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Archive for December, 2013

Holiday Gift Ideas for Gardeners-and a few notes on fall

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Tonight is the last night of Hanukkah and Christmas will be here before you know it.If you’re having a hard time figuring out what to get the plant lovers and gardeners on your list, here are a few suggestions.  For Georgia gardeners, join me and my coauthor Walter Reeves on Saturday, December 7, from 12noon until 1pm at Eagle Eye Books in Decatur  (  and purchase a copy of our new revised and updated  (in its former life it was the Georgia Gardener’s Guide)

Georgia Getting Started Garden Guide.  Bring your garden questions and checkbook.    To make it even more enticing, when you purchase one of our new books,  Eagle Eye will offer a 20% discount on any other titles written by Walter or me (while the stock lasts.)

In addition to books on gardening, there are still some worthwhile magazines being published to consider as gifts.  I don’t think you can go wrong with a gift subscription to Gardens Illustrated which always inspires me with its photography and writing even if it is pricey.  Reading articles by the likes of Fergus Garrett and Beth Chatto make it a worthwhile investment.  (for US subscriptions email

Gift certificates for memberships to your favorite nonprofit or charity, given in honor of a friend or family member are satisfying and keep you from buying “stuff” that nobody wants or needs.  Locally I plan to support the Atlanta Food Bank ( and Trees Atlanta ( Both do great work and I love food and trees!   For $25 or more, Trees Atlanta will plant a tree to honor someone of your choosing.  A $35 dollar donation to the Atlanta Food Bank translates to 140 meals.  (wow)

At the other end of the spectrum of giving maybe you want to give a big once-in-a lifetime gift.  How about sending your garden person on a trip to Southern Italy with me next spring, May 19-30, 2014.   Organized by Earthbound Expeditions, it promises to be interesting and filled with beautiful gardens and tasty meals.

For more details

Of course some of the best gifts are gifts of time and energy.  I think I will ask my husband and daughter  to help me rake the yard and maybe I will get caught up before spring.

A few words about fall this year

Hydrangeas in Seattle, November

Fall here in Georgia arrived late but was colorful and a few trees are still hanging on to brilliant foliage.  My own garden had its moments but now the dead leaves and withered perennials are a daily reminder that I need to get out into the garden and clean up.

View to Canada from Orcas island, November 2

I was fortunate to make a quick trip to Seattle right before Thanksgiving to visit with my two best friends.  One of my friends commented that she thought fall color was some of the best she had seen in Seattle in recent years.  As I walked around her neighborhood in Queen Anne I agreed, it was noteworthy.

Organic pears, Orcas island market, November

If I’m lucky I make a trip to Seattle once a year.  This fall we headed to Orcas island for a few days and despite the mostly rainy weather (the sun did come out one day) we had a great time.  A pleasant surprise was the local organic market where we purchased some of the best tasting (they looked good too) pears I have ever had.  There was also the usual fare at this time of year including  kale, lettuce and apples, but the pears were amazing.  (I don’t use that word lightly) What made the story even more interesting is the man selling them has been offering them for 30 years at this market and brought some of the original scion wood, which he used for grafts from Holland ( It think it was Holland).  Anyway, if you get to Orcas be sure to check out the local organic market, it’s inside an old building.

moss on trail, Mt. Constitution, Orcas Island, November 2