13 Dec Christmas list for the beginning gardener
Making your list and checking it twice? Hereâ€™s my ultimate dream package for a beginning gardener. Get them growing in the right direction with this collection of tools, books and gear. On my must have list:
1. The phone number of the local extension office, in Boise, it is 208-377-2107. This costs nothing and gives the newbie access to the latest local growing information. Click here for the link to all the Idaho Extension offices.
4. A copy of the latest edition (8th)of Sunset Western Garden book. Although written primarily for the western states, this is a great all-round garden book. Easy to read, over 8000 plants are included in this handbook of garden information. I have at least four editions in my library.
5. A copy of Michael Dirrâ€™s Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Pricey, but you should not buy a tree without consulting this manual. If you ever looked under the counter at a top notch nursery, you would find a beat-up-dog-eared copy of Dirrâ€™s book. It is considered a gardening bible by those who should know. Find it on Amazon for about $45.
6. The Well Tended Perennial Garden, Expanded Edition, 2006, by Tracy DiSabato-Aust, $24, also at Amazon. A gifted gardener, scientist and author, Tracy has taken the guess work out of tending perennial gardens. She has designed, planted, pruned and nurtured gardens with a discerning eye. In this book, she shares all her tried and true methods for growing exceptional perennials. I wouldnâ€™t be without it.
7. A pair of Felco Number 2 hand pruners. The Cadillac of hand pruners, sharp and sharper, with a comfortable grip, replaceable Swiss blades and vinyl coating on the handles. Every professional gardener has a pair of these strapped to their belt. They even wear them to parties. Pricey, yes, at $38, but remember, you can sharpen them and replace the blade when the time comes. Nothing says â€œI love youâ€ to a gardener better than a pair of Felco No. 2â€™s.
8. A half dozen pairs of Atlas Nitrile gloves, the thinnest most comfortable gardening gloves around. You can find these for as little as $4.75 a pair. They come in a rainbow of colors, are washable, good for gripping, yet thin enough to feel your way around the garden.
9. Not at all glamorous, but wonderfully utilitarian, washable, sturdy, multi-purpose item: the tool organizer five-gallon bucket, available everywhere.
10.If you are feeling generous, and really want to impress your favorite gardener, hereâ€™s a show stopping gift: the Gardenerâ€™s Supply Poly-Tough cart. At $169, itâ€™s a spendy little gift, but it may be one of the coolest, most durable, easy to use garden tools I have ever had the pleasure of owning. In fact, the under gardener (husband) and I have been known to fight over who gets to use it.
11. After all this digging, planting, reading, and playing in the dirt, a $5 tin of Watkins lavender hand and cuticle salve is the perfect thing for restoring your hands. Absolutely wonderful smell, all natural and healing. I have a stash of 3 or 4 tins on hand at all times.
12. Just in case you havenâ€™t yet met the beginning gardenerâ€™s every need with all these fantastic gifts, go for the green and get them a big oleâ€™ gift certificate from the best local nursery in town. Come planting time, they can find seeds, flowers, compost, hoes, trees and pottery for their new garden. What a glorious way to start the new gardening season!