---Article and 3 Photos by Anne K Moore posted December 18, 2009---
I can testify to the fact that an amaryllis always makes a wonderful gift and a good impression. Ever play that game at a Christmas party where each person draws a number, gets to choose a gift (number 1 first, number 2 second, and so on), unwrap it, and then has to give it up if a later number wants what they have rather than take a new gift? This is one of those games where last is best-you get your pick of everything. An amaryllis is usually the one being stolen from hand to hand.
The backyard birds in my life enjoy a small feeder I've hung just outside my kitchen windows. I've filled it with a mixture of saffron seed and small black oil sunflower seeds. Cardinals, titmice, and chickadees visit regularly and peek inside the kitchen to see what the human residents are doing. I am certain some birds, like chickadees and wrens, are people watchers.
Do you struggle to move large pots from place to place in the garden? Maybe moving them indoors is a backbreaking chore. Consider getting an appliance hand truck to slip under those unwieldy pots. Look for one with a large bottom lip. The pots won't fit all the way, but with a bit of pushing and tipping, you can get it on and move it more easily.
An even niftier way to move large pots, rocks, anything cumbersome, heavy, or bulky, is a small strappy affair I first saw at a Garden Writer's Symposium. One trial and I had to have a PotLifter. It is easy to use if you follow the directions and unhook, then hook the straps back up around what you want to move. You don't have to lift it to get it under the pot. It works like a charm. Most of the time, the heaviest items have required two people, but my husband who is 70 and I, age not telling, were able to move really big pots without breaking a sweat. See more about the PotLifter at www.PotLifter.com
CobraHead might sound a little scary, but it is a wonderful gardening tool. I was given this product to try several years ago and now I wouldn't be without it. Its long curved neck gives it digging power and its sharp blade, shaped like a flat cobra head, digs into the toughest soil and under difficult weeds. Use it for weeding. It fits into tight places. It is great for planting out bedding plants or bulbs. See it here: http://www.cobrahead.com/cobrahead_tools.cfm
Another gift I have been fortunate enough to try is the stylish Adventure Hat from www.sundayafternoons.com A friend wanted to borrow a straw garden hat for a decorating project, but when she saw this hat, she immediately developed hat envy. Cannot wait to try it next summer. It is lightweight and gives protection to your neck as well as your face. You might like to think of yourself as a City Farmer, but those weird neck and forehead sunburns are not attractive. According to the website: "This best-selling sun hat was designed for optimal UPF 50+ skin health and sun protection. The Adventure Hat is Sunday Afternoons signature style. Worn by adventurers around the world - it's the most recognizable sun hat on the planet." http://www.sundayafternoons.com/store/adventure-hats.html
Gardeners are easy to gift. There is always room for one more plant in the garden. You might think others on your list could be more difficult. Start a new gifting tradition. Be creative with those gifts for teachers, co-workers, and hairdressers. Fill holiday baskets with easy to grow annual flower and vegetable seeds. Choose small growing varieties that would work well in containers.
Herbs are always a hit with indoor and outdoor gardeners, both novice and experienced. Stuff stockings with Organic herb seeds. Food for the table fulfills us as gardeners. It's the hunter/gatherer syndrome in all of us. If you think your gifted would prefer flowers, then choose easy to grow annuals. Growing beauty from seeds feeds our souls. Both are healthy addictive experiences that can be life-long enjoyments.
When you give the gift of seeds, you also give the miracle of life bundled up in those tiny living packages. These are sure to be appreciated gifts, maybe even more than that scented candle you had in mind. You might give a gift of passion. Many passionate gardeners grow from a tiny seed.
Note: ---PotLifter, CobraHead, & Adventure Hat photos courtesy of the Companies---
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