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Darrell Blackwelder: Last minute gifts for the gardener

Mark Brincefield for the Salisbury Post.

Last minute Christmas shopping for the avid or even beginning gardener can be a challenge, especially for those who seem to have everything. Below is a list of gifts from stocking stuffers to major purchases to consider for the home gardener or for those who have an interest in gardening.

GOOD PRUNERS: A standard gift, but avid gardeners always need a spare set of good hand pruners. Small loppers and a folding saw should also be considered.       

RUST PROOF WHEEL BARROW-a reliable wheel barrow is a standard tool for gardeners. Polyethylene bodied wheel barrows with two wheels are perfectly balanced.

ORCHIDS-An exotic that threatens most, however, these plants have gained popularity over the past few years. The mesmerizing blooms may last up to 3 months, but the plant itself is not the most appealing.

SMALL GARDEN TILLER-Small and lightweight tillers are a must for the avid or beginning gardener with small gardens or flower beds.

OUTDOOR WATER TIMER: Water timers save time and prevent waste by over watering. Professional drip systems are almost fool proof designed for the average home gardener.

GARDEN ESCAPE TRIPS: Trips to formal gardens and nurseries inspire all gardeners with new plants, techniques and designs. A weekend retreat to visit Magnolia, Middleton or Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina or the Biltmore Estate Gardens, Reynolda Gardens, Winston-Salem or Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, Belmont are just a few gardens that will inspire at all garden levels.

Darrell Blackwelder deblackw@ncsu.edu is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.

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