I like to think of myself as well-organized but this year, I seem to have been caught unaware of the necessity of ordering holiday gifts early in order to be sure they arrive in time. If you’d like a few suggestions, I do have some for you.

For a friend or relative who has purchased a new home within the past few years or who is contemplating making changes to their landscape, consider giving my book Garden Renovation: Transform Your Yard into the Garden of Your Dreams. It’s full of ideas and 275 photos and provides guidance in turning goals into realities. Available from independent booksellers, Amazon, or, as an autographed copy, from me for $25.


For a gardener, new or old, help the elbow and the wrist by purchasing a hori (Japanese digging knife). Made of carbon steel, it never rusts and is ergonomic, a great replacement for a trowel. Because you stab it into the ground, it’s also a great tool for getting rid of aggression. Available on the internet but I keep them in stock for $32.40.


Although winter has yet to really make its appearance (the snow in November didn’t count), and we’ll complain bitterly about it, before we know it, Spring will be here. Then, we’ll have so many garden chores to do. If you have or know someone who has ornamental grasses like Miscanthus, Panicum,  Pennisetum, or Schizachyrium, make their lives easier with a mini-scythe. Those grasses need to be cut nearly to the ground before the new growth begins. It’s much easier on the body, particularly the hand, to saw at the base of the grass than use pruners. I also stock these for $13. If you purchase either tool, make sure to spray paint the handle red. Otherwise, you or the recipient is likely to lay it down and never find it again.

Helleborus ‘Snowflake'(ftd.com)

Potted flowering plants for local recipients don’t usually stay in bloom for very long. Hellebores are an exception and are so easy to take care of. Remember that these are perennials and grow quite well in the shade and cool temperatures nor do they require copious water. Many homes do not have sunlit windows so a shaded windowsill would be perfect. If desired by the recipient, it could be planted outside once the ground is no longer freezing.

Cyclamen persicum

Another potted flowering plant could be Cyclamen. Although there are perennial Cyclamen, the ones grown and sold in greenhouses and at the grocery store are annuals. They are available in shades of pink, purple, and white. Given cool temperatures and barely moist soil, they will bloom for months.

To those of you who have been clients this year, know that I donate a percentage of my profits to the Cleveland Foundation, LAND, and the Greater Cleveland Foodbank.

I wish all of you happy holidays.