Generally I don’t recommend the sets of spades, trowels and other things, because they are often of low quality materials and break pretty quickly. It is better to spend more money on one good tool, such as the ken-ho garden weeder(ken-ho is a style of weeder not the brand name), a good sturdy garden knife or a good pair of pruners (I recommend the Felco No.2 classic manual pruner, or the no. 6 for smaller hands). OXO Good Grips makes many gardening tools that have their signature easy grip handles.
Despite my extensive collection of gloves, I mainly use a pair of leather work gloves from a big box store. On the other hand (so to speak) having an extra pair of inexpensive cotton gloves handy isn’t a bad idea either. Sometimes I just want to quickly grab a pair of gloves to yank a weed from the flower bed and my other pair is still be wet from the last chore. Hats are very important because gardners are always out in the sun. Other helpful things are kneelers, for knee protection, or a stool or rolling seat to avoid kneeling or bending. I love my rolling seat, but sometimes I use the kneeler to get at a part of the garden where the rolling seat does not fit.
For most gardeners there are some regular household tools that you might not associate with gardening, yet would be helpful to have an extra one for the gardening shed. These include, scissors, pliers, screwdriver, markers and pens. An extra bottle of sunscreen, some hand scrub or gardeners hand cream makes a great gift idea as well.
Books on gardening and journals to write in are also great ideas for gardeners. I have books I recommend listed on the slideshow to the left.
If money is tight offering your services is a wonderful way to give a gift and a great way to spend time with loved ones. Remember, not much in the way of gardening is happening now, so write out an IOU for the spring.
Happy gardening and happy holidays.