First time homeowners, or house renters for that matter, will need a few basics for their yard and garden, even if they don’t do all of the landscape work themselves. For the holidays or for a housewarming, here are my suggestions for the perfect gifts for anyone with a new house.

A Good Pair of Bypass Pruners. These are a must-have tool for people with brown or green thumbs. Even those who grow on a balcony need to be able to trim container plants, cut back annuals and perennials, and snip herbs or cut flowers.

Bypass Loppers. This pruning tool is required for cutting branches larger than 3/4″ in diameter, and for trimming up higher or down lower. Loppers extend your reach in all directions.

Hedge Shears. Not all shrubs get sheared, but when you need them nothing else will do! This tool is also good for chopping down ornamental grasses and perennials at the end of the season.

Trowels. These small hand shovels are perfect for planting in the ground or in containers.  I have several so that I don’t have to go hunting, or travel from the front yard to the backyard in order to grab a trowel.

Garden Hose. OK, you might be thinking that a garden hose is a weird gift, but trust me, this one is different. The Flexzilla folks sent me one last spring and I will never buy another type of garden hose! These are soft in all weather, easy to coil up, impossible to kink and drinking-water safe. (I don’t know about you but if I turn the hose on, my dog wants to drink from it…and when my kids were small they wanted to sip from the hose too. If you can relate, you need drinking-water safe hoses.) My goal is to have all the hoses in my gardens changed to Flexzilla soon.

Watering Wand and Nozzles. At the end of your hoses it’s helpful to have the right tool so that your thumb doesn’t get sore trying to turn the hard stream of water into a gentle spray. It’s also good to have a watering wand for keeping your containers and hanging baskets moist. Here are two that are long lasting, and they come in a variety of fun colors too.

Garden Cart. Even in the smallest yard there are times when we’re hauling stuff from one side of the property to another. A cart is handy for holding weeds and wheeling them away, moving pots from the garage to the deck, and holding potting soil when filling containers…along with a number of other uses as well. Once you have one you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Pump Sprayer. Even organic gardeners have occasions to spray their plants…from animal repellants or fertilizers to organic fungicides and insecticides, a pump sprayer makes it possible to spray the top and bottom of leaves, so it’s more versatile than hose-end sprayers. A small one like this isn’t too heavy when filled.

A Bag of General Purpose, Organic Fertilizer.  Everyone needs a go-to bag of fertilizer when they plant or need to feed containers. This is a product you can use on any of your plants without worry.

Information Packed Myth Buster.  New home landscapers will hear and read a great deal of misinformation. This book separates the need-to-do from the nuts-to-do.


Whether your new house is large or small, rented or purchased, there are essential tools you'll need to maintain the landscape.

Whether your new house is large or small, rented or purchased, there are essential tools you’ll need to maintain the landscape.

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