Monthly Archives: November 2011


A gardener does not exist who has everything they want for their work in the garden.  Gardening is a process (and an addiction) that never ends.  I hope to stimulate your imaginations and show you that gifts for gardeners are in abundant supply.

TOOLS:  This category covers a lot of territory.  Writing from a “middle-aged” point of view, kneeling pads are very welcome.  I have a pair of neoprene kneeling pads that Velcro around my legs and give me immunity to any object that may want to poke out of the ground and slow my progress.  Pruners of all shapes and sizes are very desirable.  I love my pole pruner!  There is something about being able to reach up to the top of my Japanese Maple for that wayward branch, from my 5’1” height, that gives me a sense of power.  My needle-nosed Corona pruners have given way to a set made by Fiskars.  The new tool is lighter weight and more versatile with sharp and serrated edges on the outside of the blades.  I also like the usefulness of the holster.  It clips to waistband or pocket edge easily.  Finally, my Japanese gardener’s knife is my weeding tool of choice.  It is strong and versatile and virtually indestructible.  I can push it down to get the tip of the darned dandelion root or use the serrated edge to scrape off the cluster of weed seedlings that have sprouted in an open space.  The key to tools is to buy quality.  It may cost a bit more, but the tools will last a lifetime.  Gloves are essential tools too.  For women, I recommend WOMENSWORK  gloves.  As a person with small hands, these well made and very tough gloves are some of the few that fit.  I know you all have had that annoying sensation of trying to pick a weed or flower only to have the fingertips of the gloves flop uselessly.

CONTAINERS:  By this I mean pots, pots of all kinds.  From plain old terra cotta to art pieces, a gardener cannot say not to containers.  If you want them to last, look for thick walls and high firing. Bringing them out of bad weather will also contribute to their longevity.  Don’t stop at pottery.  Galvanized steel and other metals are fashionable right now as well as pots made of fiberglass.  The later is what boats are made of.  They come in all sizes and shapes and the color selection is amazing.  If you buy fiberglass, be sure holes are drilled in the bottoms.

GARDEN ORNAMENTS:  This is a category much like containers, it knows only the bounds of your imagination.  I would love someone to give me a collection of the small gazing balls that are available in many colors.  It would be great fun to “plant” them in among different foliages and flowers as a surprise in the garden.  My best friend gave me a box full of broken pottery to use to create a “ruin” effect in one of my gardens.  There are many artists creating wonderful pieces for our gardens and a gift that special is always appreciated.  Critters can be fun in the garden too.  The much maligned pink flamingo is making a comeback.  Dogs, cats and rabbits, not to mention frogs and turtles are sure to fit into the garden you are shopping for.

OTHER IDEAS:  Quickly, before I run out of room.  Books, get ones with lots of photos; Magazine subscriptions, from organic to high design, browse the news stand; Catalogues, assemble a pile from offers in the back of those magazines; Gift certificates, from a favorite catalogue or garden center (like Joy Creek Nursery, sorry, we have to try); Seeds, collect from your garden or buy from heirloom sources.  Try a membership in a gardening or conservation organization.  Finally, who couldn’t use a personal promise to come and help weed?!

Merry Christmas!

Nadine Black