Martha Stewart's Christmas gift list once again includes items "perfect for the gardener on your holiday list." Topping the list is a pair of gold-plated earrings in the shape of large, dangling string beans for $125. I'll try not to look disappointed, but what I really want is a new pruner instead.

It's fun to give Christmas gifts that you'd enjoy receiving yourself. Most gardeners would appreciate unique gifts that are sturdy and useful. In past years, my suggestions for gardeners have focused on things found locally.

But considering the reality and ease of online shopping, I thought it important to investigate unique and useful items ordered online in addition to local purchases.

Fun and practical gardening gifts found at include these useful items:

  • AeroGarden Indoor Garden, $70 to $300. These countertop gardens are all-in-one growing units that include LED light and all materials to grow a self-contained garden of herbs, salads and other crops. I've heard positive reviews from local gardeners who've tried these systems developed by the Miracle Gro Company.
  • Wenfeng Seeding Heat Mat, $14. Heating pads designed for starting seeds early indoors are invaluable. I wouldn't be without several, and different brands are available.
  • Back to the Roots Mushroom Farm, $20. An all-in-one mushroom growing kit, guaranteed to grow a box of table-ready mushrooms.
  • Najiri Kama Hand Weeding Sickle, $24. This sturdy wood-handled tool has a small, curved blade just right for close weeding of flowers or vegetables, or thinning too-thick garden rows.
  • Little Burro Wheelbarrow Tray, $50. Attaches to a wheelbarrow with compartments to hold tools, drink bottle, plant tray, cell phone and more to turn a wheelbarrow into a garden workshop, while the tub remains useable.
  • Fiskars Garden Bucket Caddy, $15. Canvas pack fits inside a five-gallon bucket with pouches to hold pruner, trowels and other hand tools.
  • The Garden Journal, by Journals Unlimited, $20. Most of us wish we kept better yearly gardening records, and this journal makes it easier.
  • Square Foot Gardening, book by author Mel Bartholomew, new and used book prices from $5 up. One of the best-selling gardening books, this time-tested method makes vegetable gardening successful in today's small yards.
  • VonHaus 2-in-1 Portable Folding Garden Kneeler, Bench and Seat Stool, $25. Perfect as we age, the folding unit is a kneeler that helps boost gardeners back up from ground-level, and it flips over, becoming a bench when gardening requires sitting.
  • Educational Insights Sprout and Grow Window, $20. Clear, window-like self-standing planter lets you, or a budding horticulturist, see what happens below soil level as roots grow.
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For those who prefer to shop locally, most gardeners would appreciate receiving clay pots, drainage saucers, rooting hormone, houseplant systemic insecticide, apple picker, pole pruner, pond kit, water fountain, yard ornaments, sundial, metal or wooden bench, rain barrel, galvanized pails, garden gloves, waterproof plant labels and marking pen, twist ties, plant lights, garden center gift certificates, rabbit and deer repellent, soil thermometer and rain gauge.

Don Kinzler, a lifelong gardener, worked as an NDSU Extension horticulturist and owned Kinzler's Greenhouse in Fargo. Readers can reach him at

He also blogs at