ISSUE 48  |  California Dreaming

Gift Guide: Gardenista Editors’ Picks

December 05, 2014 5:30 PM

BY Gardenista Team

Our loved ones say we’re the hardest people to shop for. Allow us to remove the guesswork. Dear Santa, Michelle wants a vintage hand fork. Cheryl wants a peony-arranging class. Christine wants a bell. And we’ve all been very good at Gardenista this year. See everyone’s picks here:


Above: A combination LED light and miniature greenhouse by Polish designers Lightovo, a Milo Glass Lampshade is on Margot’s list. For information and prices, see Lightovo.

“Its creators say it was inspired by a passage in The Little Prince. Go figure,” says Margot. “I like its double-duty approach, and the fact that it’s for plants that require a lot of light.”


Above: Cheryl wants a two-part gift: a Waxed Amaryllis Bulb ($35) and an extra small Silver Footed Stand ($10), both from Terrain.

“The fit of a waxed bulb on a footed stand is just so perfect, it’s something to admire,” says Cheryl. “And the bloom isn’t too sweet, thanks to the minimalist wire. The only question is do you buy one, or an entire row?”

Above: On Michelle’s list is a Vintage Hand Fork, used by a farmer in Scotland, is part of a trove of one-of-a-kind tools on offer from Williams-Sonoma; $69.95. 

“Tools should be built to pass down. I like the idea of holding in my hand the same garden fork that turned the dirt 70 years ago in a faraway garden,” says Michelle. “Forged iron tines and a worn wooden handle: who will get to use it 70 years from now?”

Above: Victorian Pots by Campo de’ Fiori, $24 apiece from GRDN, also made Michelle’s list because of their adorable drainage holes.

“Thank God, you can now find Campo de’ Fiori pots easily online,” she says. (The Berkshires-based makers of high-quality terra cotta and stone pots also offer a selection of 86 different aged terra cotta pots at Campodefiori.)

Above: Christine’s pick is a Wide Stoneware Black Striped Bell. It is $185 from NY-based artist Michele Quan, who created the design after visiting a Shinto shrine in Japan.

“Why do I have to have one?” says Christine. “A gentle breeze is one of my favorite things in the world, and a bell like this in my garden would mean I could hear the breeze, as well as feel it!”

Above: Handmade Sussex Trugs, also on Christine’s list, are £40 apiece from the Foodie Bugle. Made from coppiced wood, it’s beautiful and versatile. “I’d use it in the garden for gathering and collecting, or inside for a centerpiece on the table,” says Christine.

Above: Indigenous Plant Palettes, a new book by Marijke Honig, is “chief object of desire” for Marie Viljoen, who reports for us regularly on what is growing both on her terrace in Harlem and in her mother’s garden in South Africa. For information and prices, see Quiver Tree Publications.

“The author, a friend of mine who is a landscape designer in South Africa, groups indigenous plants by chapter within ‘palettes’ for perfume, hedging, climbers, edible qualities, rooftop spaces, ponds, and more. Detailed cultivation guidelines are provided as well as design tips. There are over 1,000 photos. This is a seminal book,” says Marie.

Above: Also on Cheryl’s list, a Three-Day Floral Design Retreat hosted by one of our favorite farmer-florists, Erin Benzakein is $2,800. 

“The intensive workshop won’t be held for a few months, but I can handle the delayed gratification when it entails a field of peonies, me in a flower crown of my own making, and insider tricks of the trade,” says Cheryl. Benzakein will host the workshop on her Floret Farms in Washington, and registration starts today. 

Above: Kendra craves a collar and plaited lead for chic dog-walking. The Lurcher Collar is £29.50, and made by Nicola Watson, a master saddler.

“Suitable for hounds of all sizes and handmade by someone who does saddlery for Hermí¨s, the plaited lead and collar, whether wide or narrow, is almost as smart as the dog. Lurchers and greyhounds being very big at the moment it seems,” says Kendra.

Above: Slipper Socks, from Folk at Home, are also on Kendra’s list (“they have a certain medieval appeal”) and she will be happy to take them in either gray or brown; £42 per pair.

Still shopping? For more gift ideas for design aesthetes and gardeners, see more gift guides: