Posts Tagged ‘Gardening Gifts’

Best Quality Gardening Cultivator

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Out of all of the gardening equipment you could use in your garden one of the most important tools is the garden cultivator.  This gardening gift is not only used to till the soil but to break up dirt’s top layer within a garden.  When you till the soil, this leaves plenty of room for air, nutrients, and water to flow around the roots of your plants.  There are also the added benefits to decrease the likelihood of weeds.  This will loosen the hold that these pesky weeds have on soil that was originally meant for flowers, herbs, or vegetables.

A garden cultivator can take on a variety of forms.  There is the hand-powered garden cultivator which usually has a long handle to use when you stand.  This gardening gift has several rotating blades at the very end which will come in contact with the soil.  This piece of gardening equipment aerates and loosens both dirt and weeds.  Garden cultivators come in various sizes, and some of them are attached with wheels to make easy operation.  There are also smaller hand-powered tools that have shorter handles that can be used when one is kneeling or sitting on the ground.

The first thing you must do for good tool maintenance is to make sure you purchase a high quality tool.   If you get a garden cultivator that is flimsy and cheap, you may find that you will have to buy another one before the gardening season is over.  A quality cultivator should be of sturdy construction as well as heavy-gauge metal.  Try choosing the heaviest cultivator that you can handle with ease; this tool’s weight will do the brunt of the work and not put the burden on you.

If you would rather not have a garden cultivator that is hand-powered, there are many other options to choose from.  Electric cultivators come in a wide range of prices.  Many are run by batteries and some are even rechargeable.

If you are looking to buy the best cordless electric garden cultivator on the market today, then you should go for the Black & Decker GC 818-18.  All you have to do is pop in the 18-volt rechargeable battery and watch the counter-oscillating tines till the soil for planting or cut right through those nasty weeds.  This gardening gift is only 8 pounds and has a telescoping shaft as well as a comfortable handle to make your job a snap!

If you have a large gardening area to till, a gas-powered garden cultivator may be another option for you to think about.  These gardening gifts come equipped with an engine, can have larger and longer blades or tines, and can look much like a lawn mower. The blades of this gas-powered garden cultivator can average anywhere from 6 inches in length to over 21 inches in length.  The blades of a cultivator that is hand-powered only average from a few inches in length to approximately 7 inches long.  The tool that you get all depends upon the depth of the soil that you want to aerate.

If you are in the market for this gardening gift, hopefully this article has answered most of your questions. 😉

Garden Cultivator

Garden Cultivator

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Gardening Carts And Gardening Gifts

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

If you know someone who loves to garden, be it a vegetable or flower garden, then you know that no matter how small the garden there is a lot of hauling and heavy lifting involved in this particular hobby. Such things as shrubs, plants, mulch and even top soil needs to transferred to the garden from time to time and unless one has a gardening cart, this can be heavy and exhausting work. Perhaps that is why gardening carts make such helpful gifts for those people who love working with plants.

People who like to garden are the easiest people to buy presents for. These people put a lot of time and effort into their gardens and feel such pride in their accomplishment that you just want to give them something that will contribute to their hobby. Luckily, that is easy since there are so many gardening gifts to choose from. No matter what your income level you can purchase one or two gardening gifts that are sure to please the gardener in your life. You can choose everything from a few packets of seeds, to gloves, to watering cans and other tools to the some really large items such as gardening carts and mulch boxes.

Know Someone Who is Just Starting To Garden?

With today’s prices more and more people are starting their own vegetable gardens. While in the long run this will result in big savings on grocery bills, the initial cost of starting a food garden can seem overwhelming to someone on a limited budget. Helping that person get a start is a very caring way to present them with a gift. Why not get a few family members and friends together and present them with a few gardening gifts they can really use?

Start with a gardening cart and fill the inside with some essentials your friend or relative will need to get started. Some great fillers for your cart could be a couple of books on how to grow vegetables, several seed packets, gardening gloves, a kneeling pad for weeding, a watering can or hose and a few simple tools you know will prove useful. Your garden center can help you to choose just the right tools. Imagine their surprise when you present them with this wonderful gift. In return they just might share the bounty of their first garden with you.

Gifts for the Flower Gardener

When choosing gifts for the flower gardener you can purchase a small gardening cart and fill it with garden statutes, seeds or flowering plants you know they will enjoy and other little things that will make their garden bright and cheerful. Even a small bird bath would be a wonderful addition.

Even if you don’t garden yourself there is a certain satisfaction in giving someone wonderful gardening gifts and then watching their garden thrive. Perhaps it is knowing that you have given a present that the person truly appreciates and can use to enhance their life and enjoyment of their hobby. 😉

Garden Cart Filled With Gardening Gifts

Garden Cart Filled With Gardening Gifts

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Garden Windmills Are Great Gardening Gifts

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

If you have a gardener in your life, you know just how seriously some people take this fun and productive hobby. From late winter all the way through fall, the focus is on planting, growing and harvesting. Luckily, this makes choosing a gift for any occasion fairly easy. Anytime you need to purchase a gift for the gardener in your life, you can select something that will help them in their craft. However, if you have given a lot of these gifts, you may be unsure of what gardening gifts to look at next. A garden windmill is a great idea. It’s a beautiful addition to any garden and one that your gardening friend probably doesn’t already have their eye on. There are several options to select from, in various prices ranges.

Decorative or Functional?

The first thing that you need to determine when you look at a garden windmill is whether or not the recipient will want to attach it to a fully functioning water system, or whether they prefer a garden windmill for decorative effect only. This will point you in the right direction when choosing your gardening gifts.

Decorative windmills come in all sizes. Some are quite small and can be placed among foliage for a decorative effect. Others are more life-sized and will simulate a functioning garden windmill, but without any of the accompanying hardware. When it comes to decorative windmills, the price will largely depend on the size of the windmill and the features. For example, if you choose a windmill with an attached planter box, that may add to the overall cost. Depending on your climate, you may want to look at both wood and coated metal models. Each will have pros and cons and be ideal for different weather conditions. Decorative windmills should sell for around $50-$100, making them fantastic gardening gifts.

Functional windmills are in their own category. While looks are still important, the most crucial feature will be their ability to either draw water or generate power, depending on what the particular needs are of your gardening friend. If you are intending to purchase a fully functioning windmill, keep in mind that these can be very expensive, running well into the several thousand dollar range. However, as gardening gifts, they are great for a group of people who want to contribute to the gift pool. Functional windmills save both water and electricity, as well as making the gardening area look fabulous.

Design and Form

Adding a garden windmill to a landscape gives it a nice central focus. Your gardening friend should use this to their advantage when accepting these great gardening gifts. A central planting directly around the windmill can work well. It’s also a good idea to create counterpoints that will provide balance to the landscape, drawing the eye smoothly around the garden area. If you don’t feel like you can provide this expertise along with your gift, include literature or resources that can help them integrate the windmill when it is presented as a gift.

Gardening is a fantastic hobby that feeds the soul of many people each spring and summer. Whether your friend favors vegetable or flower gardening, a garden windmill can be the perfect choice when gardening gifts are needed. Decorative options are very affordable and perfect to improve the look of any garden. 😉

Garden Windmill

Garden Windmill

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How to Choose a Garden Arbor

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Have you been wondering how to choose a garden arbor? While it is true that arbors located in the garden are among the most versatile and beautiful of all garden structures, the choices are immense. This makes it exceptionally challenging to determine which garden arbor will be most appropriate for the garden area of your lawn. When choosing such a structure, it is important to decide on the overall design scheme of your lawn and garden area. It is also important to understand that there are several styles that will fit the theme of your garden area.

While the garden arbor is highly functional, there are three basic types. There is what is referred to as an “Entry”, and one that is called a “Destination”. In addition to this, there are arbors that are called a “Focal Point”. In order to choose the best for your garden, it is important to understand the basic functionality of each type that is on the market today. Listed below you will find the description of each type:

* Entry – The entry garden arbor is used as an entrance point into your lawn or into areas surrounding your lawn. This type acts a door to the next place in your design scheme that you want others to enter. It has a high level of decorative appeal.

* Destination – Typically, if you use arbors in your yard and garden design, there will be a final destination that you want to reach. This is where this type of structure fits in. Many individuals will place a bench, a seating arrangement, or even a swing onto this type of arbor.

* Focal Point – This type of arbor is placed in the area that you want to focus on or want your guests to focus on. It is often a highly decorative piece of outdoor lawn furniture that naturally attracts individuals due to its high level of appeal.

When choosing a garden arbor, it is important to understand that there are two basic styles when it comes to overall design. You may choose from a formal unit or an informal unit. When shopping for your arbor, you will likely find that most of the units on the market today are designed in a formal style. This is mostly due to the fact that the structures are supposed to add a high level of beautification to the garden area of the home. The only down fall is that the choices that you have as far as materials and colors are often quite limited in formal arbors. If you want to have a large selection of colors, material types, and styles, you will likely benefit from choosing informal arbors.

If you are interested in learning how to choose a garden arbor, it is important to have a good working knowledge on the materials that these outdoor decorative items are composed of. In most instances, you will find arbors that are constructed using wood. There are arbors that are made of metal too. Many individuals enjoy having an arbor that is lightweight so that it can be moved easily from one location to another. If you want this level of flexibility, you may benefit from choosing among garden arbors that are constructed of plastic. If you know what options and features are part of arbors, you will be able to choose one that is right for you. 😉

Garden Arbor

Garden Arbor

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Garden Sheds – A Big Gardening Gift To Yourself

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Garden sheds are great tools for anyone that enjoys working in their garden or doing outside work. These sheds can have many different purposes. These sheds can be very attractive additions to your home and property. When thinking of purchasing one of these garden sheds, there are several things that you may want to consider. After all, this is a big gardening gift and you want to do it right.

For many people the garden shed is nothing more than just a storage place for tools and other items. However this shed can be used for so much more. If you are a gardener, then this can be the area where you take care of your seedlings before the transferring into a different area. Other people may also use them for a number of different types of work areas.

You want to make sure that the shed will be easy to blend in with the overall look and feel of your outside home décor. This will help increase your property value and make your property more attractive.

You need to know the length of time you need the shed. Knowing if this structure is on a temporary or permanent basis will aid you in further decisions. If this idea is for a temporary situation, you may opt for something very basic in design and materials as well as ease of assembly and cost. Garden sheds that are meant to be permanent structures will cost you more but will allow for a bigger choice of materials and designs for you to choose from.

More important factors to look at are ones such as location. Where you plan on placing the shed is very important. It needs to be placed on ground that is flat and level. This will help to prevent any accidents or leaning from happening.

Zoning is the utmost important factor to look at. You need to know if the codes and zoning departments in the area of your home will allow you to have a garden shed, and if so are there any restrictions. It would be disastrous if you set up your garden shed only to have someone come by and say that it is not allowed.

Your intended purpose for the shed is another factor. Is this to be a workplace or just a storage shed? This also allows for you to choose the right materials for your shed. You want it to be perfect for your needs.

One of the last things that you need to consider when buying a garden shed is whether or not you are a handyman. Many of these sheds are do-it-yourself projects. This involves a lot of parts, frustration and hours of work to do. On the other hand, you can always look for a shed that can be assembled for you. This is more costly as you not only pay for the shed but the price of labor for assembly.

When it comes down to it, there are a lot of factors to consider when buying garden sheds. Make sure that you think about each and every one before making a final decision. Remember, what is the intended purpose? Is it allowed in my area? Will it go with my exterior décor? Can I afford it? Do I put it together myself or pay someone else to do it? Once you answer these questions, you will be well on your way to giving yourself a great gardening gift indeed. 😉

Garden Sheds

Garden Sheds

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Gardening – Is It Really A Hobby?

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Today, I thought you might enjoy the following story about this passion of ours that we call gardening:

Considering the hard work involved, I can still honestly state there is nothing quite as “relaxing” as spending the day working in my garden. Well okay, if not exactly “relaxing”, it certainly is rewarding and just gives you an overall feeling of well-being.  An added benefit is if you are not physically fit before you start your first gardening project, chances are you soon will be simply thru the process of maintaining it. But is serious gardening actually a hobby? I don’t think so.

I was in my 40’s when we moved from California with my low maintenance, swimming pool and concrete backyard to a small community in rural Oregon. The old farmhouse we intended to remodel sat on over an acre of land which sported any number of weeds and a few overgrown shrubs. Most of which, had been planted in a haphazard manner.

For the first few years we just kept the weeds mowed while we focused most of our efforts on the inside of the house. In time however, there was nothing left to do but turn our attention to the grounds surrounding the house. Oh my, where to start?

By the time that particular summer was over, we had created what we called the courtyard right outside the kitchen. It was a small, private area with a waterfall and herb garden, along with a comfortable seating area partly shaded by our 50 year old oak tree.

In addition, we had put up a 60’ fence, planted flowering shrubs and hedges, seeded a new back lawn and planted flowers galore. In addition to the herb garden now, we had an entry garden, a shade garden, a sunny flower garden and the following year we created a raised vegetable garden.

I’m not exactly sure when reality hit amidst all this flowering and fruit/vegetable producing plant life, but hit it did. This gardening stuff was a lot of work! Not only did we have to dig and add nutrients to our rock hard clay soil, we had to plant, then keep the plants watered and weeded. Deadheading soon became a half a days work on a regular basis throughout the summer.

Once planted, my hubby who had a job and a thousand other things to do around the property left me to tend the gardens on my own. I soon discovered that weeding took me at least 3 days a week. Then somebody turned me on to Round-Up and I gave thanks to the Gods that be. Even so, you have to be very careful with herbicides especially around vegetables and ground water.

In surveys, when people are asked what kind of hobbies they enjoy, 8 out of 10 will include gardening. After my experience, I can’t really relate to gardening as being a hobby, but I can sure relate to it as being a full-time commitment! 😉

Relaxing And Gardening

Relaxing And Gardening

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What Are The Best Patio Heaters?

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Patio heaters or other types of outdoor heaters can turn your patio from a space that’s only comfortable during temperate months into that you can use in fall and winter, too. Here are some things to consider when you’re choosing the best patio heaters for your particular use.

What kind do you want?

§         Patio fire pit

A patio fire pit is the least expensive type of patio heater, and it’s simply a container we can build a campfire. You can do one of two things with a fire pit; you can simply establish it as a suitable container that you can move from place to place, or you can install one permanently. Not just a “fire pit,” in fact, these can be very stylish, depending on your decor.

§         Mexican chimineas

Other types of patio heaters include the Mexican chimineas. This is simply a clay or metal pot, freestanding, that has a short chimney on top and a wide opening at the bottom. It gives the atmosphere sort of unique and homey, “old world” feel.

§         Patio fireplace

A patio fireplace is a fireplace that’s actually built into your patio, either as a freestanding cast-iron stove, or constructed similar to an indoor fireplace. These can be fueled by electricity, wood, or propane gas.

§         Standalone patio heaters

Standalone patio heaters are the most versatile type of patio heater, and are simply a freestanding post with a propane burner. This is probably the most consistently warming (and among the least expensive overall) of the options, and uses either natural gas or propane fuel; some models use electricity, as well.

Which should you choose?

The type of patio heater you choose is going to depend on your own particular needs. If you like a rustic feel, the crackle of fire, and a sort of “sitting around the campfire” atmosphere, the patio fireplace or patio fire pit are good options, and they’re not that expensive. However, be aware that you are going to have to “feed” your patio heater, in that it’s going to need to be continually fueled with wood when you use it. And of course, it’s also going to require some cleaning and maintenance.

The Mexican chimineas, too, is a good option, again if you prefer a more rustic feel.

Considerations

While the fire pit is the cheapest and easiest to set up, it does require some maintenance. For maintenance free patio heating that’s also the most consistent, your best bet is probably to go with the standalone patio heater. Because you can move standalone patio heaters from place to place with no muss and no fuss, you’re also not limited to one location, as with some other options. And, they may be the most safe to use as well, although of course safety is always a consideration with these types of outdoor heaters, anyway.

Choose the right patio heater for you, and enjoy your patio year-round with friends and family, not just during the summer. 😉

Patio Heater

Patio Heater

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What Kind Of Gardening Gift Is A Worm Bin?

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Almost anyone who has an organic garden will set up a worm bin sooner or later. A worm bin is simply a compost bin

How A Worm Bin Works

A worm bin or vermicompost pile as it is called works simply. Instead of just allowing the food from your kitchen to decay on its own, you put it in a bin where you have placed worms. The worms eat the vegetable and fruit matter and when they eliminate waste you have compost.

Building a worm bin is simple. You can use any material such as rubber, wood, plastic or galvanized tubs. Most serious worm compost users like wooden bins because wood breathes better and absorbs excess moisture.

How to Make a Worm Bin

Build a wooden box twice the size you want for composting and put a removable divider down the middle. Drill holes about 1/8 of an inch apart in the bottom four inches of the box to provide ventilation. Make two lids the right size for each half of the box from tops or other material that will help block out rain. This will keep excess moisture out.

Preparing the Bin

Now you need to prepare your bin the day before placing your worms inside. You do this by filling the bin with thin strips of shredded newspaper, straw or dry grass, and then putting a light covering of dirt on top of it. Water, the dirt lightly but thoroughly. Let it sit for 24 hours before adding your worms.

Ordering Your Worms

There are many places where you can order your worms from. The best worms to use are red wigglers or European Night crawlers. You will need 1 lb of worms for every square foot of surface area on your compost pile. Add the worms to your bin and then add some fruit and vegetable scraps from your kitchen.

Maintaining Your Worm Bin

In order to maintain your worm bin, simply add more fruit and vegetable scraps at least once a week and sprinkle with water every other day. Keep your worm bin covered unless it becomes overly damp.

When the worms begin making compost the height of your newspaper or dry scraps will lower when the bin looks to be about ½ full then add more newspapers or dry grass.

Harvesting Your compost

In order to harvest your compost you need to separate the compost that is not completely decomposed and the worms from the compost. To do this prepare the unused side of your bin as you did the first side. Remove the divider and then take the lid off the side with your compost and worms in it. Since worms like the dark, the worms will begin to move to the side of the compost bin that is dark, this takes about two or three weeks. Replace the divider and use the compost.

Since your worms will be reproducing, grab a handful and take the afternoon off to fish. Who knows not only can these worms help you grow prize winning vegetables, but they may help you catch that prize winning fish you have been after as well. 😉

Gardening Gift Worm Bin

Gardening Gift Worm Bin

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What Are Pergolas? Giant Gardening Gifts!

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

If you have never heard of a pergola, this article is for you.  A pergola is a structure that has pillars supporting a strong wooden framework. The wooden frame is then covered with some sort of live vegetation or plant. The result is a shade supplying structure that adds personality to your garden area.

The best example I can offer is that of a grape arbor. We have all seen grape arbors, haven’t we? I am sure you have at one time or another. But pergolas can be much more than that. We will see exactly what I am talking about very shortly.

Pergolas may take several different forms. They can be a free standing structure such as a gazebo type or act as a walkway between two buildings or pavilions. It is even possible to have a pergola that is a lean to type that is used to simply sit or stand under for shade.

The word pergola is originally derived from the Latin term “pergula” meaning an “eave that projects”. However, the term as we use it comes from an Italian word that was first coined by John Evelyn in a 1645 text.

Usually the structure has marble or stone pillars supporting the wood roof. Nowadays though, the materials can be just about anything. Sometimes an all wood construction is utilized, but modern material like nylon or hard plastics may be tapped for the pillars. The roof or cover is always wood and is interwoven with vine like plants or foliage.

The resulting structure is one that strikes a balance between nature and human habitation. As the plants and vines above receive the sunlight needed to grow and thrive, people can walk or stand beneath it and stay out of the bright sunlight while still enjoying the outdoors.

Building a pergola in the backyard can be a beautiful addition to the family area and add ambiance to the yard or garden. As time goes by, the covering plants and flowers will become thicker and more beautiful with each passing season. It can actually add value to the home as well.

Plans can be purchased that will show you how to build a pergola yourself. These plans are simple and can be followed by anyone, even if you have never built anything before. All you need are some tools, hardware and a little time. Believe me, it is well worth the effort.

If you are more of the prefabricated kind of hobbyist, kits are available that include the materials precut and ready to assemble. Just follow the easy 1-2-3 instructions and you will have your pergola up in no time at all. Pergolas are a beautiful way to add to your property in a very simple way.

For instance, it is possible to connect your garage to the house with a walkway pergola. This provides protection from the hot sun during summer months and may keep the walkway clear of snow in the winter. Either way, this is a good way to beautify your yard or garden in a natural way that is earth friendly. 😉

Outdoor Pergola

Outdoor Pergola

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Garden Lanterns Are Elegant Gardening Gifts

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

There are many different kinds of garden lanterns, and in fact, with the amount of outdoor lighting to choose from it can be very overwhelming. There are hanging lanterns of all descriptions, from Chinese lantern styles to more traditional, and just about everything in between. There are also some really nice ‘candle’ style lanterns, that will sit on the rail around your deck, or on your patio table. The cool thing about these is that while they give off the soft flickering glow of a candle, they are in fact an electric or battery operated light.

For garden lanterns, there are post lights as well. These are probably the best for outdoor lighting in your garden, and they come in a number of varieties. Some are like lamp posts, which can illuminate your way if you like to do some night gardening, and there are stake lights. Stake lights you simply push into the ground where you want them, for instance to allow you to walk around without stumbling into your plants. It can be a cool way to allow guests to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of your labor.

Now there are basically three different power sources for garden lanterns. One of them are regular electric outdoor lighting. You have two options with these, one is hooking them directly into you home’s electric grid, either by direct wiring, or by plugging them into an outlet. While these are great, there are a few draw backs. One is that you have to turn them on, and the other, they can suck electricity. The other way is with battery operated lights, and of course, you have to change the batteries, and you have to turn them on. Now you can buy a timer, which you can set to come on automatically for both of these.

Now instead of dealing with all the hassles of regular garden lanterns, the best idea for outdoor lighting is the solar powered lantern. While the initial cost can be a little higher, there are many advantages over the others. One big reason to buy these is that they won’t draw on your power bill, and you never have to worry about changing batteries again! Instead of drawing electricity from a battery or your house, these gather energy from the sun. There are two different kinds of solar lights. You can find many different kinds of lights that have small built in panels, that draw the sun’s energy during the day, store it and then turn on the lights at night. You also have sets with a separate panel, so you can place the lights anywhere around your garden, as long as the panel is in direct sun.

The other really nice thing about solar powered garden lanterns is that you never have to worry about turning them on, setting some kind of timer, or even not having them in a power outage! The new state of the art solar powered outdoor lighting systems use LED lights, which draw very little power, and these lamps can keep your walkways lit for up to twelve hours on a single charge. So stop wasting your money, as well as precious energy, and pick up some of these lights instead. Mother Nature will thank you. 😉

Garden Lanterns

Garden Lanterns

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