Q: My wife is an avid gardener, and I'm a last-minute shopper. How about some ideas beyond another potted plant?
A: Some gardening items make nice stocking stuffers, and some are quite luxurious additions to the garden.
For a small but interesting gift, consider hitting the Internet for a fabulous Japanese weeder. This sharp-bladed weeder is easy to hold and works wonders in the flower border. The triangular blade has a narrow, pointed end for scratching out between cracks in pavement and a wide end for yanking out pesky weeds. It is a jewel. Any other glamorous handheld tools, such as classic Felco pruners, are delightful gifts.
If your wife has a lot of potted plants, you might consider some hand-thrown pots at local art stores or colorful Italian glazed pottery. Large urns by the front doors make a statement. Just be sure they are large enough to hold her plants.
Wooden arbors that can be a focal point in her garden could host a climbing rose, or a new English garden bench would be a comfortable addition. Don't forget the myriad styles of bird baths. They range from solid-granite Japanese-style ones to delicate wrought iron to sturdy aluminum with an antiqued finish.
Local garden centers, florists and home stores have all sorts of new outdoor garden ideas. How about a romantic set of matching Adirondack chairs painted her favorite color? If she is a down-to-earth gardener, I know one who was thrilled by an entire truckload of shredded hardwood mulch. Take a stroll through her garden, and you might be inspired.
Email Pat Lea at firstname.lastname@example.org.