Garden Holiday Gifts

The garden and front landscape are often created to help make the house more attractive. It is not very often that a part of the house can also be a part of the garden. Rain gutters channel water from the house into the garden, but as functional as they are, they aren’t pretty.

Rain chains are functional and they are pretty. I think of them as earrings for the house. House jewelry may just be the next big thing. Be the first in your neighborhood to install some dangly copper earrings on your house. I have a chain of 100 percent solid copper flowers hanging from my front porch.

Rain chains have been used in Japan for hundreds of years. They substitute for the ugly downspout and they don’t clog. It is fun to watch the water splash and drain though the flowers in the chain.

Mine came from the Rain Chains Direct website and it was very easy to hang. They have many styles in aluminum and copper. They can be left to hang, or they can be directed into a rain garden or rain barrel.

Want to give the perfect present to the person who has it all? Nothing says you have been thinking long and hard about them like fungi. Not just any fungi, but fresh organic gourmet shiitake mushrooms. Even if they can’t grow houseplants, they can grow mushrooms. They don’t even have to open the curtains to let the sunshine in. All they need is a 9×9 inch space that is kept at room temperature. 

Besides being delicious, mushrooms are good for you. They have more amino acids than beans, corn and nuts and they have iron, minerals and vitamins. Order a mushroom kit at www.gmushrooms.org. Don’t like shiitake mushrooms? That’s OK, there nine other kinds available in kits to grow, including morel and blue oyster.

Bird watching or feeding and gardening go hand in hand. Practically everyone who gardens, enjoys seeing birds. We often hang bird feeders up, but there are many times when we are not home to see which birds came to the feeder. The weatherproof BirdCam Pro from Wingscapes is a motion-activated digital camera that takes a picture of every bird that visits. There is a flash to let you record nighttime visitors. It can also record video with sound. The time-lapse mode lets you record the changes to your garden over the summer.

Know anyone who claims to have a brown thumb, but who still wants to eat fresh garden vegetables? A GrowBox makes gardening easy. It is a self-watering, self-fertilizing container for the patio that can handle two tomatoes or up to eight peppers. Any kind of garden vegetable can be planted in the box. Just fill it with potting mix, lay the planting diagram and fertilizer tube on the soil and plant at the labeled positions on the diagram. Fill the base with four gallons of water and wait for the plants to grow.

There is no weeding and if placed up on some blocks before filling there is no bending to plant or harvest. Check them out at www.agardenpatch.com

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