Fresh Gift Ideas for the Backyard Nature Lover
Updated: Dec 13, 2021
If you know someone who buys native plants by the carload, creates a safe backyard habitat space for wildlife, has seeds stratifying in their refrigerator, gets excited for the hummingbirds to return and depressed when they leave, is eager to offer native plants to from their yard to spread the word, or wants to share nature trivia with anyone who will listen, there’s probably something here they might like. The ideas are reflective of my personal preferences; there are no affiliate ads. Click the highlighted links for more detailed information. In general, I would encourage buying local or from small businesses. The list is not necessarily seasonal so it can be saved for gift giving any time of the year.
Novel ideas to please the any nature lover in your life, in no particular order:
Duluth Trading Canvas Bib Apron
What I like best about this durable work apron is all the pockets so I can safely hold my phone, pruner, and still have places to stuff tissues, plant markers, labels, and seeds. It has an adjustable design that fits everyone. The only caveat is my phone fits snuggly in the pocket so I’m not sure it would hold some of the bigger phones out there.
Gardening Overalls – You might seriously change a gardener’s wardrobe with a pair of Duluth overalls. I wouldn’t know how perfect their clothing is for gardening unless my millennial daughter with a sense of style gifted me my first pair of overalls. Apparently, overalls and jumpsuits are also kind of in right now. When I don’t have my gardening apron on, my gardening “uniform” is more often is a pair of Duluth shortalls, cooling overalls, or sweatpant (!) overalls. There are also men’s overalls which I’m starting see the hipsters at the farmers market wearing. Carhartt is another popular brand that also makes sturdy, hardcore women’s and men’s work overalls, including insulated overalls for outdoor work in climates colder than Atlanta.
Backyard nature lovers will appreciate art depicting birds they might see in their own yards. At a craft fair, my sweet husband found a darling little bird painting by local artist Evelyn Edmeades. I loved it so much that I picked out two more!
At nearby Garage Door Studio I spied a little framed Carolina wren print by Shannon Kelly, of DaisyLions Studio that my daughter scooped up to give me as a gift! The prints are also made into more affordable cards.
Bird Books or Niche Nature Books
My husband surprised me with a fantastic book on birds I didn’t know I wanted until he gave it to me. Take a chance and gift someone an interesting nature book!
Small independent bookstores are great places to find unique books to give to nature-loving friends and loved ones. I found multiple books on the restorative power of nature at the small, independent Eagle Eye Bookstore which is not far from where I live.
The Wild Birds Unlimited store near me also has a nice selection of bird related books.
If you know someone who is interested in nature but hasn’t yet become a Doug Tallamy groupie, give them one or all his game changing books about reclaiming nature in your own backyard.
Possum House –
It may sound a little out there, but this is actually at the top of my wish list. I was inspired by @yardsgonewild on Twitter who posts clips from a garden nature camera on a possum box she installed in her rewilded yard. For someone who wants to attract urban or suburban wildlife to their yard and loves possums, a possum house might just be the perfect unique, unexpected, and extravagant gift you’re looking to get them.
Squirrel Nesting Box – Anyone who works to create a welcoming habitat for wildlife tends to appreciate squirrels as part of their backyard ecosystem and would be tickled to have them nesting in a backyard tree. After becoming enchanted by baby squirrels I watched grow up in a poplar tree outside my window, I think a squirrel house would give the next squirrel family a safer place from the red-tailed hawks, cooper’s hawks and barred owls I've seen circling my small semi-urban yard.
Squirrel Feeder – My husband loves to watch squirrel’s antics so I put a squirrel feeder up where he can see it from his home office. The upside is it seems to distract the squirrels from focusing on trying to get to the birdseed in the bird feeders! There are so many whimsical squirrel feeders including swings, Adirondack chairs, and feeders designed with levers to open when squirrels step on them, which is the opposite design of the squirrel-proof bird feeders!
Hori Hori Knife – The hori-hori knife roughly translates to “dig dig” and was first used in Japan by hunters to dig wild vegetable in the mountains. I don’t know any gardeners who wouldn’t love one or more as a present. Mine is the most essential, multi-purpose gardening tool I own. It is great for cutting or dividing roots, sawing plants, digging holes, and opening bags. Some have dual-edge smooth and serrated blades and many have gradient markings for gauging soil depth or measuring the distance between plants. I have two different brands and love both so it’s a matter of personal preference what particular hori-hori knife one you pick out.
Native Plant Seed Catalogue Gift Certificate – Winter sowing is becoming popular with native plant gardeners and right about now they're poring over native plant catalogues and websites as they dream of their future pocket prairies.
If you live in the Southeast, my friend Rita of Botany Yards sells native plant seeds, many hand collected in southeastern gardens. The whimsically designed seed packets she designs are already gift wrapped! She also designs native wildlife cards.
Roundstone Seeds doesn’t appear to have gift certificates so you may want to buy a collection of seeds from them to give as a gift.
Native Plant Nursery Gift Certificate – Shop local and give all your friends gift certificates for local native plant nurseries. If you live in the Atlanta area, you can ask for gift certificates as Beech Hollow Farms, Nearly Native Nursery, and Nightsong Native Plant Nursery (I just saw that NSNN also has small live Christmas Trees for sale )
Garden Kneeler/Seat – This year I accepted the reality that I can no longer kneel or squat for hours while gardening and still be able to move the next day. My thoughtful family gave me a clever foldable garden kneeler and seat with detachable tool pouches. This one does the trick for me, but there are plenty of other options such as knee pads to give as a gift to a gardener with knee, back or joint issues.
Yard Signs – If you know someone who has turned their lawn into a pollinator garden or pocket prairie, they would probably appreciate a custom yard sign to show off what they've created.
Note - there are never affiliate links in my blog. The highlighted text throughout the posts are just links to references, explanations or examples that might be interesting or helpful.