I bet you're tired of seeing that video of the snowy Metrodome collapse by now. I know I am. But if you live in Minnesota, it's hard to ignore the snow. It's even harder to find something blooming.
I'm not home for this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Otherwise I'd scrounge around the house and maybe find an African violet or a kalanchoe with a few measly petals. I'd then have to give them a "glamour shot" treatment; a tight shot with soft focus or such to make them presentable for an audience.
As it is, I'm out of town getting ready to attend my daughter's college graduation in just a few days. And to be honest, GBBD had completely slipped my mind. Let's hope that's all that slips, freezing rain predicted for today. There's seems to be no escaping this winter.
Poinsettias can be cliche, and then there are all the variations on a theme; pink, maroon, green and those goddawful freckled ones. Then there's the glitter and dye-jobs. It's sad when our plants have to wear makeup. I think I still like the classic red; this one I've enjoyed immensely, with it's slight touch of variegation. Here's a photo from last week...
If you already have your holiday shopping done, you probably don't need this list. However, if you've been waiting for divine inspiration or panic to spur you on, maybe I can help.
If I only had to shop for gardeners, gift-buying would be a giddy, fun-filled spree skipping through the internet and multiple garden centers. I think, as a group, we are a grateful bunch, a group that's easy to please.
Just be glad you don't have to shop for my husband; good, all-around guy but not a gardener. His mother and I brainstormed on this gift topic recently but only came up with headaches.
I'll be the first to tell you that we bloggers get lots of samples and goodies. They come from generous and well-intentioned people hoping that we will find them delightful and/or useful, and then write about the wonders of their product. I'll admit right up front, that a few of my suggestions might spring from this, but mostly they are practical things that I myself would be happy to receive, any time of the year for that matter. So here we go...
Gloves: We can never have enough gloves. We lose them, we poke through them, we lend them. A collection of gloves would be good; heavy goatskin for rose-pruning, rubber-coated for digging damp soil and thin, stretchy for delicate seedling work.
Plant Journal: While some of us will never be so organized as to actually use one, we'd like to have one just in case. There's an online plant journal called Plant Jotter, that takes garden planning and recording to a whole new level.
Mason Bee House: Beyond bird feeders this is the perfect gift for habitat gardeners. Mason bees use the bamboos tubes inside the cute little shelter to lay eggs and store nectar and pollen. Mason bees are 20 times more efficient than honeybees, and they don't sting.
Dibble: What? A dibble or dibber is a sharp, pointy tool with a T-shape handle, an old-fashioned tool that makes for fast planting of seeds, bulbs and young plants. A life-changing tool for me, it's great for what I call speed-planting. You can find them in garden stores and online catalogs.
Camera: Whether it's a point-and-shoot or a big, fancy digital SLR; a camera can bring so much to your gardening. Photographing your garden makes you see it in a whole new way; recording your growth and bloom times, helping with design issues, seeing seasonal interest not to mention lots of pictures to pull out and show off to your friends. For the real geeky gardener, go one step further with a macro lens for bug closeups. Yes, I have one and no, it wasn't free.
Tools: Trowels, pruners, weeders, shears, etc. You can't go wrong with iconic red-handled Felcos, however Corona tools are making a big push with their new line. They've put a lot of thought into ergonomics; scaling them to fit feminine hands. I love Oxo tools in the kitchen and now they are coming out with garden tools too.
Garden Magazine Subscriptions: Hey, when we aren't gardening, we like to read about gardening. Right now publishers are practically giving away magazines, just to keep readership during the tough economy. I recommend anything that Better Homes and Gardens does, Fine Gardening, Birds and Blooms, Garden Design and Horticulture. If you live in my neck of the woods, buy local and give a year of Northern Gardener.
Seeds: We love seeds. Seed packets give us hope and something to hold in our hands during the long winters. Lots of catalogs are out before Christmas with yummy photos to dream over. Give a gift certificate for spring or pick out some and personalize the plant. Try purveyors of unique and heirloom seeds like Renee's, Seeds of Change, Seed-Savers,Johnny's and Baker Creek.
Let me know if you have suggestion too. Otherwise, what are you waiting for? Get shopping!