Gifts to delight a gardener

(Newport News, Va.) Daily PressDecember 21, 2012 

You thought you were done with your holiday shopping – or just about – when you double-checked your gift list and discovered there’s a gardener Santa needs to remember.

Here are some last-minute gifts that are sure to please.

(It’s probably too late to order online unless you want to spend a fortune on super-fast shipping. But, hey, you can always present the recipient with a pretty card that contains a picture of the gift to look forward to.)

Phoenician vase: Tuck fresh-cut flowers from your garden or a small candle into this swirling-color Phoenician Coast vase that’s hand blown by artisans of Herbron Glass and Ceramic Factory, a West Bank-family business founded in 1890. Vase 8 inches tall. $68, Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade retailer that sells products to help support artisans in developing countries, at tenthousandvillages.com and its stores nationwide (including Raleigh).

Grow what you eat: Create a year-round vegetable/herb garden in a 4-by-4-foot dovetail cedar raised garden kit. To assemble, simply slide the boards by hand into the corner joints and secure the garden frame. Set the frame on any level outdoor space (think patio, too), add soil/compost mix and plants or seeds and grow your good health. $39.97 at Home Depot and homedepot.com.

Great gazebo: Birds of all kinds will flock to this Earth-friendly gazebo birdfeeder, constructed of recycled post-consumer plastic and wood. It’s easy to fill and simple to clean with soapy water so birds dine in a safe environment. $9.97 at Lowe’s stores and lowes.com.

Pop-up presto bucket: It stores flat, opens into a 2.9-gallon bucket and comes with its own carrying case. The lightweight, watertight bucket can be used for many purposes – weeding, washing a car, picking fruit, collecting shells and toting small toys. $16.95-$23 in yellow, blue, red or orange at TrueBlueGloves.com and amazon.com. Bird beneficial: Have your coffee and help save the birds with Birds & Beans Coffee, a gift that supports organic, shade-grown coffee farms that give shelter and sustenance to more than 60 species of migratory birds. $11.70 and up through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bird Gifts at birds.cornell.edu/birdgifts.

Bathing beauties: Attract birds and give them a pleasant place to drink with a glass bird bath. The curved bowl of these designs allows birds to wade to whatever depth of water is best for them. Clean with mild soap and water and display on a low or tall stand of your choice. Bowls also make a pretty tabletop centerpiece. $28, not including stand. Collegiate, bird, floral and stained-glass designs available at homedepot.com, birdbaths.com and wayfair.com.

Stocking stuffers: Bird lovers will appreciate stockings, gift baskets or bags you create, each filled with bags of Cole’s all-natural bird feed. For birders plagued by hungry squirrels, choose “hot meats” blends that birds love and squirrels hate. Woodpeckers love the pecans in the “special feeder” blend, while the “nutberry suet blend” brings bluebirds, warblers, robins, woodpeckers and more. $12.49-$20.49 at coleswildbird.com or 877-426-8882 for retail and online outlets.

Smart birdfeeder: The AutoFeeder enables you to determine how much seed to offer and when to dispense the seed, meaning you can “train” birds to feed when you are home and can watch them. The feeder can be programmed to dispense seed up to four specific times each day. It’s powered by four AA batteries, which will last for up to 9 months, and can hold one gallon of bird seed. A squirrel-resistant baffle protects the seed from hungry four-legged thieves. $130 by Wingscapes at wingscapes.com (use coupon code Auto2FreeShip for free shipping through Dec. 31.)

Organic Gardening: To help yourself or an aspiring gardener learn more about Mother Earth and how to protect her, get a two-year subscription to Organic Gardening magazine. $23.94 for 12 issues, published bi-monthly at http://organicgardening.com.

Carolina Gardener: A subscription to Carolina Gardener will help new Tar Heels choose the plants best suited to North Carolina and will whet the appetites of veteran gardeners for the planting season. $24.95 for 9 issues at statebystategardening.com/carolinas/Or call 888-265-3600.

Fine fountain: Bubbling like a natural spring, this outdoor remote-controlled solar floor fountain features a low-profile design with a natural cut-stone texture. It runs on solar power but also comes with a rechargeable battery pack for use at night. $109-$249 through Home Depot at homedepot.com.

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