Five Gardening Gifts to Avoid

Sometimes knowing what not to buy is just as valuable as a list of the hottest items. Here to help you out: five items not to give your gardening friend or relative.

plastic trowelA wimpy trowel.  A good trowel is a treasure, and hard to find. Cheap ones (like the one shown here, which has a plastic handle!) either bend or break. It’s rather frustrating to stick the blade into the soil and have it bend backwards instead of moving the dirt! Even worse is when the handle comes off. You can jam it back on, but from then on, the handle will be unreliable. Make sure any trowels you buy are sturdy and have a blade that can be sharpened. Even better: get on with a red handle (or paint it yourself), so you can find it in the garden.

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Birdy Gift Ideas

kingfisherI admit to feeling a bit smug. My Christmas shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped and delivered, and I can relax with a cup of tea and simply enjoy the season. However, I realize a lot of people are still wracking their brains for the perfect present for someone. I can’t help you with Aunt Milley who has everything, but I do have some ideas for any birders on your list. Happily, birders are easy to shop for. Pretty much anything bird-related is bound to be a hit.

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Birding Books for Kids

Any birder with a child in their life is eager to pass along their love of birds and nature in general. Pete and I have been blessed with a granddaughter, and even though she’s only seven months old, I’m already on the lookout for ways to share my interests.

At this tender age, she isn’t quite ready for her own binos—she’d probably try to eat them. Plus, she lives halfway across the country, so I can’t take her outside with me nearly as much as I’d like. Still, you can bet that most of the gifts from grandma this Christmas will have something to do with nature.

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The Human Side of Gardening

greenprintsIt’s the time of year we give gifts, and by now, we probably need all the help we can get in picking out just the right thing. If there is a gardener on your list who already has all the spades, gardening gloves, and yard ornaments they can ever use (or even if they don’t), I have the perfect suggestion.

Give them a subscription to GreenPrints: The Weeder’s Digest.

Years ago my husband introduced me to this magazine, and it’s still one of the best gift ideas he ever had. There are plenty of “how-to” garden magazines out there, filled with photos of weed-free, perfectly pruned gardens, exotic plants (at least to a Colorado gardener), and bug-free vegetables. It’s enough to make an honest gardener throw in the trowel. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

This magazine isn’t like that.

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What to Give Your Chickens

chicken_blkforestco_20100411_lah_2118You have gifts for your parents and gifts for your kids. You have a gift for Aunt Claire and a gift for Uncle Bob. You even have a gift for your dog. But what about your chickens?

If you culled your flock last month, perhaps your remaining hens are glad just to have another year of dust baths and fresh air. But don’t stop there… hens are actually very easy to “shop” for.

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A Cure for Garden Pests

flamingo-eaters-1Has your garden been assaulted by a plague of pink flamingos? Are your furrows full of gnomes? Maybe your problem is something as simple as a dreary winter landscape. Don’t despair, help is on the way. Even though traditional remedies may fail, extensive research has revealed a guaranteed solution to all of these garden woes.

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