Early Christmas Shopping

Early Christmas Shopping
The dog days of summer offer a good opportunity to start those garden craft projects you want to use for holiday gifts and shop for early gardening related gifts.

Start your Christmas decorating plans with the designs featured in “Donna Dewberry’s Designs for Entertaining” from North Light/F & W Publications. This devotes a whole chapter to the winter holidays with many of these feature gardening themes. There are delightful ideas for handcrafted holiday china, personalized Christmas ornaments, table settings, and more.

It has color-illustrated, step-by-step instructions for 60 easy one-stroke painting projects suitable for special occasions and holidays throughout the year. There are also ideas on coordinating flowers, fabrics, and accessories to create festive tables using various themes. In the introduction, the author provides all the basics you need to know.

Begin stocking up on 2007 calendars and stationery for gardening gifts. “Quilt Art 2007 Engagement Calendar” by Klauden Hansen and Annette Baker is published each year by the American Quilter’s Society. For each week, this spiral-bound item features an exquisite, full-color photo of a prize-winning quilt from around the country. A number of these quilts feature gardening themes. The authors provide a background for each quilt and a brief profile of its creator. This calendar has lots of space to record appointments and important dates.

Llewellyn is among the leading publishers of calendars and almanacs. For in-depth information on the moon and its influences on gardening, “Llewellyn’s 2007 Moon Sign Book-a Gardening Almanac and Guide to Conscious Living” can’t be beat. Published for over a century, this best-selling gardening guide has handy weekly charts listing the best times for specific gardening activities. In addition, there is a handy companion planting table listing each crop as well as tables showing the best time for destroying various pests and weeds. There are also other easy to use tables and charts, and weather forecasts along with in-depth articles on all sorts of lifestyle and gardening subjects, such as feng shui and urban living. It also offers space for writing gardening notes.

As with all of Llewellyn’s titles, “Llewellyn’s 2007 Herbal Almanac” is a classic. This features nearly three dozen articles by leading herbalists. These cover a host of herbal-related topics from history and folklore to growing, harvesting, and using herbs for various purposes, such as health, beauty, cooking, and crafts. For 2007, the articles include ones on creating jams, jellies and condiments, herbal remedies for pets, and designing a fairy house. In addition, this features charts and tables giving information on the moon and its attributes, signs, and phases.

The “National Audubon Society Gardener’s Journal,” published by Pomegranate, features paintings by Audubon. This hardcover, spiral-bound item is a wonderful source of gardening information. It can help people plan their landscapes and attract wildlife to their gardens. The appendices contain handy charts, information, and resources on wildlife-friendly gardening, including a USDA zone map. For each week, there is a double-page spread to record notes and observations. There are even pages of graph paper for drawing garden designs.

Pomegranate also offers “The Ornamental Garden” notecard set containing twenty premium-quality cards and envelopes with illustrations by Jane Loudon. With five cards for each of the four designs, these feature reproductions from titles in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. This comes in a beautifully decorated, reusable box. On the back of each card is the name of each flower and the name of the publication in which the illustration originally appeared.

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