Thursday, November 18, 2010

When You Wish Upon A Star

It’s the time of the year for me to offer some Christmas gift ideas for your favorite gardener.

Many nurseries & garden centers have fresh greens: Wreaths, garlands/roping, trees & grave blankets. Kewanee’s Lamb family Dew Fresh Market on Tenney Street. Galvan Diane Nelson’s Prairie Country Gardens. Many of the big box stores & florists have live Christmas cactus, centerpieces & fresh flowers.

Others have gift certificates available: Kewanee’s Sheila & Jeff Johnson at Sunnyfield Greenhouse & Nursery may be called at 309-852-5172. Sheffield’s Ruth Draper & Martha Owyer at Red Barn Nursery 815-454-2294.

Cost for mail order greens start at about $50 for wreaths, about $12 a ft. for garlands & trees start at $50.

Garden tools are available locally from Galva’s Mary & Jack Hathaway’s True Valu. Good quality is necessary for experienced gardeners. Many of the new tools are ergonomically designed. Catalogs & big box stores also carry a variety.

Garden lighting, for functionality or decorative, has become a big item recently. Solar is great for ease or no electrical source. One catalog has solar outdoor Christmas lights & solar candy canes & ornaments.

Clothing for the gardener may be gloves, aprons, & hats.

Bird and animal supplies are at most of the above stores & decorative ware stores. If your selection is for outdoors, make sure it’s weather proof. Houses, feeders, baths, heating elements, & food come in a wide range of uses and prices.

Recovery from garden labors might include a spa, message, thermal, manicure, yoga or pedicure gift certificate. Oils or candles for aroma therapy. A membership at an exercise facility to keep fit during the winter.

Ornamentals may include seasonal things such as Christmas lights, bird feed ornaments, gazing balls, statues, & structures.

The unusual could be a picnic basket, small blanket, napkins & a gift certificate from the Galva Food Center IGA grocery store & a customized box of candy & fresh coffee from Bishop Hill’s Colony Store. Weather centers, weather vanes, & temperature monitors.

Here are some specific ideas:

1. A garden basket with a bottle of wine, garden gloves, gift certificate for a manicure, & some lavender scented hand lotion.

2. A bird feeder, bag of sunflower seeds, a bird identification book & a pair of binoculars.

3. A fresh pine wreath, spool of ribbon, a few Cardinal bird ornaments, & boughs of red berries.

4. A small “Northern Pine” tree, lightly spray with hairspray & dust with glitter. Wrap the pot with a Christmas dish towel, tie with a ribbon & add a gift certificate.

5. A centerpiece made from pine & boxwood, a large red candle, ribbon & berries is especially nice for someone who no longer puts up a tree.

6. A garden pot packed with a coffee cup, a bag of spice-flavored coffee, & a bag of candy canes. Perhaps tuck in a favorite CD of Christmas songs or the soothing sounds of nature.

No matter where you live, check out your neighborhood selections. It’s a chance to make the local merchant, your gift recipient, and you’re shopping a nice Christmas experience.

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” ~ Dr. Seuss

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