18 December 2016

Gifts for Gardeners

Since gardeners come in all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities, shopping for the ones on your list might take a little thinking. These suggestions should help take some of the confusion out of holiday shopping this year.

There are traditional gardeners who love reliable bulbs and perennial flowering shrubs and there are modern gardeners who want this year’s brightest colors and newest hybrids.

Eco-friendly gardeners prefer natural colors, wildlife-friendly and native plantings. A gift list for them could include a birdbath with a heater to keep the water from freezing this winter, bird feeders, solar lights to illuminate the outdoors in every season, or a motion-activated wildlife camera (www.wingscapes.com).

For traditional gardeners on your list who are killing time until spring arrives, a potted Amaryllis bulb (www.gardeners.com) that they can watch grow until it blooms in the spring can be just right. Poinsettias and other indoor plants add cheer to the indoors, too. Borovetz-Carson Greenhouse (3020 North ST in Muskogee) specializes in Poinsettias at this time of year.

Whether you need something for a new or experienced gardener, reading material is always welcome for cold days. 

Books and magazines are loaded with plant identification help and gardening tips. 

Some choices include: Oklahoma Gardener Magazine (888-265-3600), “Late Bloomer: How to Garden with Comfort, Ease and Simplicity in the Second Half of Life” by Jan Coppola Bills, “Oklahoma Gardener’s Guide” by Steve Dobbs, “The Guide to Oklahoma Wildflowers” by Patricia Folley, “Best Garden Plants for Oklahoma” by Steve Owens and Laura Peters, “Compact Guide to Oklahoma Birds” by Cable, Seltman, Kagume and Kennedy, and “Forest Trees of Oklahoma” from the OK Department of  Agriculture and Forestry Services (405-522-6158).

Indoor and outdoor gardeners welcome containers to brighten windowsills, patios and garden beds. 

Consider filling a pretty flower pot with small gifts such as gloves, a new trowel, pruning tools, a CobraHead weeder (www.cobrahead.com), hand cream or bubble bath. Add a colorful bow and you are ready.

There is an old joke among gardeners that a load of manure is a perfectly fine gift and winter is the ideal time for it. Manure has to age before it can be applied to the garden without burning plants and roots. Piling it or spreading it during the winter allows it to become mellow in time for spring planting.

Compost also is a welcome gift. Be sure to include a gift certificate offering help when it is time to spread the compost on the vegetable garden or flower beds.

Part of the reason gardeners love their hobby is because they thrive on being outdoors and most of us enjoy walking in public gardens to enjoy other people’s ideas. Gifts of a garden membership are always welcome.

Possible memberships include: Friends of Honor Heights Park/Papilion Butterfly House ($25 individual membership - www.friendsofhonorheightspark.org), Linnaeus Teaching Gardens at Tulsa Garden Center ($30 membership - www.tulsagardencenter.com), Lendonwood Gardens in Grove ($30 membership - www.lendonwood.com), Tulsa Botanic Garden ($50 membership - www.tulsabotanic.org) and Myriad Botanical Garden ($50 individual/dual membership - oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com).

If you are handy with wood, wire and tools, most gardeners would appreciate a raised bed, a potting bench, compost bins, garden hods (baskets with wire sides and wood handles for collecting flowers or vegetables), fluorescent light structures and shelves for raising seedlings, or a cold frame made of re-purposed windows.

Waterproof shoes are wonderful for wet garden beds and can be washed off with a hose. All of the farm and garden supply stores sell them in a variety of styles and colors.

Short on cash but have plenty of energy? A gift certificate for help with late winter pruning, mulching and clean-up is sure to please.


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