Gift Guide: Summer Garden

Self-watering systems, tool cleaning equipment, handmade planters and more

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of maintaining a lush jungle at home—whether you have acres of land or a one-room apartment. During the hotter months, it’s especially important to focus on your plants—keeping in mind not to hydrate them after dark (hot, humid nights can lead to fungal development), avoiding repotting during a heatwave or setting up a watering system when you go away for a long weekend. From handmade planters to self-watering systems, our summer gardening guide includes all kinds of practical products that will help you keep your sprawling estate or little window box thriving.

Gardening Apron

Founded back in 1649, Fiskars makes some of the world’s best gardening tools, but just recently released its first-ever collection of gardening apparel and accessories. The range—made in collaboration with fashion/textile designer Maria Korkeila—features many covetable items, from gilets to carry-alls, but our pick is the apron ($110). Made from remarkably lightweight but abrasion-resistant nylon, this garment boasts several other features. With two chest pockets and three deep, elasticated hip pockets, there’s plenty of room to carry all types of tools and equipment. The extra long waist and neck ties make for an adjustable item fit for most adults.

Plant Watering System

Ideal for plants that need slow, gentle hydration (and for individuals who want to head out for a long weekend), this Plant Water System ($32) gradually releases water into a plant’s soil. The water seeps out of the terracotta base from the lightbulb-shaped glass water reservoir above. This system also allows the plant to extract water as needed; the reservoir will empty faster when used on thirsty plants, while succulents and the ilk will absorb water more slowly.

Rust Eraser + Garden Tool Cleaner

Of course gardening tools are meant to get dirty, but cleaning them properly means they’ll last longer. From Niwaki (meaning garden tree in Japanese), this clever cleaning block, called Crean Mate ($17), works like a gentle scouring pad—just textured enough to remove rust, soil and sap without causing damage.

Leather Plant Hanger

For those who aren’t into the plethora of macrame hangers for plants, Greendigs offers a pleasing alternative with their leather iterations ($25). More structured and harness-like, the piece’s flat leather straps are joined with knots—eschewing the need for extra hardware or stitching. The brand suggests using the piece (which is 28 inches long) with a five-inch pot. It’s available in black or brown.

Glass Watering Can

For those who want a watering can that’s attractive enough to be left out on display, has a glass version ($35) with a 16-ounce capacity. Featuring a colored handle (available in blue, green or yellow), it also has a long spout which is perfect for maneuvering through extra lush, leafy plants to aim at the soil.

Earthy and Shapes Planter

Carrie Lau’s LA-based ceramic and design studio O-M (aka Object-Matter) regularly sells out their handmade pots, but currently has this Earthy and Shapes Planter ($148) available online. Standing 6.5 inches tall and measuring 5.75 inches wide, it’s been hand-painted with organic shapes on the outside and features a white glaze inside. Since every piece made by O-M is done by hand, slight variations will occur.

Gardening Gloves

With a durable rubber palm and a nylon back for flexibility, these gardening gloves ($19) from The Floral Society are utilitarian but also more attractive than many others on the market. The Nitrile rubber (which the gloves are dipped in) promises to be resistant to oils and acids to keep hands protected. These gloves are also washing machine-friendly.

Multi-Tube Propagation Kit

Propagation remains one of the most satisfying activities, but can look messy—depending on the type and number of vessels scattered throughout your home. For individuals who appreciate all things minimal and neat, Bloomscape’s Multi-Tube Propagation Kit ($45) has a distinct science lab vibe. Available in three colors, each set comes with a stand, three tubes, a rooting hormone and practical instructions.

All-Natural Fertilizer

The Sill’s all-natural fertilizer ($19) has been specifically formulated to feed indoor plants, but certainly won’t do damage to outdoor plants. Made up of macronutrients that help plants thrive, this potion skips chemically treated ingredients present in many other fertilizers, which are more harmful when used in outdoor gardens, as their damage range is less limited. With ingredients including nitrogen, magnesium and iron, it’s a concentrated liquid—making it easy to use.


Made for desks, window sills and other small spaces, the Hydropod ($25) by Brooklyn-based W&P is a five-piece hydroponic planter set made for at-home soil-free farming. The process leaves a significantly smaller footprint—using a nutrient water solvent as a food source. Made from plastic and frosted glass, the subtle design welcomes a pop of color once herbs start to bloom.

Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image courtesy of The Sill