazing what computers and a little ingenuity can create for a gardening gift. Let your imagination run free. Even photographs of plants or gardening times shared would make a lovely framed gift.

If you do have some discretionary funds this holiday season and the previous ideas don’t strike your fancy, visit our many locally owned nurseries and bookstores and pick up a gift certificate. Gardeners love to receive gift certificates and you’ll be helping sustain local businesses.

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