The Christmas season is well underway: lights are up, Christmas music fills the radio waves and December calendars are packed with parties and family get-togethers. While gardening may not be foremost in your mind this month, there are plenty of gift-worthy items you’ll find at Vander Giessen’s that you can give to your favorite gardener—or add to your own wishlist—this Christmas season.
For most gardeners, one of the most-used tools they rely on is a hand pruner. Whether cutting back hydrangeas, picking bouquets of roses or trimming a Japanese maple, I always use a Felco pruner. No, they’re not cheap, but you get what you pay for, and since every part of the pruner can be replaced if needed, a good Felco may be the last pruner you ever have to buy. With several models available for different hand sizes and needs, let us help you pick out the right pruner for your loved one.
Another great pruner (really more of a garden snips) I’ve fallen in love with over the last year is the aptly-named Deadheads. These diminutive pruners fit in the palm of your hand, allowing you to easily snip off spent flowers or pick fresh herbs and produce. Whether to add to your own collection of garden tools or fill a stocking, Deadheads are a great, inexpensive gift idea.
If you have kids or grandkids that regularly “help” with tasks around the house (as a parent of a three-year-old, I use the word “help” very generously!), you know the value of them having their own tools to use. This Christmas, consider giving your little helper a set of colorful kid-sized garden tools and their own brightly-hued garden gloves. Not only will they be thrilled to have something of their own, you might actually get some assistance pulling weeds next spring!
Finally, one of my favorite tools to use around the garden this year has been a humble but versatile garden bucket. Superior to any ordinary five-gallon bucket, a garden bucket is lightweight with flexible sides and ergonomic built-in handles—the perfect combination of utility and comfort. I know, it’s a bucket, but try one and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Now, whatever the occasion, a thoughtful and well-meaning person might give you a poinsettia or blooming Christmas cactus this month. Green thumbs notwithstanding, I’ve heard too many stories from customers about how they somehow seem to kill their Christmas plants every year.
If you look outside, you won’t see too many poinsettias or Christmas cactuses growing in your flowerbeds or by the roadside. In fact, you won’t see any; they’re native to warmer, drier climates, and as such, thrive in relatively warm, dry environments. The most common way I hear of poinsettias meeting their demise is with too much water—and the same goes for Christmas cactuses.
If you receive a poinsettia this year, you shouldn’t need to water more than two or three times a week. When you do, take it out of its decorative sleeve and set it in a saucer or directly in the kitchen sink. After you’ve watered it, let it set for a few minutes before returning it to its wrapper to allow any extra water to drain out. For Christmas cactuses, water even less often, allowing the soil to dry before watering again. Should you succeed in keeping your plant alive, only increase the quantity and regularity of water you give it when new growth begins to show next spring.
May you enjoy all this season has to offer. From my family to yours, have a blessed Christmas!