Since your gardening friends haven't reaped or sown in several months, it's up to you to remind them that nature surrounds them all year long — and that the gardening season will be back before they know it. Here are seven gifts and a few good reads to get them through winter — and prove what a good friend you are.
To see more holiday gift guides, curated by recipients and interests, visit newsday.com/giftguides.
STIHL iMow robotic lawn mower
Know someone who hates mowing - or simply doesn't have the time or wherewithal? A robotic mower might fit the bill. After buying an iMower, you'll set up an appointment with a STIHL dealer, who will visit, draft a layout of the area you want mowed and install a wire boundary to keep the mower on your property and out of garden beds, off driveways, etc., then program a mowing plan for you. The iMower runs continually, just as a robotic vacuum does, shaving grass blade tips with each pass. It operates quietly and without exhaust emissions. When raindrops fall, it knows to return to its outdoor docking station, so there's no need to run out or worry if you aren't home. An anti-theft system prevents a change in settings without a PIN, making the iMower useless if stolen.
Price: $1,299.95 for model RMI 422 P, which covers yards up to .25 acres, and $1,999.95 for model RMI 632 P, for up to one acre
More info: stihlusa.com
Godinger Wheelbarrow salad server
Large enough to serve a family-size salad, this adorable wood-and-metal salad bowl from the Godinger Silver Art Co. is sure to be a hit with your garden pals. They'll also dig the wood-handled, garden tool-inspired servers. Bowl measures 16.5 X 6.75 X 6.1 inches.
More info: godinger.com
Botanical body products
Botanical body products sugar beet and blossom, carrot and neroli, and cucumber and honey feel as delicious on the skin as they do on the tongue. These body washes and shea butter hand creams from The Cottage Greenhouse are made with fruits, vegetables and herbs, are gluten-free, contain no parabens and are never tested on animals. Pair that with beautifully designed packaging, and your gardening friend will be reveling in botanical bliss all winter long.
Price: Shea butter hand cream, $24; body wash, $22
More info: thecottagegreenhouse.com
Rent Mother Nature
Instead of giving a jar of honey, a box of cheese, a bottle of syrup or a fleece blanket, why not "rent" a beehive, goat, maple tree or sheep and have its proceeds sent instead? Your gift recipient will receive a leasing document to redeem for the stated product at a specified time, and have the opportunity to be on a first-name basis with the animal providing the goods via updates from the farm during the season, all while supporting America's small family farms and craftsmen.
Price: $39.95 for a beehive lease, $69.99 for a maple tree, $49.99 for a goat, $119-$249 for sheep, depending on blanket size. Cows, pistachio trees, coffee trees and other options also available.
More info: rentmothernature.com
Hydro-wicking herb growing kit
Instead of simply giving an indoor plant or planting kit, why not make it more interesting (and convenient) by introducing your favorite gardener to hydro-wicking? The new Ball Herb Growing Kit includes everything needed to grow herbs indoors -- seed packets, a Ball Wide Mouth quart-size jar and band, plant food, growing medium, germination medium, horticultural charcoal, net pot and hydro wick, which keep plants perfectly hydrated, eliminating the need for daily watering. It makes a nice conversation piece, too.
Price: Single kit, which includes basil seeds, $9.99; set of three, which comes with a packet each of basil, cilantro and mint seeds, $23.99
More info: freshpreserving.com
Messenger of Peace ceramic flower pot
This colorful handmade planter will impart the spirit of the season - and bring a smile to your face. Hand-crafted in Mexico by the Castillo family of artisans, the 10 ½-inch-high, 6 ¾-inch-wide, 9-inch-deep ceramic dove is adorned with painted flowers emulating traditional Talavera motifs. Holes allow for drainage to support plant health.
More info: novica.com
Hold Onto Your Plants plant stand
These minimalist two-piece plant stands are attractive, yet understated, ways to keep pots off the floor while imparting a decorative flair. Handcrafted in Austin, Texas, of birch and maple, each stand is 10 inches tall and accommodates a 7-inch pot. Available in robin egg, white, coral, gold, salmon or natural wood.
Price: $45 for 7-inch stand. Other sizes available.
More info: holdontoyourplants.com
Around the World in 80 Trees, by Jonathan Drori ($24.99, Laurence King)
Former BBC documentary host Jonathan Drori takes readers on a fascinating global tour of 80 remarkable trees, from the baobab in sub-Saharan Africa and the sacred banyan of the Indian subcontinent to the exploding sandbox tree of Costa Rica and the more familiar Leyland cypress. His educational and intriguing profiles, which delve into each tree's science, history and folklore, are made all the more engaging by richly detailed, beautiful color illustrations by French artist Lucille Clerc. After experiencing this book, you'll never look at trees the same way.
101 Chicken Keeping Hacks From Fresh Eggs Daily, by Lisa Steele ($22.99, Voyageur Press)
So, you have a friend who keeps chickens. What could bring them more joy than learning handy and clever tips to care for them, like how to make homemade feed and medicine to keep them healthy, and how to build a chicken swing to keep them occupied? There are 99 other hacks in this nicely photographed and user-friendly soft-cover book, written by a fifth-generation chicken keeper who also is behind the award-winning website fresheggsdaily.com
Wonder Plants 2, by Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner ($45.00 / Lannoo)
You want inspiration? With 250 breathtaking color photos, this book will give you as much as you can handle. Showcasing 20 living spaces from around the world, its pages demonstrate how plants can be used as interior design elements in bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and even hallways. To help you recreate the "urban jungles" depicted, the authors provide details on the latest trends and provide advice for selecting plants to suit your taste and needs. Plants are profiled in the index, so you'll know exactly what their water, air, light and care requirements are before diving in.