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Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts for a green thumb? Try this garden of delights.

A 7-inch-long Campania Dragonfly Garden Statue. A 7-inch-long Campania Dragonfly Garden Statue. (Rick Urbanowski)
By Carol Stocker
Globe Correspondent / December 9, 2010

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We love to shop museum gift shops, and garden gifts shops, too. One of the best is at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, which has added two new major features to attract winter visitors. To celebrate the opening of the Worcester Horticultural Society’s second indoor conservatory, the Limonaia (pronounced lee-mo-neye’-ya), its gift shop at Tower Hill is featuring “Bistro Blends’’ Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Meyer Lemon, which uses the same kind of lemons grown in this elegant new structure. This blend of 100 percent California olives, cold-pressed with Meyer lemons, is available in two sizes: 6 ounces at $14 each, or 12.7 ounces at $24 each. Visit www.towerhillbg.org for a schedule of holiday events and store hours. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, 508-869-0314.

Khombu, a local company out of Canton, is making gardening boots fashion forward as well as practical. We like their classic plaid “Wellie’’ ($85) and their shorter “Hailey’’ ($65), but their trendiest style is the tall lean Kaymen ($85, above), which comes in gold or silver, as well as purple or black. Imagine a garden boot that can go out to dinner after you wash the mud off. In addition to being waterproof and easy to clean, the boots are lightweight, cold-weather rated to negative 20 degrees (brrr!), and feature non-slip traction and Thermolite footbeds that contour to your feet. Khombus are available at the Tannery, 711 Boylston St. and other locations, as well as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and online at www.zappos.com.

Container gardening is all the rage. They’re great for creating high impact accents in homes, patios, and even gardens. But the most difficult thing about growing plants in containers is keeping up with the watering chores. Because moisture evaporates more quickly from pots than from garden beds, you can find yourself having to water daily in hot weather. That’s why I prefer self-watering containers such as the UrBin Grower by Nature’s Footprint. This kit includes two 5-gallon self-watering containers of recycled plastic with square saucers, a blend of organic soil amendments including coir and pumice that provide 30 trace minerals, plus four seed trays and an instruction manual and DVD. It can be ordered from urbingrower.com for $79.95 plus shipping.

Santa’s reindeer can wreak havoc in the garden, and this is the time to spray evergreens to shut down the deer buffet. (Each white tail deer can eat more than 8 pounds of greenery a day.) Deer Stopper is one of several repellents that work and is sold at local garden centers including the Marblehead Garden Center, Kingston Nursery, Attleboro’s Old Barn, Ricky’s of Somerville, Highland Gardens in Salem and chains such as Mahoney’s, Lowe’s, and Sears Hardware. It’s $12.95 for 32 ounces. The all-natural, biodegradable liquid repellent is guaranteed to stop deer for at least 30 days after each application. The company also sells Cat Stopper, Dog Stopper, Squirrel Stopper, Vole Stopper, Mole Stopper, Goose Stopper, Rabbit Stopper, and the always popular Armadillo Stopper. For more information visit www.messinawildlife.com.

Conical rosemary plants pruned to look like miniature Christmas trees make appealing holiday hostess gifts for cooks. This savory herb can be used in many dishes and you can plant them outdoors in April. The secret to keeping rosemary alive in the meantime is to never let it dry out. Keep it very slightly damp at all times. To keep from drowning it — another threat — you should sink the pot into a larger pot and tamp moistened potting soil into the gap between the two pots.(This is called “double potting.’’) But don’t mess with this until after Christmas. For now, just pick up a 6- to 12-inch potted rosemary tree with a pretty bow. You can find them at many garden shops but Lowe’s probably offers the best deal. We saw them for under $10.

Those summer nights when you see the dragonflies pass by are recaptured in this Campania Dragonfly Garden Statue made of long-lasting fiber reinforced cast stone concrete. It’s 3.5 inches tall and 7 inches long, including the rock the statue is poised on. You can choose from a dozen different hand-applied finishes ranging from “English Moss’’ to “Copper Bronze.’’ (The finish pictured is “Alpine Stone.’’) This garden accent weighs 2 pounds and costs $27 from Garden-Fountains.com, which offers a dizzying range of garden statuary, fountains, and planters in many styles and materials. Shipping is free.

Carol Stocker can be reached at stockergarden@gmail.com.