With Thanksgiving over and Christmas just ahead kitchens are filled with fragrances of favorite foods and of memories past. For us, herbs always play a major part in our food preparation. Sage, rosemary and thyme star in many dishes, including desserts. As we think about the gardeners and foodies on our Christmas list, gifts of potted herbs or herb seeds are under consideration. Many local grocery stores have lovely potted herbs that could be gifted in a decorative pot.

For gardeners who enjoy starting seeds, we like the high domed starting systems. Some have air vents in the dome. These systems act almost like a mini greenhouse providing an ideal environment to grow healthy seedlings. Include some seeds and soilless potting mix and you will make someone look forward to spring with excitement.

Garden related books make a great gift for avid readers. Barbara Pleasant’s new book, Home Garden Pantry, will interest a gardener who also enjoys building a pantry of resources from the surplus harvest. Pleasant provides useful information on planning, planting, harvesting, and preserving produce from the garden to satisfy the beginner as well as the experienced home gardener. 101 Organic Gardening Hacks: Eco-friendlySolutions to Improve Any Garden by Shawna Coronado is filled with useful ideas, tricks, and tips that inspire every gardener.

Various sizes of baskets created from waterproof materials are handy for collecting, washing and storing herbs and produce from the garden. To generate happy smiles, fill a basket with gardening related gifts.

To make planting seedlings and bulbs a little easier, give a dibble. If you are a woodworker or know of one, you could have one made. The dibble helps create holes at the right depth. Another related tool is a bulb planting auger. These are handy for planting a large number of bulbs or seedlings.

Christmas will be here soon. We hope these suggestions and ideas will lighten your shopping chores during this busy month. From our house to yours we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We are already looking forward to the 2018 gardening season.

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