Thu, Jun

Garden Clippings: Here’s the Dirt on Holiday Gift Deals

The holidays are here. I stand at Urban Outfitters shifting my weight while perusing sweaters for my nephews. Blue? Grey? Then suddenly the music makes me think I’m in North Korea. Bah-bye. 
Then there’s my mother-in-law who mostly likes cash. Cashmere, a robe, gloves—not so much!
Unable to top (and for that matter, afford) last year’s Fender guitar, I consider instead another flannel shirt for the husband. But aren’t the five plaid ones already crammed into the Mini Cooper-sized closet enough? 
So for me when it comes to gardeners, they are just the easiest to shop for at the holidays. Whether a Janice Chen scissors to stuff in a stocking, Wellies to slip your decidedly non-Cinderella feet into, or a birdhouse built without sub-contractors and overrruns, I’m inspired by choices both practical and fanciful. Some ideas to tempt you.
Here Comes Santa Claus: Seed packets are great for stocking stuffers for family, waitresses, teachers. Give them out to the children for the eight days of Chanukah (prices range from $1.49-$5 at Whole Foods; Armstrong Garden Center). In a basket, bundle MUD h2O great grip gloves in a variety of cool colors ($7.50 Sheridan Gardens) with the Cavallini Flora & Fauna Journal ($12 Paper Source), German-made Pedag brush that scrubs away under-nail grime. ($4.57 at amazon.com) and a tube of Tokyo Milk hand cream (at Scentsabilities, $12).
Durable and no-nonsense, the Moleskin Gardening Journal is great for a male or female gardener ($20, Portrait of a Bookstore). 
For someone big on ideas but has trouble executing (that would be me!), try the online garden planner. You fill in your location, yard dimensions, and plant preferences and it helps you plot out a garden design. It’s free for 30 days, then $25 a year for subscription 
Deck the Halls: Front door mats, garden stakes, butterfly houses, succulent planters, and the cutest garden gnomes ($25-$50 Sheridan Gardens Nursery, Burbank.) 
Hang a Shining Star upon the highest bough: Glass hand-made wind chimes (Emerald Forest); a red-painted Woodshed outdoor birdhouse that combines form and function when perched on high tree limb ($49.00 at www.gardenartisans.us/). Sweet as it is nourishing, the pot de creme hummingbird feeder comes in clear or colored handblown glasss and will be used like crazy this winter by these little garden visitors. ($29.99 bestnest.com)
Hoe Hoe Hoe and more: The classic DeWit Tulip Trowel boasts sturdy design with the promise of becoming a much-handled keepsake ($39.95 at www.gardentoolcompany.com); another great tool is the katate kuwa combination hoe (33.95 Sears, Home Depot); who wouldn’t be delighted with the pretty russian flower watering can (32.99 Bed Bath and Beyond); and to keep the soil in optimum shape, try California’s own Haven Manure Tea Gift Pack, stylishly wrapped gift assortment of cow manure, horse manure, and alfalfa natural teas ($25-$50).   (More Marla here) 
(Marla Hart wrote a weekly column for the Chicago Tribune for six years, covering soap opera, movies and pop culture. She also wrote a gardening column for North Shore Magazine. Before that, she did A&R at rock label Janus Records and artist relations at Beserkley Records. Her role model is Lassie. She and the handsome duo--Huck the hound and Hugh the husband--sniff out beautiful gardens on their four walks a day in Studio City. This column is dedicated to anyone who lovingly tends to a little patch of heaven. Marla blogs at ShermanOaks.Patch.com) 
Vol 10 Issue 96
Pub: Nov 27, 2012

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