Chanukah Dreidels


A few weeks ago, one of my customers emailed to say that she needed a hori to give as a holiday gift to her sister. Instead, she gave it to her sister-in-law. Now, she has emailed me again to request another one.


Christmas stocking



All of this has stimulated me to remind you that if you need a gift for a gardener, there is no better present than a hori.









Like many gardeners, I used a trowel for years but once I discovered the hori, a Japanese weeding knife, I have not been able to live without it. A hori is sturdier and more ergonomic than a trowel.  It doesn’t exacerbate the muscles or nerves in your wrist or elbow like a trowel does because it is basically a carbon steel blade that you stab into the soil, pull backward or forward to create the hole for a small plant or to dig out a weed, and then push in the opposite direction to move the soil back into the hole. The six and a half inch blade is serrated on one side and smooth on the other.

It never rusts and never wears out. The only danger is losing it. That is why I suggest spray painting the wooden handle a bright color such as red, orange or yellow and why I stab it into the ground, instead of laying it down when I need two hands for something else. I have them in stock and they are only $26.94 including tax.

Another good gift for gardeners is a gift certificate to a favorite mail order nursery or bulb company like Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. If you are inclined to spend a bit more, you could give a one hour landscape consultation from a certified, award-winning landscape designer, namely me.



For those friends or relatives who say that they have black thumbs, an Amaryllis would be an excellent gift. These are very forgiving plants. Water once a week is sufficient. Even if it only blooms once, the flowers are so spectacular that your giftee will be delighted. The flower colors vary from red and orange to pink and bicolors.

However, I would suggest accompanying the plant with a laminated file card that has the following information: Keep in bright light. Feed with a very low strength fertilizer every time you water (preferably about once a week but once every two weeks will suffice). You will be rewarded with new blooms in late winter or early spring and again in late summer.

I hope these suggestions will help you through the “What can I give….” dilemma.