Frederick County Master Gardener
Gift-giving time is nigh --
our nights are longer, our jackets are warmer, and our
gardens are enjoying a well-deserved rest of their
Gardeners love tools, and
books, and magazines, and mini-greenhouses, and seeds,
and bulbs -- all of which make great gifts.
We have a lot of older
gardening tools. Several are just worn out. Do you
have any recommendations for replacements?
A gardener can never have
enough tools, especially superior quality tools. For a
great selection of tools field-tested and used
regularly by professional market farmers and serious
gardeners here and in the United Kingdom, check out
Johnny's Selected Seeds of Winslow, Maine.
They sell a fabulous high
carbon steel hand hoe for weeding and cultivating for
only $12.55 along with a complete line of long handled
hoes, cultivators, trowels, digging forks, knives, and
any other garden tool worth shed space.
Already in print for the 2007
season, Johnny's free seed and product catalog alone
will be enjoyed over the winter months by your
gardener. Reach employee owned and operated Johnnys by
phone 1-877-Johnnys (1-877-564-6697) or on the web at
www.Johnnyseeds.com. Currently they are offering a
discount on gift certificates.
My wife gets restless in the
winter from lack of gardening! Any suggestions?
Greenhouses make great gifts!
If you have the room, a full-size greenhouse --tall
enough to stand in, with shelving for lots of plants
-- may be the right choice for you. But don't fret if
you are limited in space -- several mini-greenhouses
are available, as well, and will keep the gardener in
your life happily busy all winter -- from growing
orchids to overwintering tender perennials!
One major source to check out
is Growers Supply, a division of Farmtek, a leading
manufacturer of fabric structures and greenhouses.
They also publish free catalogs. Ask for their Master
Catalog and you will have over 30,000 agricultural,
horticultural, and landscaping items to peruse. Phone
1-800-476-9715 or www.GrowersSupply.com
And when you can't garden
because it's cold outside, there's nothing better than
curling up with a cup of tea and reading a book about
My wife always looks through
the gardening books when we go to the bookstore. Which
would you recommend as keepers?
Three excellent gardening
books may arouse her reading interest. The first, The
Well-Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy DiSabato-Aust,
does not offer suggestions about what to plant where.
Instead, it explains how to care for what is already
in your garden -- how to care for it very, very well.
Its A-Z encyclopedia of plant care includes
discussions of each perennial's needs -- from
deadheading and pruning to sunlight and soil drainage.
With entries from Acanthus spinosus to Viola odorata,
every gardening enthusiast will find something of
value in this helpful book.
A second book idea is Noah's
Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back Yards,
by Sara Stein. In this very readable book, Stein
details her conversion from a high-style conventional
gardener trying to do everything right to an
ecologically-informed nature lover. She explains why
(and how) we need to transcend many of our older
gardening concepts and help our own back yards become
places of plenty again -- plenty of wild berries,
songbirds, and native plants.
The third recommended book is
an academic look at the ordering and naming of flora,
from the 3rd century BCE to the publication of
Linnaeus's Species plantarum in 1753. The Naming of
Names: The Search for Order in the World of Plants, by
Anna Pavord, will engage the interest of everyone
interested in the history of plants--a history which
includes far more intrigue and danger than you might
Any other ideas?
Two last-minute ideas come to
mind: a 12-month subscription to a gardening magazine,
such as Horticulture.
And, last but not least, for
the gardener who has everything -- including aches and
pains from all of that kneeling, digging and
deadheading - perhaps a gift certificate for a
one-hour massage, where those aches and pains can be
gently rubbed away and replaced with oooohs and aaaahs.
Happy Giving and Receiving!
articles on winter gardening & gift idea
Read other articles by Joanne Brown