Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
With the holiday season in full swing, it is time to get serious about holiday shopping. When those on your holiday shopping list are gardeners, it is easy to find gifts that please.
The best gift of all is a lovely holiday gift basket. This shows that you really care. With a gift basket, the items need not be expensive. They can be useful things like a small bag of pebbles and a small succulent in a pot along with some garden hand tools, such as small trowels for indoor gardening.
What really counts in a gift basket is its appearance. Instead of a basket, you can use any sort of container that will serve the purpose. It could be a large wooden wine crate or even a large flower pot. Add enough shredded paper or excelsior to fill the space around the gifts. A layer of moss or excelsior looks nice on top of the basket instead of tissue paper. Though gift baskets don’t have to be wrapped, they look great dressed up with bows and ribbons. Other options include adding some sprigs of evergreens or holly.
All kinds of cacti and succulent plants make good holiday gifts. The holiday cactus is very popular. Local nurseries and garden centers often have a wide assortment of indoor cacti and succulents. For those with outdoor cacti and succulent gardens, the selection is limited to hardy ones for the area.
Pots and planters make ideal holiday gifts. These can be elaborate tubs and troughs or any type for indoor or outdoor use. The strawberry planters are available in a wide range of colors and sizes. Some are brightly painted, while others are plain terra cotta. The very small ones are suitable gifts for indoor gardeners.
Topiaries and living wreaths made of succulents are ideal holiday gifts for cacti and succulent growers. If intended for outdoor use, these should be planted with hardy plants suitable for the region. The topiary forms are typically metal, and are filled with potting soil and moss. The roots of the plants are then inserted in the potting soil. Except for the shape, living wreaths are similar to topiaries.
Bags of cactus potting soil and other gardening supplies and aids, such as gloves, are welcome as garden gifts. So are books, magazines, and subscriptions.
I highly recommend the Baer’s 2011 Agricultural Almanac and Gardener’s Guide. The best gift of all is a five year subscription. Edited by Linda L. Weidman, this marks the 186th year this wonderful publication has been released by John Baer’s Sons.
From cover to cover, this charming and enjoyable almanac has everything a gardener could possibly want. There are engrossing articles on a wide range of gardening and other subjects as well. It also features delicious recipes, poetry, and humor as well. Gardeners will particularly love the articles on garden folklore. This issue features our national tree—the oaks—and the beloved rose. This also has specific lore for each month of the year.
This issue has all sorts of helpful and enlightening gardening articles. It features the long range weather forecast for each month along with the moon phases. There are horoscope hints and very useful tables. These include one on vegetable planting, seed planting, and gardening by the moon and zodiac signs. A procrastinator’s table lists the absolute last date for planting different crops.