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Gifts for gardeners

By Ray Ridlen

The holidays will soon be here and now is a great time to track down a unique gift for your favorite gardener. Here are a few great gift ideas.

Garden cart: Look for one made with a galvanized steel frame and exterior plywood. These wide carts with a box-like shape have bicycle-type tires that make them easy to turn and move. Maximum carrying weight varies from 300 to 400 pounds depending on the manufacturer and model.

Self-watering planters: These are available as window boxes or free-standing planters. They are made of sturdy plastic and come in various decorative colors as well as white and terra cotta. Fill the reservoir and these planters will water themselves for two or more weeks.

Garden books: Practical how to books, garden planting plans, books by local garden experts, or books on vegetable gardening, a little research in your local bookstore is bound to turn up a book your favorite gardener hasn't yet added to his or her personal library.

Rubber garden boots: These days they come in decorative patterns or bright colors. And they are perfect for the gardener who loves to work in all kinds of weather.

Plant markers: For gardeners who want to know, plant markers allow you to keep track of new plants and seedlings in the yard, and to mark the site of perennial plants and bulbs during winter dormancy. Markers come in plastic, zinc or copper.

Raised beds: You can now buy kits with attractive, pre-cut and drilled cedar wood or recycled plastic lumber. With minimal carpentry skills a raised bed can be easily constructed. Just add garden soil and plant.

Folding pruning saw: The saw blade folds into the handle, so you can safely carry this saw around with you in the garden. The saw teeth cut as you pull the blade toward you, making trimming a breeze.

Garden kneeler: Sturdy padded garden kneelers are available that make kneeling on the ground less painful for the knees. Some can be converted from a low seat to a padded kneeler merely by turning it over.

Greenhouse: Greenhouse kits can be expensive, but they are an avid gardener's dream come true. Many sizes and shelf options are available. The experienced home gardener may just be ready for a greenhouse this year.

Ratchet lopper or ratchet hand pruner: This wonderful invention makes pruning possible using less force. The ratchet allows the handles to open while maintaining the blade position for trimming thicker branches.

Garden arch: Arches add a beautiful focal point to a garden. A redwood or decorative iron arch over a path, and entry gate, or a bench makes a resting place for the eye and even a trellis for a clematis or grape vines.

Date: 12/03/2012



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