Make your gardeners gift list

Published 12:01 am Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fortunate is the person who has a gardening friend or relative on the Christmas gift list, because it’s easy to find an appropriate gift for anyone who has “gardenitis.”

Shopping for the gardener on your list is easy: gardeners love simple pleasures. A package of seeds, a new gardening tool or a cool Christmas-tree ornament that looks like a bright red pepper or a bunch of cherry tomatoes is sure to please, even when the weather outside is frightful.

A pot of Amaryllis bulbs about to burst into glorious bloom, a windowsill herb-gardening kit or a Christmas cactus covered with buds give gardeners a chance to exercise their green thumbs without pulling their boots on.

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Many gardeners are also enthusiastic birdwatchers, so a durable bird feeder or an outdoor ornament made of birdseed, pressed into the shape of a wreath or a snowman and designed to hang from the branches of a deciduous tree, would also be a welcome gift.

Here are some recommendations that are sure to bring a smile and genuine “thank you.”

Tough as nails, cute as a button — If the gardener on the list is a gal, especially one with sense of style and whimsy, Garden Girl USA’s trim-fitting gardening pants ($93.99) or capris ($89.99) might be the thing. Made of pretty durable fabrics, with pockets galore, Garden Girl’s signature hip/waist stretch panels provide “give” in all the right places making it easy to bend, lug, haul, squat or crawl through typical days in the garden. Also consider floral-patterned Wellington Boots ($85.99). Floral patterned gloves or a practical and pretty gardening apron are also nifty gifts. See (866-610-5459).

Winter’s indoor tropical bloomers — Those in the know consider amaryllis bulbs unbeatable holiday gifts. The huge tropical flowers of amaryllis always impress, yet they’re actually easy and fun to grow indoors in winter, no green thumb needed. Once growth begins, each top-sized bulb produces two, sometimes three, towering stems. And then, atop each stem four to six flamboyant flowers open and bloom! As gifts, bare bulbs can be wrapped in tissue paper or presented potted up ready to grow (you’ll find pots and soil at home centers or garden centers). Once watered, these crowd-pleasers go from brown blob to elegant beauty in just eight to 12 weeks.

Rosy dreams — When it’s too cold or rainy to garden, winter is the time when gardeners savor catalogues filled with spring promise.

Treat your gardening friend or family member to a gift certificate from Chamblee’s Roses, a Texas-based firm specializing in easy care, unusual roses. 1-800-256-ROSE (7576). See website or call for a catalogue.

Master Gardener classes — Unlock the hidden Master Gardener in your loved one and gift him or her with a series of lessons offered in Adams County by Mississippi State University. Classes include soil, botany, insect and disease control, how to grown ornamentals, lawn care and more. Your budding gardener will blossom. Course is $85, including materials, and begins Feb. 11. For details, contact Adams County MSU Extension Office, 601-445-8201.

For this month’s garden calendar, see page 3C in the print edition.


Karen Dardick is Master Gardener who lives and gardens in Natchez.