This year, as always, I have selected a few items that are useful and affordable, and a few others that are decorative and a little bit pricier. If they don’t catch your fancy, I’d also suggest checking out my gift guides from previous years. I don’t repeat items so there are plenty of ideas there including organic seed sets, great gift certificates, tools, the best hose ever (p.s. see their ad at the side for 20% off), and more.
All photos are copyright to their respective shops.
Bogs Ultra High Boots $135: Davin has worn a pair of these over the last few seasons and he loves them (his are olive green). We originally thought they’d make a good spring garden boot, suitable for slogging through the early season muck, but since they are rated down to -40 degrees F, they have turned out to be a warm and durable winter boot as well. He wears them on long winter walks with the dog or days when it’s exceptionally cold and snowy. The handles make it easier to pull them on. Also available in women’s sizes. I hope to upgrade eventually myself as I am still wearing cheaper gardening rain boots that do not do double duty as winter wear.
Last week, I lay flat on the examination table wearing nothing but a thin hospital gown while my doctor went through the routine of a physical, poking and prodding, checking for any unusual growth. I’ll spare you the details, but we all know what this entails. It’s uncomfortable and nobody enjoys it, but it’s one of those small humiliations that are to be endured now and again for the sake of our health.
I think it was just to get me through the examination, but my doctor chose the worst of it to start a chat about gardening. She asked my advice on plants she can grow, and like all beginners, she expressed anxiety and remorse about all of the plants she has killed.
Once I got past the surreal awkwardness of giving advice in that condition, I assured her, as I do all new gardeners, that killing plants is just part of the experience. We all do it. I still do it. Every gardener I know, regardless of their expertise, loses a plant or two (or more) every year. This got me thinking about the approaching end of the year, a time when I tend to reflect on my successes and failures in the garden. I thought now might be a good time to try a writing exercise that turns the negative into a positive, even if that positive is just a good story committed to paper.
In the centre of the living room inside my childhood home, a heavy 70′s era fake colonial-style coffee table sat on top of a grass green shag rug. It was a behemoth of a thing, all dangerous sharp corners and rock hard, pressboard edges. Its matching end tables were equally large and bevelled, and together, in a small room unsuited for their girth, they formed a perilous minefield on which my energetic little brother cracked his skull at least a thousand times.
A Way to Garden Radio – I recently appeared as a guest on Margaret Roach’s weekly podcast to talk about Holiday gifts to make using plants and things gleaned from the garden. Click here to listen for free. To get your Holiday gift giving started, Margaret is giving away two garden-themed tees from our shop, so head over there to get your name in the running to win.
Each Autumn, big, beautiful Amaryllis bulbs show up in stores alongside spring blooming bulbs. And every year I hesitate, full of guilt about the indulgence at a time when I have so many houseplants to shift indoors for the winter. However, once the snow is settled over the garden and the world has lost its colour, that first bloom is greeted like a miracle unfolding. We watch the developing bud with anticipation and when it opens we circle around it with our cameras, taking in every crumb of colour and life while we can. No summer flower receives such hyper-gleeful fanfare.