February 2018

Gift ideas for the gardeners on your list

Rain chain from are solid copper. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Rain chains from are solid copper. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

It’s high season for gift giving and here are some suggestions for the gardeners on your list.

A wonderful holiday gift for gardeners or wannabes in the millennial group is The 20-30 Something Garden Guide by Dee Nash (St. Lynn’s Press, hardback, $17.95). Naturally, there’s a glossary, recommended tools and lots of encouragement to tell the millennials to just try it.

20-30 something 2

Nash details design ideas for three garden settings: balcony, deck and small yard. She deciphers seed packs and suggests what’s best sown directly in the soil and what’s best planted as a seedling. It’s pretty much everything a millennial needs to succeed. A third-generation Oklahoma gal, Nash blogs at, which won a gold award this year from Garden Writers Association for best electronic writing.


Coffee for Roses by C.L. Fornari (St. Lynn’s Press, hardback, $17.95) busts 70 myths embraced by gardeners, such as hummingbirds only visit red flowers, marigolds keep bugs out of the vegetable garden and roses should be planted with coffee grounds. An avid researcher, Fornari ( delves into the history of some common practices, explains why they don’t work and offers suggestions that do.

coffee roses 2

There’s something romantically alluring about David Austin roses. Breeding techniques have developed roses that retain their old world beauty and fragrance without old world disease problems. David Austin (800-328-8893) gift certificates make perfect stocking stuffers. With the certificate, the recipient can select his or her rose, which will be shipped at the appropriate planting time.

David Austin Roses - Gift Envelope and Vouchers

One of the best tools for an avid gardener is the transplant spade. The long, narrow blade is perfect for getting below the root ball to lift perennials and small shrubs for transplant. I’ve had my Fiskars Steel D-handle Transplanting Spade for years and it’s my go-to tool when planting or dividing perennials. It costs about $30 and can be found at garden centers or online.

fiskars transplant spade

At the luxury end ($80) is a copper rain chain. I’ve wanted this for years and when Rain Chains Direct (855-843-7246) invited several garden writers to try one, of course, I said yes. The beautiful 8 ½-foot long, solid copper chain can replace a downspout to slow rain coming off a roof. The chain also can be used where there is no spout, such as from a garage, to slow rain pouring from the roof.

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