Hartley Magazine

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Suggested Holiday Gifts for Gardeners

If holiday gifts are on your mind, these suggestions may help with the gardening recipients on your list. Or perhaps, like me, you’ll add a few of these items to your personal wish list.

Globally, gardening as a pastime is enjoying an all-time high in popularity; new gardeners sprout every day. The Curious Gardener’s Almanac was written by one of them. Nial Edworthy admits that he came late to gardening, “I had to face the fact that … I knew precisely sweet bugger-all about gardening.” but in this small and charming volume, he sets out to help other novices by collecting tidbits his gardening neighbors and other have shared. Topics range from instructions for making apple dolls to deterring slugs– while Nial writes with the enthusiasm of a recent convert, he is creative at finding veterans to back him up. The text is wittily illustrated by line drawings. Even experienced gardners will find the book amusing.

Flora Mirabilis-How Plants Have Shaped World Knowledge, Health, Wealth and Beauty is a National Geographic book written by Catherine Herbert Howell. The author’s anthropological training — she is, in her own words, “an enthusiastic—though very amateur—gardener” lends an interesting perspective to her research of plant history, Gardeners with a historic bent will surely enjoy this one, and it is abundantly illustrated with historical plates.

Bouquets with Personality is an inspiring book, particularly for those who grow their own bouquets. Lavishly illustrated with photos by Mick Hales, and written by Vermont-based artist and horticulturist , Lucinda Rooney, this was published by Abrams just this year. Rooney combines gorgeous plant material in un-conventional ways, and a quick leaf through this book’s pages reveals why her arrangements are in such demand. Gardeners and flower-arrangers alike would find it an exciting gift.

What gardener can resist seeds? On www.reneesgarden.com you’ll find theme seed collections, including one of especially easy to grow seeds–for beginning gardeners–an heirloom cottage collection, a gourmet salad collection, a children’s garden, and another for container vegetables.

For stocking stuffers, consider sealable tea bags—recipients can fill them with their own dried mint or lemon verbena, or an original mixture of home-grown herbs. Empty muslin bags (available in three sizes) are perfect for Bouquet Garni or other spices. Both are available from the Atlantic Spice Company, www.atlanticspice.com, and make special gifts (even for non-gardeners) once filled too.