Is there a gardener on your Christmas list? If so, consider yourself lucky! There are many gift-giving options for the plant lover in your life, here are just a few:
Seed and Bulb Catalogs - Many gardeners begin shopping for seeds and bulbs right after the holidays. Flipping through colorful catalogs on cold, rainy days is how many gardeners make it through the winter. A collection of catalogs, and perhaps a gift certificate to go with them, would make a welcome gift. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Garden Delights, and Seeds of Change are specialty catalogs that you might want to add to the tried and true Burpee, Harris, and Park catalogs. Favorite bulb catalogs include Brent and Becky’s Bulbs and Old House Gardens.
Seed packets make great stocking stuffers. One of the most popular plants at last year’s North Central Louisiana Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale was ‘Split Second’ morning glory. Receiving seeds for this plant would put a smile on any gardener’s face!
Gardening Magazines - Gardeners love to dream and plan. Many of us find inspiration from gardening magazines. Garden Gate, Horticulture, and Fine Gardening are some options. Of course, a favorite is Louisiana Gardener published right here in Ruston! Louisiana Gardener is one of sixteen state specific magazines published by State-by-State Gardening. Each state’s magazine is written by authors, nursery owners, Extension agents, and master gardeners from that state. Ideas and information gleaned from gardening magazines are a gift that will keeping on giving throughout the year.
Gardening Books- Most hobbyists accumulate a library of reference material and gardeners are no different. Here are a few books that would be a welcome addition to a gardener’s library:
The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques by Tracy DiSabato-Aust
Louisiana Gardener’s Guide by Dan Gill and Joe White
The Southern Gardener’s Book of Lists by Lois Trigg Chaplin
Tough Plants For Southern Gardens by Felder Rushing
Gardening In The Humid South by Edmund N. O’Rourke, Jr. and Leon C. Standifer
Month-By-Month Gardening In Louisiana by Dan Gill
The Southern Heirloom Garden by William C. Welch and Greg Grant
Donations- Many families have replaced gift-giving with Christmas donations to charities and community organizations in honor of their family members. If this is your family’s form of giving, you might want to consider donating to the Caroline Dorman Nature Preserve in honor of the gardener on your list.
Caroline Dorman was born in 1888 at her family home, Briarwood, in Natchitoches Parish close to the village of Saline. After attending college and teaching for a short time, she went to work for the Louisiana Forestry Department as a public relations representative where she was instrumental in establishing Kisatchie National Forest. Later Caroline became a beautification consultant for the Louisiana Highway Department. She also acted as landscape consultant at Charity Hospital in Alexandria and Hodges Gardens Park in Sabine Parish near Many. Caroline helped establish the Louisiana State Arboretum in Evangeline Parish.
On her death, Caroline Dorman willed her home to the public. Briarwood, the Caroline Dorman Nature Preserve, is open on Saturdays and Sundays during the months of March, April, May, October, and November. Your donation would further the legacy of an amazing horticulturist and preservationist.
You might want to keep your donation a little closer to home by giving to one of our local school gardens. Cypress Springs Elementary, A.J. Brown Elementary, and Choudrant Elementary each have gardening programs taught by Master Gardeners and the AgCenter. Any gardener would be proud to promote gardening with our youth. Contact the AgCenter for information about donating.
Outrageous Fantasy Gifts- Each year Neiman Marcus publishes its catalog of outlandish, fantasy gifts. In that vein of thought, you might want to get your gardener a gift that’s really over the top, such as….
Sous-Gardener In A Bottle – Just rub the bottle and repeat three times, “I need help.” Then out pops a burly gardener with a shovel in one hand and pruning shears in the other!
UltraRose – The self-fertilizing, self-pruning, pest-free, disease-free, thornless rose that blooms a different color (of your choosing) each day.
Weather Wonder- A programmable, invisible dome custom-sized for your garden that will maintain perfect temperature, rainfall, and humidity for a carefree gardening experience.
Happy holiday shopping to you and the gardener on your list!
**Don’t forget the December 1st deadline for the Early Bird Special ($25 off tuition) for the new Master Gardener class beginning in January. Call the AgCenter at 251-5134. Hey, this class would make a great gift!!