By Carol Stocker
Here are some of my Gift Picks for Gardener's this holiday season;
The most difficult thing about growing plants in containers is keeping up with the watering chores. Because moisture evaporates more quickly in pots than in gardens, you may find yourself having to water container gardens daily in hot weather. That's why I prefer self-watering containers such as the UrBin Grower. This kit includes two five gallon self-watering containers with square saucers, a blend of organic soil amendments that provide 30 trace mineral, four seed trays and an instruction manual and DVD. It can be ordered from urbangrower.com for $79.95 plus shipping.
I love 2.5 inch hand-blown glass globe softly glows for several hours after dusk using captured solar energy. There are two versions. The Illuminarie Armillary Stake features a traditional metal sundial configuration while the Illuminarie Dragonfly Stake has a delicate blue dragonfly perched on the glass globe. Both versions have 34 inch tall copper-finished steel stakes and are available at Mahoney's Garden Centers for $24.95 each.
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 "Haily" ($65) but their trendiest style is the tall lean “Kaymen” ($85), which comes in gold or silver, as well as purple, green, brown, or black. Imagine rain and garden boot that can also go out to dinner after you wash the mud off. In addition to being easy to clean and waterproof, these boots are lightweight, cold-weather rated to negative 20 (burrr!), feature non-slip traction and comfortable thermolite footbeds that contour to your feet. Khombu’s are available at the Tannery on Boylston Street, as well as Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Nordstrom and online at Zappos.com.
I am always drawn to museum gift shops, and garden gifts shops, too. One of the
> best is at dynamic Tower Hill Botanic Garden, which has added two new major
> features to attract winter visitors. To celebrate the Nov. 14 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 lemons grown in this elegant new structure. This blend of 100%
> California Olives, cold-pressed with Meyer Lemons, is available in two
> sizes: 6oz. @ $14 each, or 12.7oz. @ $24 each. Tower Hill Botanic Garden is
> decorated for the holidays through Jan 2. During this time the gift shop
> will be open Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
> every other day of the week. The cafe service will also have extended hours,
> 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and evening hours 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday evenings,
> with a roaring fire to help make gift shopping cozy. The 14,000 square foot
> "Winter Garden, " is a new enclosed courtyard facing the Limonaia. With an
> intricate pool highlighted by two large bronze turtle fountains, it is
> another major new winter attraction to see while you are at the garden.
> Visit towerhillbg.org for a schedule of holiday events. Tower Hill Botanic
> Garden is located at 11 French Drive, Boylston, an hour west of downtown
My problem with garden illumination is that the gazebo and other
> structures I want to festoon with lights always seem to far from the
> power outlets. One answer is Solar Light Strands, which use
> ultra-efficient LED lights, not old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. LED
> Solar Light Strands save energy because they are powered by the sun.
> Freedom from electrical cords really increase my design options. LED
> Solar Light Strands come in two lengths, 50 or 102 bright LEDS. Each
> strand has seven (7) different blinking settings. These lights are
> attractive enough to leave them up all year for patio and deck
> accents. Available in white, red, blue and green. The 50-light strand
> sells for $24.95 and the 102 light strand sells for $49.95 at
> Want to watch an entire gardening season unfold before your
> eyes?Anyone interested in creating time-lapse videos will be
> fascinated by this easy-to-use Timelapse PlantCam, which can be used
> to record any kind of event. To create a timelapse movie, simply set
> the camera to take still photos at the desired time interval (every 30
> seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes,...up to one photo per day).
> After counting down each interval, the PlantCam will automatically
> take a photo and then start another countdown interval. When finished
> taking photos in timelapse mode, the PlantCam will automatically
> convert all of the photos into a video clip that will play the
> recorded event in “fast forward.”Timelapse PlantCam takes high
> resolution (4 megapixel) images. No tools, software or wiring is
> needed for the set-up.. The rugged, weatherproof design makes it
> sturdy enough for year-round use. It costs $79.95 at (888) 811-9464
> and www.wingscapes.com.
> Deer repellent would be a useful and timely garden gift. 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 eight
> pounds of greenery a day.) Deer Stopper is one of several that work that
> are sold at local garden centers, including The Marblehead Garden Center,
> the 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.
> $12.95 for 32 ounces. It is an all-natural, biodegradable liquid repellent
> using taste and smell. It is guaranteed to stop deer for at least 30 days
> after each application. For more information visit messinawildlife.com. They
> also sell Cat Stopper, Dog Stopper, Squirrel Stopper, Vole Stopper, Mole
> Stopper, Goose Stopper, Rabbit Stopper, and the always popular Armadillo
> 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 chose from a dozen different hand
> applied finishes ranging from "English Moss" to "Copper Bronze." The finish
> in the picture is "Alpine Stone." This highly detailed garden accent weighs
> two 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.
Conical evergreen 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 such as leg of lamb long after the season has passed.
> And you can plant them outdoors in April. The secret to keeping rosemary
> alive in the meantime is to never let it totally dry out. Keep it very
> slightly damp at all time but 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 six to
> 12 inch potted rosemary tree with a pretty bow. You can find them almost
> anywhere but Lowe's probably offers the best deal - under $10.