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Unusual last-minute stocking-stuffers for gardeners

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If your Christmas list includes gardeners, the following gifts will get a green-thumbs up. With emphasis given to stocking-stuffers, these items are small in size, though sure to be big hits.

• Seeds or bulbs: Gardeners appreciate gifts of seeds to start on a windowsill or bulbs for forcing indoors. Paperwhite narcissus or hyacinth bulbs can easily be forced to bloom indoors, even if your gardener lives in a wintery climate. Amaryllis bulbs are also dramatic gifts, but they might not fit in a standard sized-stocking.

• Gloves: Hands down, gardeners welcome a fresh pair of good gloves. This link includes details about selecting various gloves for different detail in the garden.

• Bird seed: Most gardeners appreciate wild birds almost as much as wildflowers. Add a small bird feeder and some seed to a stocking to lure winged ones to the garden and help them survive winter.

For more unusual small gifts that will fit in a gardener’s stocking, Annie Huston of Birdsall & Co. Home and Garden shop on South Broadway recommends the following items. (And if you can’t make it in to Denver to shop at Birdsall Garden, you can find these items online. If you order now, you can receive before the 12 Days of Christmas draw to an end in January.)

• Air plants: "Air plants delivered by Santa are a very unusual stocking stuffer; just don't stuff it into the stocking too much!” Huston said. “They’re free-standing, so they can be used in multiple ways. Everyone from the novice to the seasoned gardener will love getting this unique plant."

• Haitian art small birds: One-of-a-kind birds are made by hand in Haiti from recycled oil drums. Install birds indoors or out.

• Bud vases: Huston recommended several unusual bud vases. The ceramic and metal Mayflower serves dual purposes as a flower vase and place card holder. The glass caterpillar bud vase (pictured above) holds six buds. And a flat bud vase showcases a single stem in a horizontal shape ideal for a place setting at a dinner.

• Mason bee nest: Huston said, “Unlike honeybees, Mason bees are more interested in pollen than nectar, and their hairy bodies are the perfect pollinating instrument. They pollinate fruit trees, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, any many other flowering fruits and ornamental plants. The kit will grow a big colony in just a few seasons. The kit needs to be installed horizontally in a fence, tree, or in any nook and cranny in your garden.”

• Garden tools: A stainless steel spade or an effective dandelion digger or a rain gauge: These are toys to green-thumbed loved ones. Huston recommended a wooden garden dibber or the Felco 2 pruner, a classic since 1948. Huston said. “This model features a wire-cutting notch, sap groove, micrometric adjustment, shock absorption system, and forged aluminum handles. It’s perfect for the serious gardener.”

••• "Cultivate your corner of the world.

You grow your garden; your garden grows you." •••

Colleen Smith's gift book "Laid-Back Skier" makes a charming gift! This whimsical, inspirational book includes original illustrations of ski bunnies and encouragement for life's ups and downs.

Watch "Laid-Back Skier's" brief YouTube video here.

• Colleen Smith’s first novel, “Glass Halo”—a finalist for the 2010 Santa Fe Literary Prize — is available in hardcover or e—book.

To learn more:

"Like" Friday Jones Publishing on Facebook for frequent posts on gardening and other fresh topics.

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