Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Forget the sweaters. Choose meaningful gifts for that flower lover. There are so many things they would like to receive.
Flowers, flowers, everywhere. How about a floral car mat? These should be available in retail stores and online. The Toland brand has several gorgeous car mats available. These include Posies, Helen’s Tulips, and Renaissance Tapestry with flowers that look very much like peonies. In addition to car mats, Toland also makes floor mats for homes. Ones suitable for flower lovers include Poppy Bear, Desert Flowers, and Waterlilies.
Sweaters may not be the best idea, but a floral T-shirt would be very welcome. Garden centers and other stores should have various ones for sale. My favorite is the Alphaflowerz. It features a different flower for each letter of the alphabet.
Where would we be without our mouse pads? Toland has numerous ones of interest to floral designers and flower lovers. There’s the sunflower, Tulips in Blue Pitcher, Sweet Magnolias, Peach Poppies, Topsy Turvy Tulips, and much more. Look for these at garden stores and other retail and online outlets.
Quilts do more than warm beds, especially when floral patterns are used. If that person on your list is a quilter, make your shopping easy by logging onto the C & T Publishing website (www.ctpub.com), and choosing from the many floral designs they have available. My favorite is "Tulips in the Park" pattern set by Piece O' Cake Designs, featuring twelve different tulip blocks, one for each month of the year plus one extra pattern for the borders. Other Piece O' Cake Designs featuring flowers include "Flowering Favorites," featuring beautiful flowering vines, briar rose, the love apple star, and thistles.
Despite email, people still like to receive cards and letters. Give that someone on your list a wonderful box of Elements deluxe floral note cards from Tide-Mark Press (http://www.tidemarkpress.com). You won't find higher quality cards than these. My favorite is the American Rose Society Roses with four delightful designs. The set includes sixteen cards, and seventeen envelopes. Long after the recipient has used all the cards they'll have the lovely lined keepsake case with magnetic closure.
When it comes to practical gifts, beautiful wall calendars can't be beat. Tide-Mark offers many choices. For 2004 there's garden photographer Suzanne Lewis' Bouquets. The 2002 version of this fabulous calendar won the 2002 Garden Globe Award. Your recipient will enjoy a year of gorgeous bouquets with one for each month. For each month, Lewis provides the names of the different flowers depicted.
Flower lovers will also be delighted with Heirloom Flowers, another Tide-Mark calendar by Lewis. Some of the wonderful blooms featured in this calendar are daffodils, tulips, lilies, and bleeding heart.
Those on your shopping list would find a Book of Days very useful. For flower lovers, an appropriate choice is "Winterthur's Twelve Months of Flowers-Book of Days," published by Galison/Mudpuppy Press (www.galison.com). It is beautifully decorated with antique flower prints depicting bouquets that were published in London about 1745, and happen to be in Winterthur's collections. For each month, there is a gorgeous print along with space for each day to record appointments. There are also two blank pages for each month to make additional notes. Throughout the book are delightful quotes about flowers. The book has other helpful features, such as the signs of the zodiac, birth stones, anniversary gifts, lots of space to make notes and record your birthday and holiday card list.
Floral designers are always delighted to receive vases and various kinds of containers for flowers. The ones imported to the U.S. by the Alexandria Bay Trading Company are just delightful. They’re available in various colors and shapes. My favorites are the hanging jars and vases. These are hand-blown in Egypt from recycled glass. Each of the hanging vases features jute twine. Stands or sconces are included with the others. Look for these lovely containers at local stores and online.
Floral design software is an ideal gift. You won't go wrong if you choose "Floral Design CD-ROM" by Donna Rankin from Delmar/Thomson Learning (www.thomsonlearning.com). This user-friendly program runs from the CD-ROM, so there's no need for installation. With this program, you can search for flower by month, vase life, color, use, hardiness zone, and many other criteria. For each plant, there is a color photo and complete details on it. In addition, there are helpful lists, a glossary, and much more.
Flower lovers will definitely be pleased with practical items for floral arranging. These should be available at local garden centers, online shops, and from mail-order catalogs. Consider floral arranging kits, floral tools, and floral supplies.
If budgets are unlimited, consider a membership in a flower of the month club. This can be done through online shops, by phone, and by mail-order. Each month the recipient will receive a bunch of flowers or a flowering plant. This is the ultimate gift.