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The Holiday Hunt- Gifts for Gardeners

The Holiday Hunt

Anne Jaeger

I’ve worn myself ragged! I’ve been out gift shopping for you. Well, not for you exactly, but I’ve been looking for last minute gifts which you can give. By this time you’re holiday panic is in high gear and you need just about anything to stuff the stocking. I know you want to give cool stuff, but you don’t have time to run hither and yawn to find it. My holiday gift guide should save you time (I’ve already done the leg work) and money (everything is under $20.)  I’ve been scouring the local specialty shops to find the best and brightest of the season for unusual garden inspired gifts for just about anybody. The shops on my list are well away from the mall, give you personal service and have unique items you won’t find just anywhere.

One Dirty Hand Washes the Other:

Soap is soap is soap. Except when somebody comes up with a distinctive way to make it fun to wash your hands! Dig garden store 425 NW 11th in the Pearl District has this neat 9” long soap log for $16 dollars. Now, since everyone gets their hands dirty (gardener or not) this is a perfect gift for just about anyone. The soap log looks like a baguette of bread or long roll of ice cream cake made with an exfoliant melted inside such as poppyseed, lavender or cornmeal to scour your hands clean. Here’s the neat part; you slice off an individualized half inch circle of soap with a butter knife and each person has their own piece of soap without sacrificing the whole loaf.

My Cuticles are Killing Me:

My favorite, favorite hand cream for nasty garden hands is called “Hand Therapy” made by Crabtree and Evelyn. But the tubes were always so darn big the cream would outlive you. Now it comes in a really cute small tube (1.7 fluid oz) tiny enough for your purse or pocket for $6.50. You can find it at the company store or the Jealous Gardener at 7011 SE Milwaukie between Bybee and Rural. The trick to using this cream? As you rub it on your hands, push a dollop down under your cuticles and leave it there as you busy yourself. Your hands will suck it up fast. (That’s how I keep my cuticles from cracking and bleeding. The ugly truth!)

Live Plants on a Budget:

The Urban Gardener on NW 23rd between Johnson and Kearney has the most adorable little blooming Christmas cactus and poinsettias.  Each is less than $5 and come in tiny 2” pots small enough to fit into a votive candle holder. These itty bitty plants are small but they still have full size flowers. When you want to pick up a little something, this is an easy “get” for hostess gifts or friends at work. It’s small but so adorable and unusual, they’ll love you.

Smith and Hawken on NW 23rd and Burnside have “Simplicity Paperwhites” in a pot for $18. Here you get three paperwhite bulbs already planted with soil and moss. All you do is add water. Voila!  Smith and Hawken also has some neat Compact Bypass Pruners for $14. These pruners are small enough to fit in your pocket or purse, but they’ll cut a branch almost an inch thick. The blade is high carbon steel yet the whole thing weighs less then 5 oz. I like my pruners at the ready, thank you!

Frost Free Garden Art:

My hands down favorite garden art can be used inside or out. Colored translucent hand blown glass spheres in blue, orange, purple or yellow. The 5 inch diameter rounds look great on a shelf inside or grouped together outside. Hollyhocks Garden Essentials at 27th and Belmont in SE Portland sells the glass globes for $16. And while you’re in there, take a look at the whimsical Poinsettia Fairies for $19.50. These free standing fairies look like someone from Cirque du Soliel dreamed them up, with their garishly long legs and poinsettia flowers around their faces. I also saw the Poinsettia Fairies (a little less expensive) at Stars Antiques on SE Milwaukie.

I hope this helps your holiday hunt. At the very least you’ll find yourself in the right places to pick out something unique, organic and garden inspired. And if all else fails you can always let me take the blame saying: “Anne Jaeger, the GardenGal, told me you’d love it!”