A gardening holiday gift guide - Albuquerque Journal

A gardening holiday gift guide

Q. We have just moved into our new home and my wife is itching to get her hands into the dirt. Coming from a mid-Atlantic state, nothing is familiar to us here, so I want to give her some gardening stuff for Christmas to make her gardening here more successful. Any suggestions? – N.K., Albuquerque

A. First of all, welcome.

Tracey FitzgibbonWe’re a long way from where you came from and very little of what you’re used to dealing with will apply here.

First thing I’ll suggest are two books. First, seek out Sunset magazine’s “Western Garden Book.” I consider it my working bible. This book is full of information that will take some of the guesswork out of gardening here.

Next, consider “Down to Earth: A Gardener’s Guide to the Albuquerque Area.” This book is an easy-to-read book full of everything. It has info on the basics; gardening calenders; lots of how-to information on subjects like composting, pests and proper watering suggestions and more.

You can find “Down to Earth” at most of our nurseries here in the Metro area and also at the Albuquerque Garden Center garden shop on Lomas Boulevard.

But with the current situation of the world, call first to see who’s open and if it’s available. The “Western Garden Book” should be available at major bookstores and online.

Start with those two and she’ll be in clover as to information to be successful here. Another idea, find a blank journal so she can document the gardens and list what grew well where.

Next, consider a gathering of things useful in the garden.

She’ll want a big brim hat. Keeping the sun off will help keep her healthier. On that note, a fresh bottle of sunscreen and a couple of colorful bandanas would be good.

Next, gloves. Help keep her hands protected. A stout pair of leather gloves and more tactile cotton ones that have the palm and fingers coated with rubber are good ones.

A collection of hand tools will always be useful. A hand trowel, a hand rake and a small whisk broom will be quite useful. Find brightly-colored ones that are easily seen if they get laid down.

Invest in a good pair of hand pruners (loppers). This tool will be invaluable as the gardens grow more established. You might consider a kneeler too. This nifty tool has a stiff metal frame that can be used as a stool to sit on, or turned over becomes a comfy kneeling pad to protect her knees. They usually fold up for easy storage and wash off like a dream. A kneeling pad of some sort would be most considerate.

Next, a tote to keep all the smaller tools and things easily at hand. Plunk in things like twine and blank garden labels to easily mark what’s planted where. Don’t forget a permanent marker too.

You’ll be startled as to the myriad of small useful things you’ll be able to find to put in a tote to make her gardening easier and fun. Seeds, tucked into the tote, would be fun, too.

This time of year, at our nurseries, you can usually find seed racks offering a whole host of seeds with everything from veggies to flowers for the seasons yet to come.

This being the season of hope and faith, having seeds in your hands is a very good thing.

If you are artsy, make up some gift certificates offering your time redeemable as she requires. Or if shopping isn’t your cup of tea, you could always purchase a gift certificate at any of our nurseries here in the Metro area.

That way, she’d get to pick all the useful things, knowing you want her to be successful gardening here in our area.

But I think a tote, or lots of funky wrapped tools and odds and ends would be far more fun.

Remember, whatever you choose, getting her ready and well-tooled so she’s ready to scratch that itch will be a delight. Now that the winter solstice is upon us and the light will be returning, soon all of us that are itching to be back in the dirt.

Happy Holidays while you’re out there Diggin’ In.

Tracey Fitzgibbon is a certified nurseryman. Send garden-related questions to Digging In, Albuquerque Journal, 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, or to features@abqjournal.com.

 


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango


taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Jewish Book Fest authors draw on history and hope
Arts
Eight authors give virtual talks about ... Eight authors give virtual talks about their books in the 2021 Fall Je ...
2
Soprano finds role of Violetta 'a challenge' as Opera ...
Arts
Singing makes Sarah Asmar bubble.The Connecticut-based ... Singing makes Sarah Asmar bubble.The Connecticut-based soprano will sing the role of t ...
3
Exhibit uses art to reclaim stories and memories of ...
Arts
With the pandemic still raging and ... With the pandemic still raging and election results still disputed, maps have acquired a central pre ...
4
Pansies bring winter color to barrel containers
Arts
Q. I have two half barrels ... Q. I have two half barrels at the entrance to my patio home that get sun until around 2 p.m. during ...
5
Milne Stadium named for a long-time superintendent and visionary
Arts
Friday night lights have illuminated the ... Friday night lights have illuminated the city's first high school stadium for decades. ...
6
ALT brings Simon's 'The Odd Couple' to the stage
Arts
Oscar is a slob. Felix is ... Oscar is a slob. Felix is fastidious. What more can you say about "The Odd Couple?"

7
On canvas and on skin
Arts
Native artist/tattooist creates fantasy world of ... Native artist/tattooist creates fantasy world of eerie surrealism
8
Jonathan Franzen dreams big, goes deep with 'Crossroads'
Arts
Jonathan Franzen dreams big. His newest ... Jonathan Franzen dreams big. His newest novel, "Crossroads," arrives with an audible thud on readers ...
9
Extreme trails the big attraction of the Las Cruces ...
Arts
For most intrepid four-wheelers, the journey ... For most intrepid four-wheelers, the journey is the thing. Especially if it involves climbing over m ...