GROWING THINGS: Gifts for gardeners

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It’s time for that once-a-year journey into the most cherished of all gardening columns. OK, perhaps I exaggerate just a bit because I am biased. But here it is, Filipski’s Famous Festive Foray otherwise known as my Gifts for Gardeners list.

I reached out to local garden centres for their 2023 gift ideas to go along with my own and I received some interesting replies. 

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Now for my wish list. For many years I’ve used an old five-gallon pail to carry my tools and supplies when working in the garden. Lee Valley Tools has a garden tote that looks ideal. The rectangular shape provides a large opening so everything’s easy to see, and there are plenty of pockets and elastic loops for tools and supplies. It can even carry seedling pots, and is made of nylon so a quick rinse with the garden hose will easily clean it up. Retail price is $69.50.

One of the best gardening gifts always arrives in my mailbox around this time —The Prairie Garden. It’s Western Canada’s only gardening annual, a digest-sized book dedicated to the advancement of horticulture in the prairies, and has been published since 1937. It’s written and edited by an enthusiastic volunteer committee, and this year’s theme is Year-Round Gardening. The range of topics includes everything from hassle-free indoor plants to overwintering your succulents to growing plums on the Prairies. It really is an amazing publication and one every gardener would love to have. Look for it in your local gardening centres or find it at for $19.95.

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The Prairie Garden
The Prairie Garden is Western Canada’s only gardening annual, published since 1937, that’s dedicated to the advancement of horticulture in the prairies. Supplied

I’ve always had an interest in Bonsai plants. I found a Bonsai starter kit on Amazon the other day and thought it would make a great gift. It comes with four types of organic seeds (Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine, Black Poui, Norway Spruce and Flame Tree), four biodegradable growing pots, four expanding-soil discs, four bamboo plant markers, one bonsai clipper and an instruction booklet. Priced at $21.99.

Finally, a gift I recommend every year and one every gardener needs to have, is a membership for the Edmonton Horticultural Society. For more than 100 years the society has been part of gardening in the Edmonton area. Among the many activities the society offers are guest speakers on a variety of topics, plant exchanges and sales, garden tours and competitions, but one of the biggest benefits is the exchange of information and inspiration between members. A single, basic membership starts at $35.

Every week, Growing Things Outdoors runs online at or, if you prefer an epaper format, Learn more by emailing your questions to [email protected], reading past columns at or my book, Just Ask Jerry. You can also follow me on X(Twitter) @justaskjerry01.

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