Monday, November 19, 2018

A Gardener's Wishlist

I am trying to do less shopping these days. At a certain age, you stop needing more "stuff". Once you've hit a number of significant milestones (I will reach a big one in just a couple of weeks), you come to realize that "stuff" always needs to be dusted, organized and stored away.

So...if you are shopping for yourself or the gardener in your life this holiday season, why not purchase an experience rather than an object that will need dusting? Here are some local examples, but I am sure there are similar events in or near your hometown. 

How about purchasing a ticket for a Christmas Wreath Workshop? 

In Trenton, Ontario Dahlia May Flower Farm is running a series of workshops  ($145) where you can get creative and make your own holiday wreath. Most of the workshops are sold out, but a few new dates have been added. (On a side note, the farm also has a Christmas market and open house on December 1st. I can't think of a more pleasant way to get into the holiday mood!)

Or how about a class on making your own facial scrubs, masks and cleansers ($40 through the Toronto Botanical Gardens). Class participants will take home recipes and some samples. 

Next are 2 different workshops held in nearby Cambridge, Ontario. In the first workshop, you'll fill a mercury glass compote with flowers and greenery. $125/pp or $195 for two participants includes materials, instruction and a light lunch. 

In the next workshop, you'll fill two tabletop urns.  $195/pp or $295 for two participants includes materials, instructions and lunch. For tickets and details visit The Potting Shed.

And now, are you ready for the ultimate experience not-soon-to-be-forgotten? If your budget is generous (and I mean generous), how about a once-in-a-lifetime trip for yourself or the gardener you love best? 

The Toronto Botanical Gardens has organized a June tour of some amazing British gardens including Great Dixter, Sissinghurst and Hidcote Manor. There' s even plans in the works to visit Highgrove Gardens (the home of Prince Charles). 

What an inspiration it would be to see these world-famous gardens!

To find similar workshops in your area, try Googling the words "workshop" and the name of your hometown.

When it comes to purchasing "stuff", I tend to favour things that have a use rather than objects that are purely decorative. The exception might be at Christmas time. Receiving a pair of pruners is rather like getting a toaster for Christmas. It's just way too practical! 

If I need a trowel, a good set of garden gloves or a pruner, I'll buy them for myself. I'd prefer to find something pretty under the tree.

Seasonal decorations (above and below) inspired by nature are bound to be a hit with any gardener. The decorative birds might also inspire the beginnings of a collection. Barn OwlPheasant and Spring Chicken.

Swan from Pottery Barn (USA, but ships to Canada)

Long galvanized bucket $29.99 from Vintage North.

Wouldn't this long galvanized bucket be nice filled potted plants or flowers from your garden? 

Decorative items for the outdoors might include:

Solid Brass Armillary Sundial from Barry Hill Ltd $289 (Canadian)

The next bunch of gift ideas manage to be both pretty and practical.

Houseplants seem to be all the rage these days, so attractive plant pots have never been easier to find. Let's begin with a few classic examples:

This urn would make any houseplant into the perfect table centrepiece. Aged Iron Pedestal Bowl from Terrain $54 (USA).

I have lots of houseplants, but I rarely mix them together. The arrangement (above) is a great example of why that is short-sighted. Marbled Earthenware Low Bowl Planter from Terrain $24-38 (USA).

I can't resist a few more whimsical gift suggestions:

Row of Sheep Planter from Anthropologie $54 (USA)

Quiet Elephant $32 from West Coast Gardens (Canadian)

Face pot  from Anthropologie $26 (USA)

There are so many beautiful types of hanging pots:

Hanging Earthenware Planter from Terrain $28 (USA).

Succulents are not typically used in hanging pots, but don't they look terrific? That succulents require to be watered less frequently would be a huge advantage.

These hangers use geometry to great effect and would be perfect for the gardener with more modern sensibilities. Hanging Geo Planter from Anthropologie $24-32 (USA).

Hanging Plant Pots by Parceline $48 (Canadian shop on Etsy)

Finally, a few gifts that are attractive and practical:

Herb Drying Rack $19.95 from Gardeners Supply Co. (USA)

Copper Roof Lady Bug House $50 from West Coast Gardens (Canadian)

Galvanized Seed Saver from Gardeners Supply Co. $34.95 (USA)

Rooster Jute Holder $29.99 from Vintage North (Canadian)

Most of these gifts are available online but don't let that deter you from visiting local nurseries and greenhouses. So many places offer seasonal displays, demonstrations and an array of terrific gifts ideas in the off-season. 

I hope this post has helped inspire your holiday shopping!


  1. Yeah we all get to an age when the question what do you want for your birthday or Christmas can become a question we don't know how to answer as we don't really need more stuff.

    I liked all the photos you shared they made me smile

    1. I think clearing out my parent's home when the moved into a senior's residence was a huge wake-up call. They had so much stuff that they never used and didn't need. Glad you enjoyed the post Jo-Anne.

  2. I enjoyed your list of creative ideas. The idea of a garden workshop sounds interesting and is something I never thought of. You’ve gotten my mind going!

  3. Dear Jennifer
    I like the Rustic Wreath best and am going to make one using Dogwood as my base - no grapevines. Plenty of evergreen trees and pine/fir cones in the garden. As always, read your blog all the way thru with interest. My Dad was in a sheltered living facility too after my Mum died; he moved to be near us. He had some great times there and, at 83, had a better social life than me! It was near a lake too - lots of wildlife and birds. He was a newcomer to birdwatching though, and one day rang me in great excitement to say that he had seen an Azure-winged Magpie. Since the nearest likely location would have been Spain or Siberia and we lived in Oxford, UK, I had to gently point out it was probably a Blue Jay. Well, we started to laugh and couldn't stop! and it still makes me giggle even now.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, from me and mine in Scotland


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