Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Gardener's Christmas List

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means the holiday gift-giving season will soon be in full swing. We all want to give gifts that will be well-received, but it is difficult to find the perfect gift. I have composed a list of gifts that any Gardening enthusiast will appreciate. It doesn't take intimate knowledge of gardening to shop from this list! You can use the links to purchase from the respective on-line retailer, or you can take a list to your local gardening center if you would rather purchase locally. Have fun, and happy shopping!

1 - Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are my #1 recommendation. When all the presents are unwrapped, all the stockings unstuffed and all the goodies eaten, it is great to know that there is still fun to be had in spending a gift certificate! Gift certificates help extend the holidays, but remember to consider the cost of shipping when choosing the denomination. You don't want your Gardener to spend half their gift on shipping costs! Here are some gift certificate suggestions.
  • For the vegetable Gardener in your life, a gift certificate to Park's Seeds would be much appreciated.
  • If your Gardener prefers to toil in the flower bed, visit Bluestone Perennials for a gift certificate.
  • For the rose Gardener, a gift certificate from Jackson and Perkins may earn you a second piece of pecan pie.
  • If you often hear your Gardener complaining about the high prices at the local nursery, a gift certificate from that nursery will make their day!
2 - Books & Magazines

The Winter months seem to last forever to the Gardening enthusiast, but books and magazines targeted toward our favorite subject help us make it through the season.

Books specifically targeted toward a type of plant your Gardener finds special interest in growing would be a great gift idea. Although you may not know the names of all the varieties of plants your Gardener grows, you can probably recognize the larger "anchor" plants in the garden. Here are some suggestions:
Magazine subscriptions also make a great gift since it gives the Gardener something to look forward to every month. Here are some recommendations:
  • Blum's Almanac provides a comprehensive list of "when to do what" for Gardeners of any skill level. This almanac is a bit different from the standard Farmer's Almanac and may even teach seasoned Gardeners a thing or two!
  • Fine Gardening has been found at the top of many Gardener's magazine lists this year.
  • Horticulture magazine provides the Gardener with more than just pretty pictures and plant names by delving into the science behind gardening.
  • Garden Design magazine will give your Gardening enthusiast ideas for a Spring make-over. Beware! With this magazine subscription may also come work requests of you!
  • Gardening How-To is the perfect magazine for the beginning Gardener who has not completely mastered the fundamentals of Gardening. This magazine helps new Gardeners develop the habits required to become a great Gardener.
3 - The Organic Gardener

Perhaps your Gardening enthusiast takes a special interest in organic gardening. You could purchase some of the following items and arrange them in an aluminum tub or flower pot to create a nice gift presentation.
  • A book targeted toward organic gardening would be well-received.
  • Fish emulsion is a popular organic fertilizer that some Gardeners may find too pricey to purchase for themselves.
  • Although it may seem like a strange gift, the organic gardening enthusiast would be impressed with your insightful thinking to find a bottle of Organic pesticide in their stocking.
  • Want to really impress that organic Gardener? Surprise them with a bucket of Earth Worms! Earthworms are nature's rototiller, providing lush, aerated soil for all planting areas.
  • Just as earthworms are nature's soil enhancers, Lady Bugs are nature's pesticide, eating all the bad bugs and leaving the good bugs to help protect your garden.
4 - The Rose Gardener

The Rose Gardener is a special breed of Gardener, and possibly one of the most patient and perseverant people on Earth! Roses are particularly fickle and require a great deal of nurturing, so give your Rose Gardener a little help with some of the following items. These items would look great grouped together in a lovely decorative flower pot for presentation.
  • Pruning is a time-consuming and painstaking task. Help make the task a little easier with a pruner holster. Your Rose Gardener will never misplace those pruning shears again!
  • Pruning can also take a toll on the Rose Gardener's arms, especially when cutting canes within the center of the bush. Long elbow length gloves help ease this job. Be sure to purchase gloves made from leather since other materials cannot guard the wearer from thorns!
  • A membership to the America Rose Society can help your Rose Gardener meet other Rose Gardeners in the area and provide tips for growing roses in your region.
  • Lady Bugs hold a special place in the Rose Gardener's heart since the lovely little creatures help eradicate beetles and other unwanted rose nibblers.
5 - Preserving the Bounty

If your Gardener enjoys vegetable gardening and does not already own the necessary equipment to preserve their harvest for future use, you could jump-start their collection with some of the following items:
  • A strainer can be used to make tomato sauce, salsa, apple sauce, soups, jams, juices, and many other tasty things.
  • A home canning kit is a great idea for the Gardener who wants to preserve acidic foods like tomato sauce and pickles.
  • A pressure canner is used to preserve foods that are low in acid like green beans.
  • If your Gardener would rather freeze their garden bounty, a vacuum sealer is a must-have to keep those veggies fresh, crisp, and free of nasty freezer burn.
6 - Other Ideas

You still haven't found the right gift for your gardening enthusiast? OK, here's my last shot at satisfying you. I could fill a lot of pages with "other" gift ideas, so I decided to just list my top miscellaneous gift ideas for Gardeners.
  • The Tumbleweed Composter (or any composter) is the crowning jewel of all gardening gift ideas. Every Gardener spends too much money on purchasing bags of potting soil and makes countless trips to the garden center throughout the Summer for it. The gift of a composter will save your Gardener time and money and will make them feel good about recycling their garden trash.
  • If your Gardener enjoys starting their own plants from seed, a seedling heat pad will be a much-appreciated gift.
  • Every Gardener loves decorative pots and planters. A trip to the local garden center will provide more choices than you need.
  • The Gardener's skin suffers in the sun. Help relieve some of that suffering with a Gardener's Remedy Kit.
  • Help your Gardener connect the gifts of the garden to the gifts of the spirit with the book Tending the Earth, Mending the Garden. It looks like an interesting read for the more "earthy" Gardener.
  • With drought comes pesky water restrictions. Help your Gardener beat the water cut-backs and keep their plants healthy with a rain barrel.
I hope you found something on this list for that special Gardener in your life. If you have ideas of your own, please feel free to leave them in the comment section!