With the holiday season upon us, some of you are probably going to be scrambling around trying to think of ideas for creative gifts. Well, in this installment of Home Grown Tomatoes, I am going to offer you some great suggestions for the gardener friends and family members on your gift list so you won’t have to think about it.
I’m going to list several products I tested in my garden this year and give you links to places where you can inquire further or order the gifts.
I have some cool markers for my plants here at the Tomato Tower. It took a lot of discipline to get it done, but this year convinced me I will continue to label all my plants. This helps me remember what I planted because sometimes they all look the same in their early growth stages and, by leaving the plant stakes in the ground over winter, I can see where the plants will come up next spring. That makes it easier to identify annual volunteer seedlings from weeds.
There were two kinds of markers used here. The first ones were actually considered to be yard art because of their funky and creative design. They are the ones I use in my vegetable garden and take up at the end of the growing season. They are created by artist Melissa Jones and are available at Naked Art Gallery in Birmingham or online at NakedArtUSA.com.
The other plant markers used were multi-seasonal markers made from recycled plastic and corn cob fiber. The BioMarkers are available in three colors and come with weatherproof labels that can be printed on by hand or with a laser printer. They also come with a China marker for weatherproof marking. BioMarkers are made by CobraHead, LLC.
Speaking of CobraHead, I believe I have found the best cultivator for me to use in the gardens here. It’s called… CobraHead and, you can see by the picture, mine gets used a lot! It has a comfortable design. Unlike some tools, the CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator is built for both right-handed and left-handed gardeners. Find the CobraHead products at your local garden center or order online through your favorite seed catalogue or directly from CobraHeadllc.com. By the way, their long-handle weeder/cultivator is great, too. I love my garden tools and so does Ms. Tomato!
I have several friends who collect garden gnomes and I have my own collection of ornaments. This year, I was given a couple of really cool gifts for the miniature Tomato Tower garden. There are three garden areas on the northwest side getting filtered sunlight and that is where ferns, Selaginella varieties, and dwarf hostas grow. Now I have a fairy garden — thanks to the addition of a solar fairy house and the Fiddlehead Fairy Garden Accessories! I created a miniature garden within a garden using flat pebbles and Selaginella varieties resembling trees, grass and vines. The house is 8" x 10" and has two solar panels on one side of the roof which soaks up rays during the day and the windows emit a warm glow at night. These miniature garden accessories are distributed by Georgetown Home and Garden (GeorgetownUSA.com).
Here are a couple of gift ideas costing $20 or less and can be given as a stand-alone gift or in a gift basket with other garden related items or a bottle of wine.
Give the gift of art with a package of note cards by Lisa O, Artist of Alabama. Her NaturAlabama series features the flora and fauna of Alabama. They are available through the Little River Canyon Center gift shop or online at lisaoartist.com. They are also suitable for framing!
Show you care about the environment and fill in those bare spots in the garden with the Throw and Grow by Katy DeMent! These flying discs are fun and practical. Fly them into your garden and let nature take its course! They are available in Southern wildflowers (Department of Transportation mix), gourds (I used the gourd one) and fine grass lawn for filling in those bare spots. The Throw and Grow discs are also available at NakedArtUSA.com.
• Small lidded box (8"x8"x8") painted or covered in festive wrapping paper.
• A current seed catalogue from your favorite seed company. (They’re usually free.)
• Three packs of flower seeds you’d like to see growing in your friend’s or neighbor’s yard.
• A pack of note cards.
• A Throw and Grow seed disc.
• Twine for tying the lid on.
Spray paint the box or attach festive paper to the inside and outside of the box and lid. Arrange the items in the box, spilling out of the top, where they can all be seen. Place lid on overstuffed box, tilted, so you can still see the contents. Tie on the lid with the twine. Gift is ready and full of garden-lover goodies!
Be creative with your gift-giving this year. Happy Holidays!
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