I know…this is supposed to be about Christmas greens…next week, I promise. I’ve had several friends ask for another column about gifts for gardeners. So, by request…here are a few gift suggestions, products that I’ve found ease gardening tasks:
I’m not sure there is a more practical tool than the bulb planter that attaches to a drill. I remember my first attempt at power-drilling holes for bulbs. I noticed the paint stirrer attached to my grandfather’s hand drill and thought it would work wonderfully in the gardens for making holes. Well, the concept was good even if the paint stirrer didn’t function well as an auger. Several years later the proper tool came to market. Bulb augers can be long enough so you can stand while drilling or shorter and more easily controlled. There is also a device called a Bulb Bopper that is a tube instead of a spiral auger. If you have physical challenges to planting bulbs, or have a lot of bulbs to put in, either tool is essential to simplifying this gardening task.
Containers are popular these days. Moving them for winter storage can be a challenge especially when they are large and heavy. The glazed ceramic containers are really difficult to move because it is hard to get a grip on their slippery surface. Lifting these pots is a two person job and can be made safer for our backs by using a Potlifter Strap . This simple and ingenious hauling device is an adjustable nylon strap that fits around the circumference of a container and is designed with handles for gripping. It is also useful for lifting cumbersome logs and rocks too big for one person to move.
The group of volunteers I work with, St. Francis Garden Society, was given a gift of several collapsible 40-gallon containers, sometimes called Spring Buckets or Kangaroo Containers. We use them almost daily and have had several people stop and ask where to buy them . The collapsible buckets have a circling spring enclosed in a sleeve sewn to the UV resistant tarpaulin. The hard plastic bottom that has drain holes holds the container in place as it is filled with debris. When collapsed it is only three inches thick and can be hung by the large nylon handles sewn to the sides.
And for the connoisseur of specialty tools reminiscent of those finely crafted pieces of our grandfathers’, go to DeWit Dutch Garden Tools . This company began in 1898 and crafts some of the nicest tools I’ve ever sunk into soil. Two of my favorites are the Dutch Hand Hoe and the Perennial Spork. I find their tools as lovely to look at as they are to use.
If the gardener in your life wants to create a prayer or memorial garden (warning…I am about to shamelessly promote myself) go to Amazon for my book, A Garden of Visible Prayer: Creating a Personal Sacred Space One Step at a Time. Wrap it up, along with a three-ring binder and one of these tools, and your Christmas gift will be appreciated for many seasons to come.