By Steve Smith
I know it is crunch time for gift buying and you might still have a few tough ones to figure out. Avoid the crazy mall madness and have a tactile experience by traveling to your favorite garden center. You might find that something perfect you’ve been hunting for. Here are a few ideas:
•For your Organic-Only friend who wants to be actively involved in the food they eat, get them the Maritime Gardening Guide. It is the ultimate gardening bible for Northwest vegetable growers. Locally authored, the information is regionally appropriate, time tested, easy to understand for beginner and advanced gardeners, and economical at under $20. •For the New Home Owner who needs tools get them Wolf Garten tools. Essentially you buy one long- and one-short handle, then you can interchange a whole plethora of heads such as hoes, cultivators, weeders or what have you. Once you have the handle you can add an attachment every year. Just think of the possibilities – birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and of course Christmas. •For the Patriarch in your family who likes to know what’s happening next, get them the Farmer’s Almanac. A combination of entertainment and education, part fact and part folklore, the almanac is a fun read and only $7. For only a few dollars more, you can purchase the Farmer’s Almanac calendar.
•For the Animal Lover get them a bird feeder. There is no better form of winter recreation than watching the colorful antics of our local bird populations – Stellar jays, hooded Juncos, chickadees, flickers, bushtits and my favorite, hummingbirds. I focus on suet and nectar.
•For your Aunt and Uncle who have everything, get them a winter interest plant. Plants make a wonderful gift that can be remembered for years. Hellebores, Iceberg Alley willow, Viburnum “Dawn”, “Charity” Mahonia, Camellias, and a range of colorfully foliaged conifers and broadleaf evergreens provide winter interest in our gardens.
•For the Millennial who’s plugged into technology, get them a houseplant. Younger people are taking an interest in indoor plant keeping. Help fuel that hobby with a cool catcus, a fragrant jasmine, a split-leaf philodendron or a sophisticated succulent container. •For the Matriarch in your family who has specific tastes, get her a gift card. Avoid the headache of trying to find her that perfect gift (one she won’t return later) and let her pick out her own present.