This is the first time I've ever written a post about holiday gifts for gardeners. It's weird...you'd think I'd have done this some time in the previous 5 years, but I guess it just never occurred to me. But this year, two of my friends have new books out and I thought I should try and build a few friendship points by hocking their wares on my blog.
This is not just a list of books, but more like a list of Oprah's Favorite Things...except I'm not Oprah, and these are garden-related...oh, and you won't find any of these under your chair.
- Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You by Amanda Thomsen. As my friend, co-host of our sometimes gardening podcast Good Enough Gardening, and my co-author of Grocery Gardening, you'd probably suspect that Amanda's book would make it to the top of my list. But, listen, I've read this book and it actually is awesome. It is a choose your own ending, graphic novel style, landscape book for beginners. And if that's not enough to interest you, you aren't cool enough to read it.
- intoGardens: And speaking of cool, there's a new garden-y app in town. intoGardens is the brainchild of the utterly brilliant and charming James Alexander-Sinclair (et al). It is a gorgeous app full of magazine like content, combined with helpful how to's and resources. If a garden app and a digital magazine had a baby, this would be it. By the way, I write for said app...and their just so happens to be a sassy review of Amanda's book in the next issue.
- Roost Recycled Glass Wall Terrarium at aHa! Modern Living: Jayme Jenkins, owner of aHa! Modern Living, is fantastic when it comes to picking out adorable garden-inspired products. This site is a great go-to for gifts for garden-lovers. The Roost Recycled Glass Wall Terrarium (whew!) is an eco-friendly way to garden year round.
- Corona Tools Forged Dual Cut Bypass Pruner: Everyone needs a good bypass pruner....actually, I need 3-4 or I wake up at night feeling like somethings amiss. My favorite is an old school Corona Tools version that was handed down to me by my grandmother. I've reviewed Corona Tools products on my blog in years past...and they never disappoint. UPDATE: Corona contacted me and let me know that these pruners (and 11 other great tools) are 30% off with free shipping through 12/19/12...head over to CoronaToolsUSA.com to get the deets.
- Why Grow That When You Can Grow This? 255 Extraordinary Alternatives to Everyday Plant Problems by Andrew Keys. In addition to being able to create exceptionally verbose titles, Andrew Keys is a smart and funny guy. He's an extremely knowledgeable plantsman, who knows a thing or two about what plants will work and where. This book is a must-have reference book for all gardeners. Andrew tells me that he was inspired to write this book from a debate that he and I had when he was a guest on the Good Enough Gardening Podcast. It has since become known as the "Solidago Incident."
- P Allen Smith's Classic Greenery Collection: My present-giving theory is that we should give unto others...and give unto ourselves. If you are looking for a gift for yourself this year, order something from Allen's greenery collections. From centerpieces to wreaths, these fresh and fragrant adornments will spiff up even the most dismal family meal. Or is that just my family?
- Le Creuset 5.5 QT Round French Oven: Before you say, "hey, that's not related to gardening," let me tell you...it is. Being able to bring in a boat-load of fresh veggies and cook them up in a gorgeous French Oven is one of the great joys of vegetable gardening. Le Creuset sent me one of these to try out and I've absolutely adored it. My fave dish that I've used it for so far has been a balsamic braised lamb leg with parsnips, carrots and turnips. Oh, and I got the Caribbean blue version. It's so beautiful, it makes me want to cry.
- Gift Certificate for White Flower Farm: Everyone knows that White Flower Farm has gorgeous plants that are great performers. And they also have my #1 coveted Proven Winners' introduction, the Empress Wu Hosta. You all know that I am a blogger for Proven Winners, but believe it or not, no one has sent me this beauty to review. So this is not a paid endorsement. Empress Wu is one of the largest hostas in the trade today. It gets to be about 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide, with leaves that look to be about 2 feet across. Seriously, who doesn't need this plant? Give someone a gift card so they can order it for spring delivery.
- Gift Certificate for Annie's Annuals: Annie's Annuals is one of my favorite places to go for plants that are strange and unusual (I, myself, am strange and unusual). In the fall, I purchased plants from them to complete my blue and orange themed border. It is December...and here in my Chicago garden, those plants are still green. In fact, my Siberian Wallflower is still in bloom!
- A Pair of Bogs: This year, I was lucky enough to have Bogs contact me about reviewing their boots. They sent me a pair of Classic Mid boots in Ambrosia (at least I think it was Ambrosia...they are out in the garage and I'm too lazy to verify.) These are the most comfortable gardening shoes/boots I've ever warn. They are insulated, waterproof, padded and freaking adorable! If you'd like to see a picture of me wearing them, head over to my new blog, Health Adjacent.
- Womenswork Gloves: I am on my 5th pair of Womenswork High Performance Gloves...and I love these things. I go through so many gloves, you have no idea. But the ONLY brand I've bought more than once is Womenswork. They fit my hands well and are really durable...even for me. I just noticed that they have new, fab gauntlet-like gloves. They are called "Garden Glove with Arm Saver"...and of course, I want them in orange paisley. Who wouldn't?
- Artifacts of Life Beet Cuff: When I wrote this post last week, I hadn't seen my friend Shayna Lashaway's new store Artifacts of Life. Faster than you can say Blair and Tootie, I clicked over to her website and found the PERFECT gift for me (hint, hint). It's a gorgeous beet cuff (bracelet) made of actual beet parchment, fused onto copper. It's insanely amazing...go get one, now! Oh, and if you didn't get the chance to see my beet tattoo, check that out, too.*
Well, I feel as if I've listed plenty of products. I hope these ideas are helpful as you shop for your garden friends and family. Oh, and if you need any details on what size I wear or the growing conditions in my yard, don't hesitate to ask...
* This post contains an affiliate link to the Artifacts of Life store...and I whole-heartedly believe in and love their products.