Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Most all of the economic news is gloomy, but even if you’re on a budget, Christmas shopping need not create problems.
All sorts of garden gifts are practical and inexpensive. The “Gardens 2005 Wall Calendar” is a wonderful example. It features eye-catching garden photos by Daniel Dempster from Browntrout Publishers. This item has a bonus image with a four-month planner, making it a 16-month calendar.
The “In the Garden” slim diary also from Browntrout is an ideal gift for gardeners. Small enough to fit into a pocket or purse, this high quality appointment calendar features a garden photo for each week along with a year planner table. It even has blank pages at the end for miscellaneous notes. To mark your page, there is a convenient ribbon attached to the spine.
Whether you're interested in wildlife, wildflower, or nature calendars, award-winning photographer Bela Baliko has a title to meet your needs. These should be available in local bookstores and online. Titles of interest to Americans will include "Majestic America" featuring exquisite photographs from western America's natural wonders. Among his series on bears are "Great Bears" and "Polar Bears."
What gardeners wouldn’t welcome “Garden Days Note Cards” by renowned artist Judith Glover, published by Avalanche Publishing? The gorgeous box is decorated with a green ribbon, and is attractive enough to keep on a desk. The set features sixteen cards with four each of the four different designs.
Gardeners would also love to receive beautiful, handmade floral note cards. It’s easy when you follow the instructions in Cindy Walter’s “Snippet Sensations Bouquets” from Krause Publications. In this craft guide, this renowned quilt teacher and designer provides easy instructions for 12 designs. She describes this technique as painting with snips of fabric. The book gives details on making snippet-decorated note cards.
If you enjoy crafts, make wonderful gifts for those on your list. The practical items in “Garden Sampler” make memorable gifts. This title by Brian and Robin Mester was published by Grace Publications. This wonderful guide features 14 simple projects using various kinds of craft techniques. Among the items are stepping stones, birdhouses, and flower pots, which are decorated with garden motifs. The book features full-size patterns and complete instructions.
Those with basic woodworking skills can create other functional items for gardeners. “Simple Handmade Storage” by Philip and Kate Haxell was published by Laurel Glen. This guide features 23 projects that you can easily complete in a week-end, including a garden box, and a hose storage area. These will help gardeners control clutter.
For gardeners who start their own plants from seeds, give them a gift certificate from Thompson & Morgan. For them, another great selection would be Hydrofarm’s Germination Station. It features an electrically heated mini-greenhouse with a plastic tray for starting seeds. This item will greatly improve one’s success with seeds, especially the ones that are hard to germinate.
Gardeners will be thrilled with useful garden gifts like garden gloves, shears, and watering devices. In addition, garden journals are always welcome. The best journal by far is “Stepping Stones-a Gardener’s Journal” from Hobby House Press. Unlike most journals, this isn’t an entirely blank book. The pages have helpful headings with lots of space for recording applicable information. Organized by season, it features garden poetry and gardening tips. At the back, there are blank pages for miscellaneous notes and garden photos, and a plant checklist where you can record the names of the ones you grew with details on how they performed.
With the holidays approaching, Old Man Winter can’t be far behind. Let that gardener on your list know what to expect by giving him/her a copy of “Baer’s 2005 Agricultural Almanac & Gardener’s Guide.” Written by Gerald S. Lestz, this has been published by John Baer’s Sons for 180 years. So you know it’s the real thing.
Throughout the year, gardeners on your list will never cease to rejoice in the delightful poetry found in “Working the Dirt-an Anthology” from NewSouth. Edited by Jennifer Horne, this inspirational work has works by nearly a hundred poets, including Robert Penn Warren, Nikki Giovanni, and Wendell Berry. The poems are organized by theme, such as fruits and vegetables, yards and gardens, and strong women.
For herb lovers, there is no better gift than “Natural Health Encyclopedia” by Dia Spriggs, a renowned health author. This multimedia CD-ROM is part of the Alternative Health Series from Hopkins Technology. Suitable for Windows-based PC’s, this features extensive information for over a hundred of the most widely used herbs. With over 125 color photos, it will help users maintain their health through the use of herbs and natural substances.
For gardeners who happen to be interested in crafts, craft-related items are appreciated. Quilters will be delighted with “Nestled in the Country,” a companion book for the public television show, “Quilting From the Heartland.” In this title, Sharlene Jorgenson presents 13 great quilt projects from the show’s Series 1100. It includes full size quilts as well as wall hangings, table runners, and a baby bunting. Some of these feature garden-related themes. Suitable for all levels, it provides all the basics on quilting along with color-illustrated, easy to follow instructions.