Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Gardening Gifts

These gift ideas are for the gardeners on your list– some to inspire and others to help make the jobs at hand as light as they can be.

Growing Tasty Tropical Plants In Any Home Anywhere by Byron Martin and Lauralynn Martin is guide written by the co-owners of Logee’s, the world-famous greenhouse operation in Danielson, CT for over a hundred years. Beautifully illustrated with photos, the book provides instructions for overwintering and cultivating plants with edible parts– from chocolate to passion fruit. Of course, gardeners with greenhouse space will have even greater success growing these to harvest.

Whether you’re tending plants that prefer greenhouse conditions inside your home, or actually growing them in a greenhouse, a good mister is important for creating and augmenting ambient humidity; professionals rely on the Flo Master 1998BH Pressurized Sprayer/Mister. While not particularly glamorous, this all-plastic sprayer is durable, and with a 2.5-pint capacity, an indispensable tool for cultivating moisture-loving plants. The manufacturer also produces larger compressed air sprayers for a variety of applications, so this is not your ordinary spray bottle. When adjusted all the way, the nozzle produces a nice fine mist, and its design makes using the Flo Master easy on the wrists—even when filled to capacity.

Then there is Continuous Container Gardens, by Sara Begg Townsend and Roanne Robbins. These two garden designers have created twelve examples of container combinations to tweak and change through the seasons, providing an evolving tableau artfully inspired by nature. The combination of entertaining text and illustrative photographs is sure to give your recipient lots of fresh container ideas.

For new gardeners, or simply those new to growing vegetables, consider Ron and Jennifer Kujawski’s Week By Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook. This well-organized guide helps the novice plan when and how to get all their vegies into the garden at appropriate times and spacings. Over the years, I’ve noticed how intimidating this aspect of growing vegetables is, and I think this father/daughter team’s concept is brilliant. It’s also well executed–with copious tables, charts, and humorous notes.

For gardeners with everything, you might want to check out the exceptional hand tools available from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs. Even though it was purchased years ago, I had fresh appreciation this fall for their heavy-duty bright red Bulb-Planter for Unprepared Soil as I planted several hundred narcissus and crocus. Now that I garden in compacted clay, I really wouldn’t want to be without it!