If you're still stumped on that perfect gift for the gardener in your life, hopefully Part Three in my gift giving series will reveal just the thing you've been seeking.
Let's get right to it:
Have you noticed your gift recipient's trees looking a little lackluster? Do they wear the same old leaves every year? Is their bark that same old drab gray from season to season? This product promises to give their trees the sparkling personality that they lack. The Yelling Tree Face is bound to grab the attention of surrounding plants and people. Before you know it, their trees will be the life of the party.
Topiary is a time honored tradition in the grand gardens of Europe. Whether it's a French poodle or the Loch Ness Monster, these whimsical additions will give anyone's garden that certain "je ne sais quoi". And just let them try to re-gift this one!
Have you ever wished for larger hands? That's the question asked by the company selling this nifty little number. The Leaf Rake Hands will dispell any inadequacies in that department. Once they slip their puny little hands into these, your gift recipient will feel like a garden superhero as they scoop up large piles of leaves in an instant. Wolverine will have nothing on them. Great for scaring the neighborhood children off your lawn too.
Look no further than the Lawn Stryper for the gardening man in your life. This handy invention allows him to transform his turf into Target Field or favorite golf course lookalike. Be the first on your block to get this gift. But it begs the question for us gals, when will they invent a similar device to mow cute polka-dots or a subtle check?
Many gardeners love to grab a cup of coffee and stroll through their garden fist thing in the morning. These stylish High Tech Plant Examining Glasses will let them see what's wrong with their garden right out of the gate. Developed by Nasa these lenses filter out light from healthy green chlorophyl and spotlight disease and pest damage before it's visible to the naked eye. Who needs rose colored spectacles for their roses when they can have these?
Gnomes lend a certain old-world charm to any garden. When you've wearied of gnomes in such tired and cliche poses as "wheeling a cart", "digging with spade", "carrying water bucket" and "picking flowers", there's nothing like "gnome in a mankini" to liven up your garden plot.
Happy Holidays to all my readers! May all your gardening gifts be wonderful and well-received.
Here we go with Part Two of my holiday gift suggestions for the gardeners in your life. And what a gift they are to you, by the way.
A few days ago I talked about all the great practical and appreciated gifts that gardeners would love to receive. Today I'm all about the things we don't need.
Some people just love thingamajigs and inventions "sure to make your life easier", and if that's the case, you can leave quietly and go sip egg nog in another room until I get to Part Three in a few more days.
However, just as many accomplished chefs believe you can make good food with simply a pan, knife and spoon, I think that gardening doesn't have to be complicated by lots of specialized tools,widgets and what-nots.
Thus a short and succinct list of things we'd rather you didn't get us.
Whimsical Watering Cans: Watering cans shaped like elephants with silly spouts or any other shapes that made you say, "Oh, isn't that cute", probably aren't worth a fig. It's funny how good design suddenly makes sense once you've hauled a few hundred pounds of water around in a container that hurts your hand and sloshes liquid all over your feet. Classic watering cans are classic because that's the shape that works.
Bulb Planters: I'm talking about that device with the small cone-like piece on the bottom of a long handle that you supposedly insert into rich, loamy, crumbly soil (because less than ideal soil like most of us have compacts in the little cone and has to be scraped out, each time), twist and pull to reveal the perfect little pocket-sized hole to nestle your daffodil bulb. Really? Real gardeners don't plant 2 or 3 bulbs. We go for quantity. All you need for planting bulbs is a sharp shovel to excavate big kidney-shaped indentations to house large platoons of tulips that will bloom in natural drifts. Think of all the money you'll save avoiding carpal-tunnel surgery too.
Garden-Themed Gift Baskets: They look tempting, but step away from the ribboned and cellophaned ready-made gift basket. More often than not they contain cheap and flimsy gardening tools, weedy seeds and some smelly hand lotion. If you genuinely want to encourage or support a gardener, cobble together your own basket, referring to the previous blog post for better ideas.
Butterfly House: You've all seen these charming little houses, painted in pretty colors with coin-width slots arranged on the front. They look like a little butterfly Motel 6; you can just imagine them, wings folded, all tucked in for the night. Leave it to science-based research to poop that party. It's been found that butterflies won't use them. Plant a few sheltering evergreens though and they'll thank you. If you insist, they can still be used as decorative elements.
Potted Plant-of-the-Month: Don't get me wrong, we love to get plants, but those catalog offerings are "hothouse darlings" that look good for a week or two and then send us into throes of guilt because even we intermediate to advanced gardeners have a hard time keeping them alive until spring to plant outside. (This entry not applicable for gardeners living in California and other perpetually sunny places. Just plant, plant away)
Cute Little Containers with Herb Seed Packets: You know what I'm talking about. They masquerade in all form and fashion purporting to be an instant and endearing little windowsill/kitchen counter herb garden. They are not. Even if you faithfully water the diminutive pot that dries out every few hours in your heated home, chances are the light conditions in your home will not support growth beyond a few measly sprigs. See # 5 re:guilt. See # 2 re:quantity
If I sound a little surly with this list it's because I want everyone to have successful, happy gardening experiences. I want things to grow and flourish and bring joy to the person that tended them. A lot of the gimmicks and gadgets aimed at gardeners bring about guilt and disappointment. Many are just another marketing ploy that reinforces the faulty notion that you don't have a green thumb.
Everyone has green thumb potential. It's all about the right plant in the right place. Simple as that.
Attending classes and presentations put on throughout the year and throughout the country by Extension Master Gardeners who give the latest and most accurate information on gardening practices might be the best gift you can give yourself or suggest to others.
Stay tuned for Part Three: Silly, extravagant and ridiculous gifts for the gardener who has everything.