Carla Albright

Carla Albright

Although Thanksgiving seems late this year, it seems like most retailers are offering Black Friday deals in advance of the “real” Black Friday. Which means its not too early to be thinking about the gardeners on your Christmas list. When I am asked by family what I would like for Christmas, I can never come up with any real ideas.

That is, until I start researching for my annual Gift Guide column. Then I always find fun and helpful things to put on my list. Here are a few I found this year.

First, I start with the Gardeners’ Supply catalog. If you don’t get one already, you can visit their website at www.gardeners.com and request one. Or you can simply shop from that site. The Sunflower Butterfly Puddler is something that caught my eye this year. This is a shallow ceramic dish with a sunflower design that you fill with sand, a pinch of salt and enough water to make a puddle. This will draw lots of butterflies who will stop by to replenish minerals to their systems. At about $22 plus shipping, this is a good gift for almost every gardener or butterfly watcher. And while we are helping butterflies, Gardeners’ Supply also has a pair of acorn-shaped birdfeeders with a copper patina that will each hold a cup of large seeds. This would qualify as yard art too, because it is so pretty. This one runs $27.

A new gift idea is the “Mod Hod” – a Gardeners’ Supply exclusive – that are stackable totes in two sizes that can serve as a tote to gather and rinse veggies from the garden, all in the same container. They have nice sturdy handles and their legs can lay flat for storage or extend to stack or drain.

There are two sizes of these clever hods: 9.5-inches long or 17-inches long, and they come in grey/blue, grey/purple or grey/turquoise. Small ones are $25 each or three or more for $20 each. The larger size is $30 each or three or more for $25 each.

And for that special gardener, why not get a stunning amaryllis in beautiful bronze or glass cachepots? There are six different varieties of flowers and each will bloom in six-twelve weeks. At $50 each, this would be a lovely and long-lasting reminder of your kindness. Quantities are limited, though, so don’t wait to order.

Another catalog I enjoy is the one that comes from Kinsman Company. They used to have a store front on Third Street in Tillamook but they are now only on-line (www.kinsmangarden.com)  or catalog sales unless you live in eastern Pennsylvania. New this year are handblown glass suncatcher/windchimes in the shape of jelly fish. Because they are glass, they need to be protected from really high winds and frost, but they would be lovely inside or outside in a protected area. The medium green one is 11-inches long and 5.5-inches wide and sells for $40. The small blue one is 10-inches long by 3.5-inches wide and costs $33. They are rather heavy so will need a strong breeze to chime.

Also from Kinsman are small (6-inches wide x 2.5-inches tall) ceramic Posey Pots that are perfect for small flower arrangements. There is a large hole in the center to use to fill with water or larger stems, and 12 smaller holes for smaller flower stems. At only $20 each, this would make a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer for a special gardener.

For the gardener who has everything, how about a Flower Press? A larger one (9 inches x 12 inches for $35) or small one ( 7 inches x 7 inches for $23) comes with blotter pages and either Velcro straps or nuts and bolts to tighten them. They also have a leaf and flower press for children that is 5 inches  x 7 inches and runs $18 each. This would be a great project for the budding young gardener in the family. (Pun intended!) Pressed leaves and flowers can then be used in wonderful and creative art projects. Kinsman also sells refill papers at 20 sheets for less than $6.

Kinsman also carries lovely pots, hanging baskets of steel wires, trellises of all sizes and many types of specialty tools. There is something for everyone in this catalog and something for every budget as well.

There is, of course, a drawback from ordering online and that is paying for shipping and handling. Sometimes I find the shipping costs can be almost as much or more than the item ordered. So be sure to factor that in when you are ordering. If you have more time than money, it might be better to see if you can find some of these items locally. Not all of them will be available of course, but you might find an alternative your gardener would prefer.

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