Perhaps your Christmas gifts are all purchased and wrapped and sitting under the tree. (Mine aren't.) Maybe your greeting cards are signed, sealed, and delivered. (I didn't send any.) And the stocking stuffers are ready to be tucked into those oversized socks, right? What? You forgot about the stocking stuffers?
In case you need suggestions for those of your friends and family that are of the gardening persuasion, I suggest these:
- Mitten gloves - As a garden photographer, I use these all the time in the winter. I find that wearing regular gloves or mittens makes it difficult for me to get a good handle on my camera's controls. Mitten gloves are fingerless gloves with a mitten "cap" that can be flipped back to expose your fingers, allowing you to have a better feel for certain tasks, such as photography or cell phone texting. There are several companies that make them. These Land's End mitten gloves come in several colors. Prices vary.
- Snap 'n' Shape Heart Molds - This is a fun one! Just snap these on your cherry tomatoes while they're still small and green and let them grow inside the heart-shaped mold. When it starts to turn red, take the mold off and let it ripen fully. Voila! Heart-shaped tomatoes! Works for cherry peppers, too. A package of five costs $9.99.
- Compact pruners - I have a few pruners that I like equally well, but my current pruners of choice are the ones I received at GWA in Dallas this past September from Dramm - Compact Pruner Model 10814. I've got smallish hands and these fit just right. They're good quality pruners and they come in six brilliant colors!
- Shrub Cover - Another GWA Dallas acquisition, I like this bag called ShrubGuard by Plumstone for covering tender shrubs. Plants lose a lot of moisture during winter because of the harsh winds, not to mention the problems hungry deer and rabbits can cause.
I put mine over my azalea shrub, since it's been an iffy plant for me, and I've lost a few during their first winter. Last year, I bought some burlap and used it to cover the azalea. In the spring, I had the most amazing show of blooms, many more than in the previous year after it not being covered by anything. This pre-made bag makes it easier and it looks nice, too. Cost is $9.99 to $11.99, depending on size.
- Moo Poo Tea - Organic manure compost tea is a wonderful, natural way to feed your plants and condition your soil, both in the garden and in your container plantings. Haven Brew offers a 3-pack of alfalfa (for roses), cow, or horse manure teas, or an assortment of all three costs $12.95.
- Corn squirrel feeder - Many people have problems with the squirrels digging up their bulbs or plants, and eating from the bird feeders. One way of discouraging them is to give them their own feeder. We use this spiral feeder, which holds an ear of corn. Our squirrels tend to stay in the corner of the yard where this feeder is. Of course, our many outside cats might be somewhat of a deterrent for coming closer, too. Priced at $7-8.
- Garden-themed Ornaments - Hallmark has a series of garden tree ornaments by Marjolein Bastin, that wonderful Dutch artist. This year's ornament, called "Season of Beauty" is $14.95 and features a sled with a wreath, a basket, and garden gloves.
- Botanical Coasters - There is a wide assortment of coaster sets with a botanical theme. I personally like these, available at Amazon.com.
- The Cinch Plant Hanger - I received one of these in Dallas at the GWA annual symposium. I loved the idea of it and when I tried it on my own hanging pot, it worked like a charm! It doesn't matter the size or the shape of the pot either. Holds up to 25 pounds. I love this and would like to find another one or two of them in my own stocking! List price is $9.99.
- Corona Tools Sharpening Tool - This is such a handy little tool! Of course, you can sharpen your garden tools with it, but it works for sharpening other blades, too. It's small and easy to handle. Priced right at $10.99.
- Garden Plant Tags - These are beautiful plant tags made by Allsop that will dress up an indoor container planting. Of course, you can use them outside in the garden, but my personal experience with them is that they turn yellow as they age. They're so pretty, I think they really are shown off to their best inside the house. They come in two designs - herbal and botanical - and sell for $16.00 at AHA Modern Living (which has many other wonderful items!).
- Garden Magazine Subscription - There are so many wonderful garden magazines, chock full of ideas and information, it's hard to choose just one to give as a gift. My personal favorites are: Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Design, Birds and Blooms, and Organic Gardening.
- Gift Cards - When all else fails, you can always give gift cards. Don't know which companies gardeners like? Several of the companies mentioned above offer gift cards, or a gift card from any one of the following will make a gardener smile: Ethel Gloves, Botanical Interests, Garden Shoes Online, H. Potter, and of course, Amazon.com for those wonderful gardening books!
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