09 December 2007

Gifts for Gardeners 2007

This is the month of shopping for people who love plants. Fortunately, there are so many choices that no two gifts have to be alike: a pot of bulbs, a new tool, planters, live plants, grow lights, heaters and heat mats, shelving for indoors and out.

The amount spent can be from zero with a gift certificate for hours of digging and weeding to a fountain outside on the deck.

Gifts for gardeners includes items for every pocketbook and gifts from the humble to the sublime.
Washable garden gloves $5 — Ora Mae Piester, 918-683-4433, sells them for Muskogee Garden Club.

Or, become charter members of the new Oklahoma Botanical Garden, north of Tulsa. Send $35 for an individual or $50 for a family to Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden, 5323 W. 31st Street North, Tulsa 74127 and 728-2707.

On the higher end, a broad fork to loosen soil without using a rototiller, $160, or Johnny’s Selected Seeds, www.johnnyseeds.com and (877) 564-6697.

Seed collections: children’s garden, hummingbird and butterfly, old-fashioned fragrance, rainbow kitchen, herbs, unusual annuals, etc. Each collection of five varieties is in a decorative envelope, under $15, www.reneesgarden.com and (888) 880-7228.

Annie’s Annuals — gift certificates on sale — 15 percent off by Dec. 18 — www.anniesannuals.com and (888) 266-4370.

Gift certificates from Old House Gardens are sent on a photographed note — $40.
Owner Scott Kunst said, “Gift certificates give the gift of anticipation so gardeners can look ahead to spring in their imagination.”
Hard-to-find books such as the $10 “Spring Blooming Bulbs” or — T-shirts three for $25 and plastic bulb-planting baskets three for $13, www.oldhousegardens.com and (734) 995-1486.

Other books to please gardeners:
• “Best Garden Plants for Oklahoma” by Steve Owens, 2007, Lone Pine Publishing, $13 online, photographed beautifully with plant culture and best varieties listed.
• “Birds of Oklahoma Field Guide” by Stan Tekiela, published by Adventure Publications, $11 online.
Birds are classified by color first then shape or activity.

• “Butterflies of Oklahoma, Kansas and North Texas,” 2004, University of Oklahoma Press. Whether you are buying for a young gardener or a butterfly enthusiast, this is the reference they will want. Almost 300 pages of color photos and butterfly descriptions, habitat and food sources, $20 online.
• “Compact Guide to Oklahoma Birds,” 2007, Lone Pine Publishing. Chapters are by bird category such as water-foul, Grouse-like birds, doves and cuckoos, etc., www.lonepinepublishing.com, (800) 518-3541 — $14.
• “Birds of Oklahoma,” a CD-ROM of Oklahoma birds photographed by Bill Horn, $30, Bill Horn, 15217 S.E. 71, Choctaw 73020 or http://www.birdsofoklahoma.net/BirdCDform.htm
• “Oklahoma Gardeners Guide (Revised),” $13 online and “Oklahoma Perfect Lawn,” Cool Springs Press, $1 online, by Steve Dobbs.

Avant Gardener on sale — $18 for one-year, $50 for three years if ordered by Dec. 31. Monthly newsletters, eight pages, no photos, no advertising. Summarizes what’s new for plant lovers who want to stay up-to-date. Avant Gardener, Box 489, New York, N.Y. 10028.
Circle hoe for close weeding and cultivating. Imagine a sharpened circle attached to a hand-held or rake-length wood handle that was rated best value by the Wall Street Journal’s test of ergonomic tools. Three-handle lengths range in price from $10 to $30 and all are on sale on the company’s Web site, www.circlehoe.com and (800) 735-4815.

Fiskars and other companies make dozens of ergonomic tools: Rakes and pruners that are easy on the hands, shoulders and back, gardener’s knee pads, etc. Shop at www.arthritissupplies.com/ or www.fiskars.com and (800) 500-4849.

Gardeners Supply Co. has a link called “Gifts by Price” at www.gardeners.com or (888) 833-1412.

Root-Cut Weeder is seven inches long with a hooked-blade at one end and a fork at the other end, on sale, $7, great saws, trowels and other items of interest to gardeners, www.hidatool.com and (800) 443-5512.

Ups-A-Daisy Plant Inserts — Tall planters are an advantage for gardeners who want easier access without bending and kneeling. The circular discs come in three sizes and drop down into the planter to form a shelf for a planted pot. Sale — buy three get one free, www.ups-a-daisy.com and (815) 477-1388.

Wireless outdoor speakers from www.sharperimage.com could be a welcome summertime treat, as would a portable CD player for the days of endless weeding.

A gift card from Lowe’s has dozens of applications.

The 2008 seeds for a kitchen garden . . . lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions, etc. are available at Stringer Nursery in Tulsa and Conrad Farms in Bixby.

Make a soil-sifter for cleaning soil to sprinkle on the top of seeds. Use one-fourth and one-half inch hardware cloth nailed to wood frames that fit over a dishpan or larger plastic container.

For friends who propagate: a sack of vermiculite, rooting hormone, new spray bottles, insecticide for inside use, such as Safer Soap, or measuring spoons, small cups, and larger cups for measuring out chemicals. Make a gift basket out of several small items.

Sue Gray at Oklahoma State University Extension suggested, “A tree, a pallet of mulch delivered to their doorstep, a truckload of compost delivered and spread on the garden, a massage for after spreading the mulch and or compost. And, how about a collection of OSU Fact Sheets — print them off of the Web site and categorize them into a notebook for a gardener . . . it’s low cost and really thoughtful.”

Go directly to the fact sheets http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-389.
Plant lovers appreciate any gardening gift. With so many choices, you can’t go wrong.

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