It seems that as soon as Thanksgiving passes, everyone’s mind starts to turn to the Christmas season. As I do each Christmas, let me make some suggestions for great Christmas gifts for your favorite gardener. One of the old standbys is a good gardening book or two.
There are several books that I recommend nearly every year, such as “Square Foot Gardening”, “The Carolinas Gardening Guide”, “The Southern Gardeners Book of Lists”, and basically anything written by Michael Dirr or Allan Armitage. These are all still great choices, but I’ve got some new suggestions to add this year. “IPM for Gardeners: A Guide to Integrated Pest Management” by Raymond Cloyd, Philip Nixon, and Nancy Pataky and “What’s Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix it?)” by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth are two books which both offer gardeners some solutions to pest problems they may encounter in their home gardens. Avid gardeners will find any of these to be quite helpful.
For the adventurous gardener, try a gift certificate to one of my favorite places to buy plants, Plant Delights Nursery in Juniper Level, NC. They carry mostly rare and unusual perennials and their plants are available either through mail order or by purchase at one of 8 open house weekends at the Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. There is no better place to find something for a gardener who likes to have something different in their garden to catch people’s attention.
Similarly, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is a great place to find unique vegetable seeds. If your favorite gardener likes to plant old time varieties or prefers the unusual to what you would typically find for sale at a big box store, then a Baker Creek gift certificate will let them shop for just the right seeds.
If you’re looking for gardening equipment or decorations, Gardeners Supply is always a great resource. My wife and I have bought many things from them over the years including a compost pail, a bottle tree, plant name markers, and much more. Most recently we bought some multi color solar powered garden lights. They charge during the day and illuminate the garden at night. These are great for gardeners with patios or decks who wish to enjoy the garden after dark as well. Browse their online catalog for ideas or buy a gift certificate and let the gardener you’re shopping for choose.
The Roanoke Valley Master Gardeners also have rain barrels for sale. The 55 gallon barrels are available for only $40, and are very efficient at storing water for use in the garden during our long periods between rain each summer.
I’ll end this week’s column with a reminder that Halifax County Cooperative Extension will be offering the Master Gardener training class beginning in February. If you have questions about the class or would like to sign up please contact Matt Stevens at the extension office, 583-5161. Of course, if your favorite gardener would like to take the course, you can register them as a Christmas gift.
Matt Stevens is the horticulture agent for Halifax County Cooperative Extension. If you have any questions about this article or gardening in general, he can be reached at 583-5161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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