Gift for girlfriend going away for gardening school
August 18, 2007 3:58 AM   Subscribe

Help me fill a giftbag for my girlfriend. She is moving away for a year attending a school on professional gardening. I want to give her a few inexpensive things that she will find useful when we are away from each other. So far i only came up with a nice hand cream she can use after a day of digging. Would love some suggestions from mefiites.
posted by ilike to Shopping (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Coupons for massages from a professional masseuse in the town she'll be moving to? If she's going to be bending over a gardening plot all day, her back will probably love a massage.
posted by amyms at 4:07 AM on August 18, 2007

Think about what she likes? Where will she live? How will she get to school, what will her schedule be like etc...that should give you a starting point!
posted by koahiatamadl at 4:16 AM on August 18, 2007

Useful, or pleasant? Candles? Blank notebooks for her course notes? Pens, highlighters etc ...
posted by paduasoy at 5:00 AM on August 18, 2007

Crabtree & Eveyln makes a really nice line of gardener's products. That's the hand lotion I'd recommend, but they also have a lotion soap that's a scrub (really good at getting sticky sap off of your fingers).

A nail brush to help get dirt out from under her nails. And a pretty pair of gardening gloves to prevent that.

A sun hat and some sunscreen? If she's going to be outside a lot. Something like biofreeze or bengay too - sore muscles are inevitable. And a nice outdoor water glass - the kind that she can freeze part of it so that the water will stay cool, and with a lid to keep the bugs out.
posted by librarianamy at 6:20 AM on August 18, 2007

Prepaid phone minutes.
posted by nax at 7:48 AM on August 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Throw in a few tiny presents with instructions to unwrap one on days that she misses you, or needs a pick-me-up. Try to find wedding favor boxes* or ask for empty gift boxes at jewelry counters in department stores. You can also fold this type of box origami style.

Fill them with love notes and candies from different countries. Give her this bracelet as a main gift and hide the charms in the tiny boxes. Buy plastic jumping frogs, bubble blowing kits, and badges/buttons/pins of bands she likes. Try to find tealight candles that smell like exotic flowers or are shaped like flowers. Fold a bandanna in her fave color she can use to cover up her hair and keep it clean into a tiny square and tuck it into the box. Buy 25 cent rings out of vending machines and ring pops and put them in fancy jewelry boxes like they're real.

*I work at Target so I knew we carried favor boxes, but I am not an authorized spokesperson and make no profit on sales. Buy your favor boxes where ever you like.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:57 AM on August 18, 2007

Gloves. All kinds of them. Leather for thorns and pretty flowered ones for the dirt and general weed pulling and digging. They aren't that expensive, and at this season, I'll bet they're on clearance someplace. If you got a pair of each kind, it would give her the chance to decide which ones she likes the best for what jobs.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 8:55 AM on August 18, 2007

If she's got a steady computer setup there, maybe a Skype headset to cut down on long-distance bills?

A nice framed picture of you guys together.

Second the gloves. And one of those little scrubby brushes for her nails.

Some Crocs or Okabashi or other plastic shoes suitable for frolicking in the mud and dirt.

I nice pair of sunglasses that has UV protection. Or maybe a gift card because picking frames for someone else is hard?

They sell these high-octane solid sunblock sticks at most drug stores that are waterproof and great for sticking in your pocket and applying right to the bridge of your nose/other easily sunburned places (I have one by Coppertone).
posted by SassHat at 9:30 AM on August 18, 2007

Plant something together that will have grown by the time she returns.
posted by drinkspiller at 9:57 AM on August 18, 2007

Subscription to Organic Gardening or another magazine. 2nd gloves and nailbrush. Pack of nice notecards & stamps. Framed photos of the 2 of you, her family, friends, pets. Even more important, address & stamp at least 12 envelopes to her, and start filling the 1st envelope with notes, cartoons, fortunes from Chinese meals, pictures and anything else that might get a smile. Every month, send a small packet. Real mail is still excellent to receive.
posted by theora55 at 10:17 AM on August 18, 2007

This is a totally kick-ass soil knife. I use it as trowel, corm-chopper, root-hacker and bed-leveller. It's awesome. Kind of pricey, but really--so worth it.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:30 AM on August 18, 2007

As a professional gargener, I heartily support the massage gift certificates. As a left handed gardener, be careful not to buy any one-sided tools (such as a soil knife), unless you are certain of your friend's handed-ness.

Other useful stuff: a small sharpening stone, a nice burly backpack, a stainless steel water bottle, or a leatherman or swiss army knife.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:37 AM on August 18, 2007

gargener? Good thing I'm not a professional editor.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:38 AM on August 18, 2007

"Plant something together that will have grown by the time she returns."

Hey! Maybe they're not ready for kids yet!
posted by craniac at 10:44 AM on August 18, 2007

On further reflection, knives.
I have several machetes and some smaller ones; a field knife and a lettuce knife come in really handy. I got most of them cheaply online from some mail order seed house, so they don't have to be particlarly expensive. A sharpening stone makes them a lot more useful.
(I use mine a lot for cutting the roots out from under things, like a dandelion cutter. You hit a rock and have to sharpen them every so often. You don't think much about it until you have them, and then you find a lot of uses for them once you do.)
posted by unrepentanthippie at 11:01 AM on August 18, 2007

I got my mom a garden kneeler; it seems to help with her backaches.
posted by GrammarMoses at 11:09 AM on August 18, 2007

In the same vein as the garden kneeler, how about kneepads.

When I was an archaeologist, digging in the dirt all day, the most useful things I ever got included a manicure kit, footsalt and bubblebath for pampering after a long day working, and a set of cute gloves (really brightly colored, so they didn't get lost easily).
posted by gemmy at 11:24 AM on August 18, 2007

Agreeing with the massage/manicure gift certs, as well as a pack of notecards (planting-thematic, maybe?) and stamps (ask the Post Office if they have ones with flowers in stock?) for her to send you notes. (And maybe get a few for yourself so you can do the same!)
posted by NikitaNikita at 11:37 AM on August 18, 2007

I have four of these nail brushes, one at each sink, for getting the dirt off my hands after a session gardening.
posted by KathyK at 4:54 PM on August 18, 2007

If you are looking for a good garden knife I would suggest this Fiskars, it's inexpensive and well made.

I don't know about what professional gardeners use, but I can attest that a good pair of leather gloves, knee-pads, sunglasses, a Leatherman (the Wave is the best as far as I'm concerned), and a confortable hat, are all really valuable in my back yard.

For water containers, I really like both Sigg bottles, or a nylon Bota depending on what I'm doing.
posted by quin at 5:30 PM on August 18, 2007

lambskin gardening gloves moisturize as she gardens -- a cool water bottle so she will think of you with every sip. digital camara so she can document how her garden grows! Chocolate always goes so well with every situation!
posted by peace_love_hope at 6:33 PM on August 18, 2007

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