Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Let the Gift Giving Begin!

Homemade Maple Block Vase
Who doesn't like receiving a gift?  December has to be the official gift giving month of the year and with good reason. Take your pick from the biggies - Christmas and Hanukkah to the food related ones - Fruitcake Day (12/27), National Fritters Day (12/2) and National Maple Syrup Day (12/7). And no doubt you celebrate Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day (12/8) or National Whiners Day (12/26), hope not. Thank you for listing over fifty holidays to celebrate this month. I promise not to forget Day of the Ninja (12/5) next year.  
Gardeners are the easiest to find gifts for during the month of December. They are happy with just about anything that would be of help or enhancement in the landscape. From a bag of potting soil to a new shovel, they're happy with anything garden related. Below are some photos of some of my favorites (or ones I'm giving this year). If you want to view three minutes of my garden gift giving ideas, just click on the video below.

The first gift above is one of the coolest garden flower vases I've seen. A friend's husband is an expert wood worker and designed the vase to hold just a few flowers in a simple test tube. It's more of an art piece and the fact that flowers can be added is a bonus. I move it around the house because it's so attractive to view. Nothing says welcome like flowers, so place it in a guest room for visiting friends or family. It makes a pretty centerpiece too and you can see across the table to converse with your guests.

The grouping to the right represents some home grown plants including a gift basket. The upper right is a black container of garlic chives using left over from the fall planting cloves. Sink a few small cloves in to a container of potting soil - they take just a couple of weeks to emerge. Snip away to flavor any dish for a special taste of garlic. The leaves quickly grow back, so use them all winter and compost the plants and potting soil in the spring. 

Also pictured are canned tomatoes, dried basil, amaryllis (slow, late start this year, will bloom in January), and paperwhites. Have fun with an assorted basket of garden goodies (choose what you think your gardener would like). In this basket I included seeds, a garden center gift certificate, small pruners, hand soap, gloves and a soil test kit. Instead of a basket consider using a flexible plastic carry-all that doubles as a harvest tub - garden tub.

The gifts to the left require a little bit of spending. The soil test runs $35.00, a magazine subscription varies, some can be as low as $20.00 a year.  Garden books are excellent reference and idea resources, and so helpful with on the spot information (especially if the internet is down). 

A lavender wrap is a nice gesture for the gardener who likes a bit of pampering after a day in the garden (ME). The leaf scoops are for anyone who dislikes fall raking; these will make the job so much easier, almost fun, so much so that your children will want to use them too. Floating row covers are very useful for early outdoor seed starting and covering plants for late spring frosts or season extending in the fall. 

Micro green basil growing in Smart Pots
Any level of gardener or ones with ample garden space to plant will get lots of use out of Smart Pots - my go to container for basil, potatoes, herbs and broccoli. Check out their entire line of reusable, lightweight, watering fool-proof containers. Sold at local garden centers or online.

Enjoy the season!

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston Churchill


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