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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Gardening > Flowers, Bulbs & Seedlings

Great Holiday Gifts for the Green Thumb on Your List
by Kathleen Hennessy

As the official gardening season comes to a close, gift giving season is heating up. That means it's time to find just the right tool or toy for every gardener and yard care fanatic on your list. We've weeded through what's new and found the cream of the gifting crop.

Sleek Stepping Stones
If you're looking to mark your path in your own way, check out GardenMolds at www.gardenmolds.com. Artist Catherine Failor has created beautiful, unique stepping stone mold designs that are perfect for creating a custom look in your yard or garden. The molds are made of thick, durable polystyrene so you?re sure to get a number of uses out of each one. My personal favorite is the Garden Celtic Square. Check out the web site for stepping stone designs, fun planter feet molds, color additives and great project instructions. Most molds sell for around $25.

Holiday Hostess
Need a last minute hostess gift? Pass up the poinsettias and take a more creative approach by choosing a Cyclamen. These delicate looking flowers sit high atop beautiful frosted green leaves. Choose 'Sierra' with its huge bouquet of blooms in colors like scarlet, wine and purple flame. Or the new 'Sterling' silver leaf Cyclamen with its unique foliage and beautiful scent. Cyclamen prefer cooler temps and bright, indirect light. They'll be a gorgeous addition to any holiday décor and when spring arrives you can plant them outside. Visit your local garden center to find a hearty, high-quality plant.

Tough Tool
I like the idea of multi-tasking tools. The Toro Ultra Blower/Vac is not only a blower, but also a powerful vacuum and mulcher. The magnesium impeller crunches 16 bags of leaves down to one. Another great features of this blower/vac is its infinitely variable speed control. The air speed can be set anywhere between 90 and 225 miles per hour to provide the right amount of power for the task at hand. Not only can it handle leaves and other yard debris, it works great as a power sweeper for your garage, deck or patio. $75 at home centers or your local Toro dealer.

Bulb Back-saver
Every year you hear stories about gardeners breaking their backs planting hundreds of bulbs. If you have a bulb fanatic on your list, pick them up a Bulb Hound Garden Planter. This easy to use tool cuts a planting hole then the coring tube opens to release the soil to refill the hole. You'll get consistent depth when planting those hundred or so tulip bulbs next fall. And, you can use it for easy transplanting this spring. You'll find it at local hardware or Home Depot stores for less than $30. You can also purchase it at their web site, www.hound-dog.com.

Better Boots
Maybe it's just me, but garden clogs just don't cut it. I always end up with soil sneaking in at the heels. Unlike low cut garden shoes or clogs, Mud Buddies boots have a soft, ankle high neoprene cuff that keeps water and dirt out. The cuffs come in great colors like purple and bright blue. The foot area is covered by durable rubber and the inner sole features soft padding. They're tough, comfortable and affordable at around $40 at select garden centers.

Kathleen Hennessy has written about home and garden topics for nearly 15 years. As a former television news reporter and producer she covered consumer interest and new product stories. Currently she is the content manager for yardcare.com, a comprehensive web site devoted to creating great outdoor spaces. She is also a contributor to the site.

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