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Diggin’ In: 10 gifts for the gardener on your list

December 21,  2015

You’re making your gift list and checking it twice — and you suddenly discover there’s a gardener Santa needs to remember.

Stress not. Gardeners are, by far, the easiest people to please because there are so many gifts that appeal to their love for all things natural and nice.

1. Sunflowers and hoe. The Sunflower Garden Seed Collection includes all the colors and sizes of the sunflower family. Flowers can be harvested for fresh bouquets or left in the garden for the birds to feast on the delicious seeds. Collection includes five packs of seeds and a planting diagram for a 3-by-10-foot garden. Plant seeds directly in the garden two weeks after the last spring frost, $22.95. Use the forged carbon steel, sharp-edged Japanese hand hoe to weed those sunflowers; available in left- and right-handed models, $24.95. Free shipping on orders over $35 until Dec. 20 at The Gardener’s Workshop at www.thegardenersworkshop.com or 888-977-7159.

2. Vintage birdhouse. Nestled under the eaves or beside a favorite entryway, the French Blue Williamsburg birdhouse is a glazed stoneware creation that has made happy homes for small birds since 1699. Inspired by an original excavated from the yard of the historic James Geddy House, the bird bottles were apparently popular in 18th-century Williamsburg. The perch — a sturdy stick from your yard — is not included. $29.99, select No. 3668 at www.williamsburgmarketplace.com or 800-446-9240.

3. Birdie treats. Give your best birding friends a basket of treats meant for their feathered friends. Fill a basket with a trio of special blends that include sunflower meats, peanuts, safflower and pecans or sunflower meats infused with fiery hot habanero chilies to keep the squirrels away. A nutberry blend combines all of nature’s best in one bag — fruits with insect suet kibbles and whole kernel sunflower meats, $12.99-$17.99 per 5-pound bag. Or, stock a basket with a suet cake feeder and the cakes to go in it, $1.69-$1.99. Cole’s Wild Bird seeds and foods at garden center and wildlife stores nationwide; www.coleswildbird.com.

4. Year of birds. Keep track of your busy year while enjoying the sights of beautiful birds on a 2016 calendar that benefits research, conservation and education work by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Each full-color bird photo features facts about each species and some birding tips to help your outdoor birding skills, $10. For more bird-related gift ideas — tutorials and webinars, guides to bird sounds, online birding reference and bird-friendly coffee — shop www.birds.cornell.edu/BirdGifts.

5. Year-round helper. For the seasoned gardener that wants an all-purpose tool, Gloucester Virginia gardener Brent Heath high recommends one of his favorites — the garden knife and storage sheath with its new heavy-duty blade. Heath uses the knife to cut the roots of weeds, to do the "stab/pull/drop" method of planting small bulbs and to plant small perennial plugs. Order the knife with leather sheath with "Brent and Becky’s" logo and website address on it, $30, through Brent and Becky’s Bulbs at www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com or 877-661-2852.

6. Change lives. Shade-grown Arbor Day Foundation Coffee is a gift that continues to give long after the holidays are over because it helps protect precious rain forest and the farmers who call it home. It’s called shade-grown coffee because the crop is grown under the canopy of the rain forest instead of cutting down precious trees, and then it’s drum roasted. $13.49 and up at http://shop.arborday.org/coffee/coffee-shop.aspx or 888-448-7337.

7. Garden indoors. For the year-round gardener, think an assortment of easy-grow succulents in a decorated crate or basket or a beautiful bromeliad in handmade or decorated containers. $4 and up, according to size and choice at Gardens by Teresa, which also supplies wire art topiaries; www.gardensbyteresa.com or 532-0080.

8. Toad time. A toad abode provides cover and a bit of whimsy to your wildlife garden. And it’s not just for toads! All manner of small wildlife will take shelter in this ceramic house. Place it in a wet shady area and toads will repay you by reducing slugs and bad bugs in your yard. $19.99 through National Wildlife Federation at www.nwf.org or 800-756-3752.

9. Handy tote. When it’s time to harvest cukes and tomatoes – or fresh-cut flowers — from your garden, do it with the handy and stylish garden trug by Joseph Bentley. The garden trug is made of natural Metasequoia wood, and features two crafted wooden handles that provide perfect balance for carrying. The wooden feet help to stabilize the basket and keep it level when it’s sitting on the ground or on a countertop. $24.95 at http://shop.josephbentleyus.com/products/gardentrug and www.amazon.com.

10. Color your world. Coloring books for adults are all the rage, said to reduce stress and increase connection to nature, especially when it’s a coloring book like the new "Color the Natural World" from Timber Press. The 96-page book includes bugs, fish, plants and monarch butterflies. $10 at www.timberpress.com/books or 800-327-5680.

WHEN IN DOUBT

There’s one universal, fits-everyone gardener gift that can be found at garden and wildlife centers or from landscape designers — a gift certificate that enables them to pick out something they’ve always wanted.

 

 


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