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How to Make Your Own Gardening Gift Baskets and Save Money
By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning writer and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading online source of for growing tomatoes in the home garden.
Gardening gift baskets are a thoughtful way to provide a personalized gift for the gardeners in your life.
And it’s fun to make them. You get to choose a theme, items that fit that theme, and arrange them in a pleasing way. Your gift basket can fit any occasion from birthdays to holidays, housewarmings, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or as a gesture of appreciation. Whether it's a gardening-themed birthday or a thank-you gift for a host, a well-curated gift basket fits many situations.
How to create your own gardening gift baskets
Step 1: Choose a theme
Focus your gardener’s gift basket on a specific type of vegetable gardening … a particular aspect of gardening … even a selected color. Choose a theme by tailoring it to the recipient. What’s the gardener’s level of interest? If she’s a beginning gardener, she may welcome basic gardening essentials. But if he has been gardening for a couple of decades, he will enjoy gadgets and extras that he needs to replace or that he might not purchase for himself. Here are some creative and practical themes for DIY gardening gift baskets.
- Herb enthusiast basket: gather a variety of herb seeds or seedlings, small pots, high-quality soil, herb scissors, recipes for herbal teas and vinegars, and a guide on using herbs in cooking.
- Organic gardening basket: include organic seeds, natural fertilizers, compostable pots, a sustainable watering can, and a tip sheet on organic gardening practices.
- Salsa garden kit: select tomato and pepper seeds and seedlings that are appropriate for the gardener’s growing zone. Add in cilantro plants and onion and garlic bulbs. Finish off with salsa recipes, a chopping board, and a salsa bowl.
- Salad lover’s delight: include lettuce and salad green seeds, cherry tomato seedlings, cucumber seeds, a salad spinner, gourmet salad dressings, and a stylish salad bowl.
- Container gardening basket: perfect for those with limited space. Choose compact vegetable varieties, quality potting mix, decorative containers, and a guide to successful container gardening.
- Garden-to-table basket: fun for gourmets! They’ll appreciate specialty vegetable seeds, unique spices, infused oils, balsamic or flavored vinegars, and a cookbook featuring recipes that highlight homegrown produce.
- Tea garden basket: a specialty option for tea drinkers and those who like to entertain. Include tea herbs like mint, chamomile, and lavender, along with a tea infuser, a beautiful teapot, and a guide on growing and brewing herbal teas.
- Pollinator paradise: suitable for flower and vegetable gardeners alike. Offer bee-friendly flower seeds, a hummingbird feeder, a butterfly house, and information on creating a garden that attracts pollinators.
- Garden tool set: a good choice for beginners or new homeowners. Pack in a set of high-quality gardening tools, a kneeling pad, gloves, and a durable tote bag for carrying tools.
- Preservation pantry: to create a DIY gardening gift basket to a homesteading-type, then Include canning jars, pickling spices, a water bath canner, and a guide to preserving the harvest through canning and pickling.
- Garden relaxation basket: suitable for long-time gardeners who need rejuvenation or young newbies who don’t realize the physical work involved in gardening. Gather a cozy blanket, a selection of herbal teas, a good gardening book, and scented candles for post-gardening relaxation.
- Seasonal harvest basket: adapt your gardening gift basket to the appropriate season with seeds or plants for planting at that time, gardening tools, and seasonal decor.
Step 2: Select a basket or container
Once you’ve chosen a theme, figure out how to package it. Select a basket, tote, or container that that the gardener can repurposes, yet reinforces the theme, too.
- Wicker baskets are traditional and versatile. Plus, they come in various shapes and sizes – and provide a rustic and charming look, perfect for a classic garden theme.
- Wooden crates – including wine crates – reinforce a farmhouse or rustic style, plus they are suitable for a kitchen, wine, or preservation theme. Plus, wood containers are sturdy, functional, and can be reused for garden storage.
- Decorative metal containers with intricate designs or a vintage finish offer an elegant touch. The recipient can convert them to planters to use both inside and outside.
- Fabric totes, made of canvas or jute, are eco-friendly. Many can be personalized with the gardener’s name.
- A garden tool bag with multiple pockets not only serves as a gift container but can also be a useful item for a gardener to have.
- Terracotta, ceramic, or hanging planters can hold gift items and then be used later as decorative containers for the patio, porch, or balcony.
- Colander or sieve is a unique and practical gift container to align with a kitchen, herb, or gourmet cooking theme.
- Galvanized metal buckets are rustic and charming. They work well for a farmhouse or country-themed gift basket and can be repurposed in the garden as containers or harvesting collectors.
- Bamboo baskets are lightweight and eco-friendly, which especially appealing to gardeners who are environmentally conscious.
- A garden hod is a favorite piece of harvesting gear – one that a gardener can never have too many of – and can be packed with gifts for gardeners of all levels of experience.
Step 3: Choose a centerpiece item
The best DIY gardening gift baskets are built with around a large item in the center. Choose one that fits your gift basket theme, such as …
- Small potted plant or set of seedlings
- Garden tool set or high-quality hand tools, such as a trowel, hand pruners, weeder, garden scissors, or garden knife
- Garden hose
- Garden kneeler or seat
- Seed starter kit, including trays, peat pots, and soil pellets
- Soil test kit
- Large bag of fertilizer or organic soil amendments
- Farm-to-table recipe book
- Mixing bowl, cutting board, colander, or other essential kitchen item used for fresh vegetables
- Gardening-themed décor, such as candles, garden flags, or garden sculpture
- Garden journal
- Watering can
Step 4: Add smaller gift items
Pack additional gift items into your basket around the centerpiece – again, in keeping with your basket theme. Look at a few ideas.
- Quality seeds, such as new varieties or heirloom varieties the gardener would like to try
- Garden gloves for protecting hands while gardening. (A gardener can’t have too many sets of gloves)
- Plant labels that identify seedlings started indoors
- Plant markers, whether purchased or handmade, to help identify different crops in the garden
- Recipe cards
- Watering gadgets
- Potpourri made with dried herbs or flowers from the garden
- Small potted plants or fresh herbs
- Gift card to a local garden center, which allows the gardener to choose additional plants, tools, and supplies based on their preferences.
Step 5: Arrange the basket
- Layer taller items at the back and shorter items at the front to create a visually appealing arrangement. If possible, group similar items together to create a sense of order.
- Use filler material support gift items so they are secure and add color and texture to your gift basket. Try shredded paper, tissue paper, raffia decorative moss, fabric or burlap, pebbles or decorative stones, tea towels, tulle – even pinecones – to fill empty spaces and add a touch of color.
Step 6: Personalize the basket
Add a personalized note to your basket. Explain why you chose the theme and what each item can be used for. You can also print or create a simple planting guide for the included seeds or seedlings.
Step 7: Wrap and give
- Use clear cellophane wrap to protect the basket while still showcasing its contents.
- Secure the wrap with a colorful ribbon or twine, adding a decorative bow.
- Attach a gift tag with the recipient's name and a short message.
How making your own gardening gift baskets can save money
You can create gardening gift baskets for less cost than you think – especially if you plan ahead. Here are some ways can save you money as you make gifts baskets for gardeners.
- Buy in bulk. Purchase soil, seeds, and other essentials in larger quantities and then distribute them into smaller portions for multiple gift baskets.
- Buy items on sale. Take advantage of seasonal sales and discounts. Buy items like gardening tools, seeds, or pots during off-season sales or clearance events reduces costs. Store your finds on an extra a shelf or in a closet until you’re ready to prepare your baskets.
- Reuse and recycle. Instead of buying new pots or containers, consider repurposing items you already have at home. Old buckets, baskets, or even decorative containers can be used creatively for plants you include in your basket.
- DIY decorations. Personalize your gift baskets with handmade tags, plant markers, and seed packets.
- Save seeds from your own plants. Package them for gift baskets to add personal touch and reduce costs.
- Include homemade goodies. Homemade jams, pickles, or dried herbs from your garden are a personal way to add to a gift basket without adding cost.
- Propagate plants. You don’t need to buy full grown plants for your gift basket. Take cuttings from your own plants or start seeds.
- Create your own gardening resources. Use PicMonkey or Canva to format pamphlets, booklets, planting guides, tip sheets, or printouts on your computer. You can create content yourself or find free resources online. Print your resources and package them creatively in a binder, with clips, wrapped with ribbon, or covered with clear contact paper.
More gardening gift basket ideas
- Soil prep basket: perfect for late winter or spring. Include a soil test kit, kitchen compost bin or compostable bags, soil conditioner, and a hand cultivator.
- Seedling starter basket: gather seeds, seed trays and pots, dibber, plant markers, and a planting calendar for your basket.
- Pest control basket: fill with row covers, neem oil, insecticidal soap, copper tape, bird netting.
- Garden maintenance basket: set a kneeling pad as the centerpiece and fill in with a garden apron, sun hat, sunscreen, water bottle, and garden gloves.
- Harvest basket: use a garden hod as your container and fill it with pruning shears, mesh bags for root vegetables, canning jars, freezer bags.
- Garden décor basket: select a small garden statue or sign as your central item. Add wind chimes, decorative stones, an outdoor thermometer, and garden journal
- Watering basket: gardeners of all stripes need watering gear, whether it’s essentials like a quality hose and sprayer or fun gadgets like a water usage meter and a rain gauge.
How many items should you include in a gardening gift basket?
There’s no strict rule. The number of items you include in a gift basket for gardeners depends on the basket itself, the size of the items, and your budget. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a selection of around 5 to 10 items. This range allows you to include enough variety without overwhelming either you or your recipient. The fact that you’ve created a personalized collection – and that you’ve taken the time to put the basket together with the gardener in mind – is itself a gift of thoughtfulness.
What does every vegetable gardener need?
You can choose these items for a gardening gift basket with a near-guarantee that the recipient needs them and will use them.
- Garden gloves
- Garden knife
- Garden scissors
- Watering hose and nozzle
- Gardening books and magazines
- A gardening app subscription
- A gift card to a favorite local nursery
What makes the best gardening gift basket?
Quality over quantity
Rather than including numerous items, focus on the quality and relevance. What is most helpful to your recipient? What might she enjoy the most? Choose items that are meaningful and high-quality, even if the basket has a smaller collection.
Balance and variety
Strike a balance. Include a mix of textures, colors, flavors, and scents to create a visually appealing and multi-sensory basket.
Practical and luxurious
Combine helpful items with a few indulgences – items the recipient might not get for himself but will enjoy.
Packaging and presentation
Use your creative juices to arrange the gift items in a visually appealing way. If you feel lacking in this area, then follow the adage used by gardeners as they plant a container garden: thriller-filler-spiller. Set one large centerpiece item in the middle of your basket as the “thriller.” Tuck in other items as “fillers” and add tissue paper or raffia in empty spaces. Wrap your gift basket in cellophane, ribbon, and tag as “spillers” to cascade over the sides.
You can purchase pre-made gardening gift baskets online or at garden centers. But a DIY gardening gift basket means you took the time to think about the gardener, her needs, and her preferences. Personalization takes a bit of effort. Which is why ultimately, the best gardening gift basket is one that reflects your care and thoughtfulness.
A tailor-made basket allows your recipient to celebrate their love for gardening with useful tools and fun items for their hobby – with items she needs and will enjoy the most.
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