Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
November, 2004
Regional Report

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Kalanchoe is one of my favorite gift plants.

Checking My Gift List

Gift-giving season is nearly upon us, and what an opportunity we have! If it's inspiration you need, surely this list will plant a few seeds for thought.

Education: New reference book or magazine subscription; club or association membership; on-site consultation with a horticulture or landscape professional, such as a garden designer, landscape architect or professionally trained and certified arborist.

Holiday Plants: Poinsettia, Christmas cactus, orchid, miniature rose, and (for the best chance of blooming well at home) the highly collectible African violet.

Hands-On Fun: Terrarium and supplies to plant it, seed-starting supplies and seeds, kit for making a garden stepping stone, worm composter.

Tools: Pruners and trowels and garden spades need to fit the recipient's hand or they will be uncomfortable to use, but some one-size-fits-all, practical tools include: an indoor/outdoor thermometer; a min-max thermometer (shows both minimum and maximum temperatures reached); a lifetime-guaranteed, kink-free garden hose; horticultural heating cable or heating mat for germinating seeds and rooting cuttings; disposable panoramic-view camera for documenting landscape projects and seasonal changes.

Outdoor Decor: Birdbath, garden ornament, garden bench, potting bench, bistro-size table and chairs for two, trellis, arbor, pergola, garden shed.

Personal Attire: Gloves, garden clogs, sun hat, garden-themed tee shirt, gigantic colorful umbrella for rainy-day garden tours.

Personal Care: Suntan lotion, hand lotion, manicure supplies, bubble bath, insect repellent if you live in a tick-prone area, Technu lotion for the poison ivy-prone, liniment for the over-doer.

Equipment/Supplies: A laser level and tape measure for layout and construction projects; sturdy garden cart; cold frame for hardening seedlings in the spring; garden pond kit complete with waterfall and fountain; truckload of mulch, compost or manure (and a tarp to cover it); composter; deer-repellent spray; deer-proof fencing.

Thinking Big: Full-fledged greenhouse (available in many architectural styles and finishes and include both freestanding and add-on or lean-to models); rural acreage. What the heck, give a palatial country estate.

What-Have-You: Gift certificate for favorite local nursery or mail-order supplier.

Homemade from the Garden: Jams, jellies and preserves; canned or dried fruits or veggies; dried or potted herbs; herb tea; dried-flower arrangements; sachets or potpourri; seeds you saved; IOU for divisions or cuttings from a favorite plant come spring.

For that Special Gardener Who Has Everything: Coupons for an hour or two of gardening help supplied by you. Or tickets to the Philadelphia Flower Show (online ticket sales begin this month).

By now I hope you have a gardenful of ideas!

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