Hartley Magazine

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A Gardener’s Holiday List

As the holidays approach, there is less to do in the garden, but more time to dream. My holiday assortment features practical gifts that encourage dreaming now and gardening later.

Tubtrugs – These durable polyethylene buckets have become so essential, it’s an effort to remember how we managed before them. I use mine to haul compost, soil (when filling large containers) mulch, weeds and harvested vegetables. I’ve even used tubtrugs to carry water in a pinch; they hold a surprising volume and the flexible sides create a nice wide “spout.” gardenerssupply.com offers an assortment of colors and sizes.

Cobra Head Weeder– I first noticed this tool’s utility weeding and planting seeds this summer in the vegetable garden, but I truly appreciated it while planting dozens of Iris reticulata corms in rocky, gravel this fall; none of my other bulb-planting tools was as helpful as this one! Its narrow, pointed blade deftly swipes away weeds and digs narrow, surprisingly deep holes. Made of steel, with a comfortable plastic handle, the Cobra Head is a sturdy, adaptable tool that I’m certain I’ll discover additional uses for. Find it and one of the best collections of bulbs anywhere at www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com.

Rosalind Creasy’s Edible Landscaping is an inspired update to her original groundbreaking book, published twenty-five years ago. It includes additional photos taken by the author and an extensive encyclopedia. Ms Creasy first advocated that we move vegetables from the backyard to the front, with enormous consequences for the evolution of both gardening and food over the past quarter century– just look at the Whitehouse lawn!

Gardener’s Soap made with poppy seeds, cornmeal, calendula flowers, and essential oils of geranium and cedar is a specialty of Trillium Soap, in Rockland, ME. Many soaps claim to benefit gardening hands, but this one is truly special. Trillium also creates other delightful soaps, including calendula, bay rum, green tea, and rosepetal. www.trilliumsoaps.com

Renee’s Garden has made a specialty of themed seed collections; the Rainbow of California Poppies, Seeds for a Hummingbird Garden, and the Native American Three Sisters Garden would all make wonderful gifts for most green thumbed recipients. My favorite, though, is the Cat Treats, Gourmet Greens packet, perfect for any feline fanciers on your list. All seed packets are beautifully illustrated and offer thorough, clear instructions (also on their website, making them particularly user-friendly for new gardeners.

Enjoy choosing your gifts, and enjoy the holidays!