You're making your holiday shopping list and checking it twice, and here are some gift ideas for gardeners — naughty or nice.
The new book Gifts From the Garden combines the beauty of the bounty with the skills of the crafter for the green-fingered DIYer who wants to make the most of harvests throughout the year. From the edible to the decorative, author Debora Robertson shows how to make a unique something for every occasion — potted bulbs in teacups, personalized seed packets, herbal teas, floral-scented lip balms and indulgent body scrubs. Using fruits, veggies and nuts, she shows how to make spice rubs and fresh pesto, chile jams and tomato chutneys — gifts from the heart of your kitchen. $24.95; amazon.com.
No air freshener can compete with the sweet fragrance of a flowering gardenia. The Heavenly Scented Evergreen Gardenia brightens a room with its clear white blossoms, and comes in a golden sparkle ceramic container that's about 7 inches tall and wide; plant care information is included, $59.95. Jackson and Perkins; jacksonandperkins.com or call toll-free 1-800-292-4769.
Wild and wonderful
Cornell introduces young and old to the wonders of birding, including:
Cornell Guide to Bird Sounds: Master Set for North America. This comprehensive guide features nearly 5,000 soundtracks for 735 North American bird species. Download includes MP3 sound files and photographs. $49.99, or get files preloaded on a flash drive, $64.99.
Cornell Guide to Bird Sounds: Essential Set for North America. This set includes the most common sounds for 737 species in downloadable MP3 files, $12.99, or on a preloaded flash drive, $24.99.
Cornell Lab Beginner Bird-watching Kit. This kit, available from Optics Planet, includes introductory binoculars recommended by lab staff, six months of free access to a lab online bird ID course, and other great accessories, $199.
Available at birds.cornell.edu or call toll-free 1-800-843-2573.
Treat your special gardening friend to a David Austin gift voucher. Request that the confirmation, complete with 120-page "Handbooks of Roses" catalog, come straight to you for gift-giving. The roses will be shipped in spring at the right time for planting as bare rootstock. Two beauties to ponder: Munstead Wood, a deep crimson rose, $27.95 each or three for $71.25, and yellow climber Golden Celebration, $25.99 each or three for $66. Davidaustinroses.com or call toll-free 1-800-328-8893.
The Gardeners Hand Tool Gift Set from Joseph Bentley contains the small tools that are used most often by gardeners of all skills — trowel, transplanting trowel and hand fork. All three tools have carefully finished solid oak wooden handles and polished stainless steel heads. The tools are presented in a wooden seed box and nestled in shaved wood; $39.99 in gardening stores and at homedepot.com, amazon.com and sears.com.
Best weeder ever
Take out carpets of weeds in one swipe, using the Japanese hand hoe. Forged of high carbon steel, it maintains a sharp edge. Holiday special, $19.95, tgwshop.com or call toll-free 1-888-977-7159.
The new WildlifeCam takes up-close and personal photos of the four-legged wildlife — and winged wildlife, too — that visit your yard. The motion-activated camera, high-resolution, 8-megapixel digital photos capture candid moments of wildlife in stunning, full-color detail. The built-in flash makes it possible to take photos of animals in low light — or even capture nighttime visitors such as raccoons and deer in the dark. In addition to the single photo mode, the cam can also make digital videos with sound; $99.95 at wildlife stores and at wingscapes.com or call toll-free 1-888-811-9464.
The Green Cycler is a clean, odorless kitchen countertop solution that turns kitchen scraps into "black gold" for the garden in days rather than weeks and months, $99-$139. thegreencycler.com or call toll-free 1-855-432-6866.
Up close and personal
Get to know your feathered neighbors from inches away. Watch the birds as they build their nest and raise their young. Clear panel provides a great view and slides out for easy cleaning. Easily attaches, with suction cups, to the outside of a window. Made with natural cedar, rust-resistant hardware and heavy plexiglass, USA made, $21.99. National Wildlife Federation at nwf.org or call toll-free 1-800-822-9919.
For close encounters with birds of all kinds, consider the Winner Multi-Purpose Window Feeder, $35.99, which attaches to the outside of windows with three suction cup mounts and holds up to ½ pound of seed, suet or fruit. Another possibility is Dorothy's Cardinal Feeder, $59.99, designed to attach to a post or a hook. The 13-inch feeder is topped by a height-adjustable, 15-inch clear-view dome that protects birds and feed from weather while warding off unwanted larger birds. Drollyankees.com or call toll-free 1-800-352-9164.
Turn your fruit feeder into a piece of artwork for your back yard. This heavyweight feeder holds two fruits, such as apples, and gives the birds a place to perch. Made of long-lasting beautiful copper, $29.99. National Wildlife Federation at nwf.org or call toll-free 1-800-822-9919.