Gardener Gifts under the Tree

It is that time of year again, and I have been going through the catalogs and newspaper clippings that I have saved all year in order to compile a Christmas wish list.

There are some new things on the market and lots of old standbys, such as medium-sized tarps to pick up all those pesky leaves and weeds that come out of the flower beds.

Good gloves are always nice. Both Amaryllis and Paper White bulbs are fun gifts, and after several months of indoor enjoyment, they can go into the yard come spring.

The indoor/outdoor weather station allows you to check the temperature outside without leaving the house. I am going to ask for several Slinkies (metal ones) this year. I have it on good authority that a metal Slinky attached to the bottom of a bird feeder surrounding the pole
will deter squirrels and raccoons.

New this year is a butterfly habitat, complete with a
coupon for cocoons to be ordered when your gardener wants
to watch them hatch. Planting bags are another new find.
These are bags with handles that hold between 16 and 45
quarts of soil that can be planted and then moved around.
They sound perfect for porches, balconies, and small patios
or yards.

A rain barrel is also a great gift, and you can go a step
farther and install it on your gardener’s downspout or under
a valley in their roof. Rain barrels can be purchased online
or from catalogs, but they are a lot more expensive than
those made in the rainwater harvesting classes currently being
held around the area. Half-day workshops run between $30
and $50 and participants come out with a 55-gallon rain
barrel ready to attach to their downspout at home. Catalogs
charge $150 and up plus shipping. Check with the following
people for a workshop in your area: Waxahachie: John
Smith, Waxahachie Parks Department, (972) 937-7730 ext,
181; Cedar Hill: Josh McLerran, (972) 291-5126 ext, 2818;
Midlothian: Kathleen Hamilton, (972) 775-7123.
Have a great holiday and enjoy the cooler weather.

Written by Nancy Fenton, Master Gardener.

See also Garden Variety Organics for gardener gifts.