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.


Gifts to Avoid for Bird Lovers

Wondering what to get that birder on your list? There are plenty of websites that offer the best gifts for bird lovers. But how do you know to avoid those gifts that won’t deliver as expected? Here are my suggestions on what not to buy, and why:

Felt-birdhousesFelt birdhouse. These are adorable but they have some serious shortcomings if you intend to actually offer them as nest boxes. For one, felt may be “naturally waterproof” but the blurb goes on to mention that you can air dry them if they become soaked. A soaked house is not healthy for baby birds.