2008-12-12 / Beauty in the Backyard

Stocking stuffers for gardeners

Stopping to smell the flowers
By Arlene Marturano marturanoa@yahoo.com

Gardeners are easy to please with simple things like seeds, bulbs, and a new pair of gloves.

But if you want to include more personal, thoughtful, and unexpected treasures to the gardeners on your list, consider items from the sampler below:

A gardener's skin takes a beating from wind, sun, tools, and the soil. To soothe dry hands several products are recommended: Burt Bee's Hand Salve, Burt Bee's Almond Milk Lotion, and Earth Therapies Hand Remedy. SallyeAnder Hogwash® soap and Gardener's soap are formulated to clean but soothe dirty, stained, rosined hands. To encourage protection of skin from the sun, Neutrogena makes a line of oil- free sunblock crémes. Even lips need extra- moisturizing with products like Burt Bee's Beeswax Balm or Crabtree and Evelyn Garden Mint Lip Balm.

After hours of garden work, sore and aching muscles will benefit from a microwavable heat wrap sold at pharmacies or a gift certificate for a hot rock massage.

To protect the gardener's hands while providing a flexible and lightweight cover, space age nitrile gloves are sold through Gardener's Supply online, www.gardenerssupply. com

Seasonal garden flags welcome guests. Seasonal garden flags welcome guests. The houseplant aficionado will appreciate compost tea bags. The bags are steeped for 10- 15 minutes in the watering can before applying to the soil or spraying on foliage. Winter provides time to root houseplants. A small bottle of rooting hormone goes a long way.

Gardeners take measures to conserve water. Soil Moist™ is a product designed to reduce watering by as much as 50%. The polymer granule is incorporated into the soil at the root zone. When plants receive water, the polymer absorbs and holds it. When the soil is dry, the granules release water to the roots.

Garden flags add a welcoming touch to any garden and they regularly need replacing due to weathering. Yard art adds interest to beds. Even small ceramic herb markers, which help to organize the herb bed, add style.

Kinsman makes a plastic Color Wheel for outdoor use in helping a gardener design color combinations with foliage and flowers.

Ceramic herb markers wear well in the garden. Ceramic herb markers wear well in the garden. A precious pewter garden tool key chain at Garrett Wade online keeps gardener's keys close at hand, www.garrettwade.com

Membership to Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden or a subscription to a gCaarrod leinn ain Gg a rmdeangearzine like will keep the gardener up to date. The 2009 Midlands Master Gardener Calendar, available at local garden centers, is a gift which will be used each month and season of the year. Gift certificates to a local garden center or favorite mail- order catalog delight gardeners as do prepaid coupons for beneficial bugs and earthworms. A gift card giving an hour of help in a person's garden will be treasured.

One bottle of rooting hormone lasts a long time. One bottle of rooting hormone lasts a long time. Soil Moist helps the gardener conserve water. Soil Moist helps the gardener conserve water. Burt's Bees makes many products for gardeners. Burt's Bees makes many products for gardeners. One kind of compost tea is made by monks in Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina. One kind of compost tea is made by monks in Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina.

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