Holiday Gifts for the Gardeners on Your List
In all but the warmest climates, winter offers few gardening opportunities. That’s why garden-related holiday gifts are so welcome. They remind the green of thumb that spring is only months away, and allow them to indulge in that emotion so prized by gardeners – anticipation. From new stylish functional work clothes for women, to tropical amaryllis to grow indoors, to classy bird feeders, roses and garden sheds, here are some gardening gifts to consider this holiday season.
Tough as Nails, Cute as a Button – If the gardener on the list is a gal, especially one with sense of style and whimsy, Garden Girl USA’s trim-fitting gardening pants ($93.99) or capris ($89.99) might be the thing. Made of pretty 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 brilliant for comfort when hiking, dog-walking, tending toddlers, cleaning, or bopping around town. Also consider floral-patterned Wellington Boots ($85.99). See GardenGirlUSA.com (866-610-5459).
- Dreaming of Rose Covered Bowers: Few roses are more prized by gardeners than David Austin’s fragrant English roses which bloom like mad, early summer through frost. Treat your special gardening friend to a David Austin gift voucher. Request that the confirmation come straight to you for gift-giving. It will come with Austin’s complementary 120-page “Handbook of Roses” catalog, which is a treat in itself. Give the two together for an enthusiastic “Wow!” The roses will be shipped in spring at the right time for planting as bare rootstock. Once planted, bare root roses quickly leaf-out and bloom. Two beauties to ponder: ‘Munstead Wood’, a deep crimson rose ($27.95 each, three for $71.25) and yellow climber ‘Golden Celebration’ ($25.99 each, three for $66). See DavidAustinRoses.com (800-328-8893).
- Give a Classic Tweet – Watching wild birds from the window is especially sweet in winter. For a classy gift-worthy bird feeder, visit DrollYankees.com (800-352-9164) where abundant choices abound. For close encounters with interesting birds of all sorts, 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 winner is Dorothy’s Cardinal Feeder ($59.99) designed to attach to a post or a hook. A food-magnet for cardinals, bluebirds, juncos and ground feeding birds, this sturdy 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.
- Winter’s Indoor Tropical Bloomers – Those in the know consider amaryllis bulbs unbeatable holiday gifts. The huge tropical flowers of amaryllis always impress, yet they’re actually easy and fun to grow indoors in winter, no green thumb needed. Prepare to be thanked all winter long. Once growth begins, each top-sized bulb produces two, sometimes three, towering stems. And then, atop each stem four to six flamboyant flowers open and bloom! As gifts, bare bulbs can be wrapped in tissue paper or presented potted up ready to grow (you’ll find pots and soil at home centers or garden centers). Once watered, these crowd-pleasers go from brown blob to elegant beauty in just eight to 12 weeks. Holiday Gift-Giving Tip: Do as savvy gardeners do. Buy a bunch of bulbs at wholesale prices and knock off gifts for half your holiday list at once. A dozen bulbs might cover: three for a sweetie, plus one each for favorite friends, grandparent, sister, co-worker, hair cutter, mechanic or bartender. They also make terrific teacher gifts. A top source for wholesale prices on top-quality amaryllis varieties is Colorblends.com (888-847-8637). Connecticut-based Colorblends offers 16 desirable amaryllis varieties (sized 32-34 cm). The minimum order is $60. For orders of 12 bulbs the price is about $8 to $9.50 per bulb depending on variety.
- Space is an Ultimate Treat – For an ultimate holiday treat consider an efficient garden shed, a larger gift that still fits nicely under the tree (outdoors!). 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’ x 10’ Studio Shed storage model with unfinished interior and block/metal siding starts at $6,300 (plus installation and shipping, starting at $900 each). Studio Shed structures are known for smart efficient design, green materials, good looks and durability. Using their online Shed Configurator makes it easy to design and price the shed you want. Less expensive Small Shed DIY Kits are also available. See Studio-Shed.com (888-900-3933).
Please be sure to join us Monday 12/2/2013 on #gardenchat Twitter for an evening of conversation with fellow gardeners about what products they enjoy using in the garden.