High Desert Dirt -- The Raven's Rant

  • 2021-11-21, 07:53 AM
  • Jaime Sammons
High Desert Dirt -- The Raven's Rant Jaime Sammons Rusted containers make great upcycled garden containers
Holiday Preparations -- resources for gardeners

Ready or not the holidays are right around the corner. I know, we haven’t even had our pie yet (#teampecan) but things are a little tricky this year. A gentle reminder, Shop Small Saturday is coming up soon on November 27. Wanted to mention a few gifts for gardeners that are not currently sitting on supply ships. Shout out to the truck drivers and postal carriers working hard to get that stuff moved around. Kevin and I try to stick to local stores, homemade, or recycled gifts only as a rule during the holidays. For us, it feels a little more fun, creative, and a lot more heartfelt. 

Gardeners are for the most part an easy bunch to give gifts to. Most of us would be truly happy about a package of well-curated seeds to plant come spring. The Village Nursery here in town has Botanical Interest Seeds and also hand-harvested hollyhock seeds from local aspiring entrepreneur kids - Luke, Nathan, and Clara. Workman Farms carries heirloom Renee’s Garden Seeds. You might also check out Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds online and sign up for their stunning catalog. If you have a history buff in the family, try heirloom seeds from Thomas Jefferson’s gardens at Monticello. Your purchase helps support the Center for Historic Plants. To give an even more personalized gift, you might gather and dry seeds from your own garden. Decorate up a unique, recycled bottle or container and give them with handwritten instructions for planting and care. 

If you know a gardener who loves a bit of rust, try upcycled containers for planting as a gift. The yard at Just Country Friends is a good place to look or my personal favorite, thrift stores, are another option. Small plug, I volunteer at the best thrift store, Stuf N Such, 99 S. Nevada Street, and can tell you very good potential containers come through regularly. Look for sturdy items that you can drill drainage holes in. Gift with a bag of potting soil. For extra holiday cheer or a hostess gift, you might consider an attractive container planted with fragrant paperwhite narcissus bulbs or the extra glamorous, giant flowered Amaryllis bulb. I have a good friend that has gifted me many Amaryllis bulbs over the years. They are easy to care for and bloom through the holiday season. Let them dry out slowly after blooming, I recommend storing them in a cool, dark place in a paper bag filled with some sawdust. Replant them again in late October and you will get the gorgeous, winter blooms season after season. White Flower Farms, you can find them online, has some usual varieties but you can often find packaged bulbs here in town. I think I have seen them at Louie’s Homecenter and at Safeway’s Floral Department. 

The folks at J&K Llamas Nursey tell me they have plenty of metal garden art, fountains, steppingstones, and beautiful ceramic containers. They also have recently received a shipment of living Christmas trees of various sizes. Keeping a living evergreen indoors can be tricky, try to limit it to just a few days inside max and definitely keep them away from heat sources like the fireplace or heater vents. 

Tami Bickel at The Village also has a large shipment of evergreens. She carries many local vendors on consignment at her beautiful gift shop. She told me this morning all garden tools are 10% off. Gardeners always need new tools. 

The talented, crafty gals at Workman’s Nursery tell me they have houseplants, seeds, and gift certificates for garden-related gifts. They are offering 25% off both of their stores for Shop Small Saturday, except for consignment and previous sale items. 

If you are sticking to a more limited budget, consider water root cuttings or divisions from your existing houseplants. Good candidates are spider plants, snake plants, ZZ plants, pothos, begonias, and purple passion plants. You could also offer to rake leaves in a friend’s yard. 




Jaime Sammons



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