Josh Blanek

Texas AgriLife Extension Agent

With the arrival of December, the minds and thoughts of even the most avid gardener turn away from the yard and garden toward Christmas and the holiday season. Gardening chores are temporarily laid aside as the sights and sounds of Christmas fill the air.

If you have gardening friends on your gift list this year, consider surprising them with a "green thumb" type of gift, which can be used and enjoyed year-round as they pursue their favorite hobby. Garden items make unusual, welcome and unique gifts, and the selections are vast.

There is something for nearly everyone in any price range. The following gift suggestions may just fit into your gardener's stocking this Christmas.

1. Garden tools — From a hand trowel to a riding lawn mower, gardening tools are guaranteed to please. Consider one of the many time- and work-saving electric lawn or garden products. There are many from which to choose.

2. Garden accessories — Many unique and interesting objects fall into the garden accessory group. Sculpture for the patio or garden can last for years. Or, you may choose to be more casual, with wind chimes, a bird feeder, flower pots, or hanging baskets.

3. Gardening books and magazines — Although the selection of gardening books is wide, choose a book that is adaptable to the recipient's interest. One of the popular monthly gardening magazines will be appreciated throughout the year.

Two magazines that come to mind with material pertinent to our region are Texas Gardener and Neil Sperry’s Gardens. The Texas AgriLife Extension online bookstore has many publications that will delight every interest

In addition, many publications can be found on Aggie-Horticulture. These two web sites can be accessed at http://agrilifebookstore.org or http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu, respectively. There are also links to each of these sites at the Somervell County Extension website, http://somervell-tx.tamu.edu under the link tab. There are many good books on gardening in Texas at your local bookstore and some nurseries.

4. Garden plants — Although seldom considered, outdoor plants can make welcome gifts. The Christmas season is ideal for planting all major trees and shrubs. You might want to consider a pecan or fruit tree for your gardening friend. Select one which will complement the recipient's landscape. Regardless of the choice, plants make a delightful and lasting gift.5. A gift certificate — If all else fails, why not consider slipping a gift certificate into the stocking of the "green thumbed?" Your local nursery or garden center will be most happy to fulfill your wishes here.

From all of us here at the Somervell County Extension office, we want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.