• August 22, 2014

Garden gift ideas

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Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2013 4:30 am

You’re making your holiday shopping list and checking it twice, and here are some gift ideas for the gardeners — naughty or nice — in your life.

BEST BOOK. The new book “Gifts from the Garden” combines the beauty of the bounty with the skills of the crafter for the green-fingered DIYer who wants to make the most of harvests throughout the year. From the edible to the decorative, author Debora Robertson shows how to make a unique something for every occasion — potted bulbs in teacups, personalized seed packets, herbal teas, floral-scented lip balms and indulgent body scrubs. Using fruits, veggies and nuts, she shows how to make spice rubs and fresh pesto, chile jams and tomato chutneys — gifts from the heart of your kitchen. $24.95; www.amazon.com

BIRDIE TREATS. Give your best birding friends a basket of treats meant for their feathered friends. Fill a basket with a trio of special blends that include sunflower meats, peanuts, safflower and pecans or sunflower meats infused with fiery hot habanero chilies to keep the squirrels away. A nutberry blend combines all of nature’s best in one bag — fruits with insect suet kibbles and whole kernel sunflower meats. $12.99-$17.99 per 5-pound bag.

Or, stock a basket with a suet cake feeder and the cakes to go in it — $1.69-$1.99. Cole’s Wild Bird seeds and foods available at wildlife stores and garden centers nationwide; find a retailer at www.coleswildbird.com or 770-426-8882.

GARDENIA GOODNESS. No air freshener can compete with the sweet fragrance of a flowering gardenia. The Heavenly Scented Evergreen Gardenia brightens a room with its clear white blossoms, and comes in a golden sparkle ceramic container that’s about 7 inches tall and wide; plant care information is included, $59.95. Jackson and Perkins; www.jacksonandperkins.com or 800-292-4769.

CLASSIC WISDOM. The 222nd edition of the 2014 Old Farmer’s Almanac entertains and inspires throughout the year. In addition to gardening tips and plant profiles, the periodical features pie recipes and then ideas on how to lose the pounds after eating all those homemade desserts, $6.99. The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids with magical pumpkins, towering beanstalks, Salsa princesses, buzzing hummingbirds, bug costumes and friendly farm animals, $9.95. Available at garden centers nationwide or www.almanac.com or 877-717-8924.

EASY DOES IT. If flower-arranging makes you feel uneasy, the Easy Arranger removes all that anxiety. The elegant hand-woven wire grid is placed on top of a vase and gently pressed down around the outer edge. Each petal of the crown then serves as a compartment for a stem and guides the user to perfect placement. Add flowers between the wires to make flowers stay where you want them. The bendable, reusable and decorative grid in 5-, 6- and 8-inch diameter sizes, can be used over a variety of vases and other vessels. Holiday special, $6 from The Gardener’s Workshop; www.shoptgw.com or 888-977-7159.

BEST WEEDER EVER. Take out carpets of weeds in one swipe, using the Japanese hand hoe. Forged of high carbon steel, it maintains a sharp edge. Holiday special, $19.95, www.shoptgw.com or 888-977-7159.

COMFY, CUTE LOOK. If the gardener on your list is a gal, Garden Girl USA’s trim-fitting gardening pants, $93.99, or capris, $89.99, might be the thing. Made of durable fabrics, with pockets galore, Garden Girl’s signature hip/waist stretch panels provide “give” in all the right places, making it easy to bend, lug, haul, squat or crawl through typical days in the garden. They’re also ideal for comfort when hiking, dog-walking, tending toddlers, cleaning, or bopping around town. Floral-patterned Wellington boots, $85.99, complete the look; www.GardenGirlUSA.com or 866-610-5459.

ROSY DREAMS. Treat your special gardening friend to a David Austin gift voucher. Request that the confirmation, complete with 120-page “Handbooks of Roses” catalog, come straight to you for gift-giving. The roses will be shipped in spring at the right time for planting as bare rootstock. Two beauties to ponder: Munstead Wood, a deep crimson rose, $27.95 each or three for $71.25, and yellow climber Golden Celebration, $25.99 each or three for $66. www.DavidAustinRoses.com or 800-328-8893.

TWEET TIME. Watching wild birds from the window is especially sweet in winter. For close encounters with interesting birds of all kinds, consider The Winner Multi-Purpose Window Feeder, $35.99, which attaches to the outside of windows with three suction cup mounts and holds up to ½ pound of seed, suet or fruit. Another possibility is Dorothy’s Cardinal Feeder, $59.99, designed to attach to a post or a hook; this 13-inch feeder is topped by a height-adjustable, 15-inch clear-view dome that protects birds and feed from weather, while warding off unwanted larger birds. www.DrollYankees.com or 800-352-9164.

SPACE SAVER. Easy access to organized gear is the dream of every gardener, athlete, outdoor enthusiast or homeowner with too little space. Boulder-based Studio-Shed.com offers pre-fabricated single room structures designed for use as garden sheds and storage, as well as backyard home offices, art and music studios and more. Cost for an 8-by-10 Studio Shed storage model with unfinished interior and block/metal siding starts at $6,300, plus installation and shipping, starting at $900 each. Less expensive Small Shed DIY Kits are also available.www.Studio-Shed.com or 888-900-3933.

HAND TOOL SETS. The Gardeners Hand Tool Gift Set from Joseph Bentley contains the small tools that are used most often by gardeners of all skills — trowel, transplanting trowel and hand fork. All three tools have carefully finished solid oak wooden handles and polished stainless steel heads. The tools are presented in a wooden seed box and nestled in shaved wood, $39.99 in gardening stores and at HomeDepot.com, Amazon.com and Sears.com.

STYLISH COMPOSTER. The Green Cycler is a clean, odorless kitchen countertop solution that turns kitchen scraps into “black gold” for the garden in a matter of days rather than weeks and months, $99-$139. www.thegreencycler.com or 855-432-6866.

HUMMER HEAVEN. Hummingbirds are territorial and will use this swing, with a shimmering copper finish, as a perch to watch over their food source, according to birding experts. Simply place this swing near feeders and enjoy watching them sit and swing. The red glass bead attracts hummingbirds, $16.99. National Wildlife Federation at www.nwf.org or 800-822-9919.

HOLIDAY HAPPINESS. The bird seed wreath is perfect as a holiday treat for backyard birds. Made with black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, colored safflower and red millet, this 8 ½-inch wreath weighs a hearty 2¼ pounds, $19.99. National Wildlife Federation at www.nwf.org or 800-822-9919.

WELCOME EVERYONE. Welcome friends and family to your garden with a whimsical “Welcome to my garden” plaque. Handcrafted from 100 percent recycled aluminum and made in the USA, the sign measures 12 inches wide and 7 inches tall, ground stake included; two to four weeks for delivery, $39.99. National Wildlife Federation at www.nwf.org or 800-822-9919.

FINE FEEDER. Turn your fruit feeder into a piece of artwork for your backyard. This heavyweight feeder holds two fruits, such as apples, and gives the birds a place to perch. Made of long-lasting beautiful copper, $29.99. National Wildlife Federation at www.nwf.org or 800-822-9919.

MASON JAR MAGIC. Reminiscent of the vintage blue glass canning jars used in the 1800s, the Perky-Pet Mason Jar Collection brings rustic chic to any outdoor space. The three styles include a wild bird feeder, hummingbird feeder and wild bird waterer, $17.95-$19.95. www.birdfeeders.com or 855-PERKY-PET.

DIY GOODIE. Got kids or DIYers in the mix? Give them an “experience” with NativeCast’s DIY planter kits. This eco-concrete container is perfect for crafters, DIY lovers, party favors, crafty kids, and stocking stuffers. The kit includes NativeCast’s custom eco-concrete mix, a mold, organic potting soil, and herb seeds, $15-$35 and up www.nativecast.com.

LIVING ART. Topiaries created with moss and succulents are living art that delights anyone who loves animals and wildlife. From a life-size bull frog to a full-size giraffe, Gardens by Teresa in Yorktown, Va., can create it. Her online gardening shop also features handcrafted wire topiary frames that look nice on their own; custom topiary orders accepted. www.gardensbyteresa.com or 757-532-0080.

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