When you think of holiday gifts, worms, bees, rainwater, seed pots, and pruners may not come to mind. But if you like to support local business and make your outdoors-loving friends happy at the same time, the 12-plus products and services listed here may make your shopping easy.
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Reading: Connecticut Gardener Magazine connects local experts with local gardeners. Visit www.conngardener.com, or call 203-292-0711.
Unique planters: Serendipity brought Madison potters Anita Griffith and Robert Parrott a supply of clay harvested from the Connecticut River more than 25 years ago. That once-in-a-lifetime find resulted in River Clay planter pots. Call 203-245-7837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water: I wouldn’t be without the sturdy 60-gallon rain barrels from the Rhode Island Water Lady of West Kingston. Visit www.riwaterlady.com or call 401-539-0667.
Seeds and seedlings: Connecticut has a long, proud history in the seed business, which luckily continues. John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds of Bantam offers a gift certificate at www.kitchengardenseeds.com/gift-certificates. New England Seed of East Hartford has an extensive online catalog that offers everything from grasses to grains at www.neseed.com. Select Seeds of Union has an online gift certificate for rare and antique flower seeds at www.selectseeds.com. Hart Seeds of Wethersfield offers its attractive seed packets at independent garden centers throughout our area—or visit www.theonlinegreenhouse.com.
As for seedling containers, why not give the gift of CowPots, “the pots you plant” to your seed-starting friends? Visit www.freundsfarmmarket.com/store.
Veggie garden in a box: The City Garden is a three-veggie grow kit from Fibredust of Cromwell. Find the kits and other tools from Fibredust on Amazon or call 860-919-6550.
Spear Head Spade: When Daniel Mathieu of Windsor found the garden a challenge in his 80s, he invented a digging tool that’s easy on the back and knees. I’ve used it for four years and give this spade a perfect 10 for light weight and a deep, precise cut. Visit www.spearheadspade.com or call 860-688-3280.
Ratchet-Cut Pruners: The pruners manufactured and sold by Florian Tools, Southington, work like a car jack, using leverage to increase power while reducing hand strain.Visit www.theonlinegreenhouse.com.
Birdhouses: There are many locals who build homes for birds, but the chainsaw-carved models from Wethersfield’s Wood Butcher look as though they might attract a few garden gnomes as well. See them at Ballek’s in East Haddam.
Helpful Critters: The Stonewall Apiary in Hanover offers three-pound packages of bees, classes, and beekeeping equipment, too. For more information, visit www.ct-honey.com or call 860-334-2245.
The Worm Ladies of Charlestown, Rhode Island, offer red wiggler composting worms by the pound as well as composting systems. They even have gift certificates. Chomp, chomp! For more information, visit www.wormladies.com.
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