When the tool shed is full and you’re shopping for someone whose needs are dirt simple, what do you give them? Wrap up something different this year, by giving the gift of time, luxury, or knowledge.
Your Edible Gardening Workshop, offered by the Colorado State University Extension offices of Larimer, Adams, Weld, and Boulder, is a one-day immersion into food gardening. The basics of soil, water, and plant selection are explored, along with seminars on specialty crops, like strawberries, tree fruit and brambles. This all-day workshop is Saturday, Jan. 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ranch in Loveland, and costs only $65. Lunch is not included. Call 970-304-3565 for more information or to register your gardener.
The Denver Botanic Gardens has a wide assortment of classes to fit every gardener. From botanical illustration to cooking with aromatic herbs, you’re sure to find a class your loved one will adore. Browse their online catalog for winter classes to inspire your gardener, then enroll them and wrap up the certificate for under the tree.
One of the hallmarks of an obsessed gardener is that we like to dream, especially in winter when we’ve forgotten the insects, disease and heat that had us complaining in summer. Our eyes are ever forward, so give your loved one a book to pour over on chilly days:
“The Encyclopedia of Container Plants,” by Ray Rogers and Rob Cardillo (Timber Press, $34.95) is a richly photographed exploration of successful container gardens. Featuring over 500 plants, this is one book that does double duty as both coffee table eye candy and valuable resource.
“Edible Landscaping,” by Rosalind Creasy (Sierra Club Books, $39.95), is the long awaited update of the 1982 groundbreaking book exploring the combination of landscape design, permaculture, and edible plants. Hot off the press, this is the book for anyone who wants to make beautiful, functional, landscapes.
When you have your hands in the dirt, nails and fingers can turn as rough as sandpaper. A basket of salves makes a welcome gift. Pull together Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream ($6), Crabtree and Evelyn’s Gardener’s Hand Therapy lotion ($15), and Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shikakai Lavender Hand Soap ($8.99), then wrap them up for your gardener. For an added touch, slip in a gift certificate for a manicure.
What I love is the gift of time, because no matter how well equipped a gardener is, they could always use a little more. Surprise yours by giving them a hand in the garden; wrap up a certificate good for spring cleanup, flower pot planting, or mulching. But don’t be fooled: this isn’t a cheap gift to give. A day spent rototilling or pruning is sure to leave you grimy, sweaty, and scratched. Your gardener will love it.
This post was previously published in the Longmont Ledger.
Note to FCC: the above suggestions were not solicited by the companies.