If you have a gardener or birder on your holiday gift list, here are some ideas:
Best book: “Gifts From the Garden” combines the beauty of the bounty with the skills of the crafter for the DIYer who wants to make the most of harvests throughout the year. Author Debora Robertson shows how to make something for every occasion: potted bulbs in teacups, personalized seed packets, herbal teas, indulgent body scrubs as well as spice rubs and fresh pesto, chile jams and tomato chutneys. $24.95; www.amazon.com.
Birdie treats: Give your best birding friends a basket filled with special blends that include sunflower meats, peanuts, safflower and pecans or sunflower meats infused with fiery hot habanero chilies to keep the squirrels away. A nutberry blend combines all of nature’s best in one bag — fruits with insect suet kibbles and whole kernel sunflower meats; $12.99-$17.99 per 5-pound bag. Or stock a basket with a suet cake feeder and the cakes to go in it — $1.69-$1.99. Cole’s Wild Bird seeds and foods available at wildlife stores and garden centers nationwide; find a retailer at www.coleswildbird.com or 1-770-426-8882.
Gardenia goodness: No air freshener can compete with the sweet fragrance of a flowering gardenia. The Heavenly Scented Evergreen Gardenia brightens a room with its clear white blossoms, and comes in a golden sparkle ceramic container that’s about 7 inches tall and wide; plant care information is included, $59.95. Jackson and Perkins; www.jacksonandperkins.com or 1-800-292-4769.
Classic wisdom: The 2014 Old Farmer’s Almanac, its 222nd edition, entertains and inspires throughout the year. In addition to gardening tips and plant profiles, it features pie recipes and weight-loss tips, $6.99. The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids features magical pumpkins, towering beanstalks, salsa princesses, buzzing hummingbirds, bug costumes and friendly farm animals, $9.95. Available at garden centers nationwide or www.almanac.com or 1-877-717-8924.
Wild and wonderful: Cornell introduces young and old to the wonders of birding, including:
• “Cornell Guide to Bird Sounds: Master Set for North America.” This comprehensive guide features nearly 5,000 soundtracks for 735 North American bird species. Download includes MP3 sound files and photographs. $49.99, or get files pre-loaded on a flash drive, $64.99.
• “Cornell Guide to Bird Sounds: Essential Set for North America.” This set includes the most common sounds for 737 species in downloadable MP3 files, $12.99, or on a pre-loaded flash drive, $24.99.
• Cornell Lab Beginner Bird-watching Kit. From Optics Planet, it includes introductory binoculars, six months’ access to an online bird ID course, and other great accessories, $199.
Available at www.birds.cornell.edu or 1-800-843-2573.
Easy does it: The Easy Arranger removes any anxiety about flower arranging. The hand-woven wire grid is placed on top of a vase and each petal of the crown then serves as a compartment for perfect placement of stems. The bendable, reusable and decorative grid in diameters of 5, 6 or 8 inches, can be used over a variety of vases and other vessels. Holiday special, $6 from the Gardener’s Workshop; www.shoptgw.com or 1-888-977-7159.
Best weeder ever: Take out carpets of weeds in one swipe, using the Japanese hand hoe. Forged of high-carbon steel, it maintains a sharp edge. Holiday special, $19.95, www.shoptgw.com or 1-888-977-7159.
Comfy, cute look: If the gardener on your list is a gal, Garden Girl USA’s trim-fitting gardening pants, $93.99, or capris, $89.99, might be the thing. Made of durable fabrics with pockets galore, Garden Girl’s signature hip/waist stretch panels provide give in all the right places. Floral-patterned Wellington boots, $85.99, complete the look; www.gardengirlusa.com or 1-866-610-5459.
Rosy dreams: Treat your special gardening friend to a David Austin gift voucher. Request that the confirmation come straight to you for gift-giving. The roses will be shipped in spring as bare root stock. Two beauties to ponder: Munstead Wood, a deep crimson rose, $27.95 each or three for $71.25, and yellow climber Golden Celebration, $25.99 each or three for $66. www.davidaustinroses.com or 1-800-328-8893.
Tweet time: Watching wild birds from a window is especially sweet in winter. The Winner Multi-Purpose Window Feeder, $35.99, attaches to the outside of windows with three suction-cup mounts and holds up to ½ pound of seed, suet or fruit. Another possibility is Dorothy’s Cardinal Feeder, $59.99, designed to attach to a post or a hook; this 13-inch feeder is topped by a height-adjustable, 15-inch clear-view dome that protects birds and feed from weather, while warding off unwanted larger birds. www.drollyankees.com or 1-800-352-9164.
Space saver: Colorado-based Studio-Shed.com offers pre-fabricated single-room structures designed for use as garden sheds and storage, as well as back-yard home offices, art and music studios and more. Cost for an 8- by 10-foot Studio Shed storage model with unfinished interior and block/metal siding starts at $6,300, plus installation and shipping, starting at $900 each. Less expensive Small Shed DIY kits are also available; www.studio-shed.com or 1-888-900-3933.
Hand tool sets: The Gardeners Hand Tool Gift Set from Joseph Bentley contains a trowel, transplanting trowel and hand fork with solid oak wooden handles and polished stainless steel heads. The tools are presented in a wooden seed box and nestled in shaved wood, $39.99 in gardening stores and at homedepot.com, amazon.com and sears.com.
Cam time: The new WildlifeCam takes up-close and personal photos of the wildlife that visits your yard. The motion-activated camera takes high-resolution, 8-megapixel digital photos. The built-in flash makes it possible to take photos of animals in low light — or even in the dark. In addition to the single-photo mode, the cam can make digital videos with sound, $99.95 at wildlife stores and at www.Wingscapes.com or 1-888-811-9464.
Stylish composter: The Green Cycler is a clean, odorless kitchen countertop solution that turns kitchen scraps into “black gold” for the garden in a matter of days rather than weeks and months, $99-$139. www.thegreencycler.com or 1-855-432-6866.
Holiday happiness: The bird seed wreath is perfect as a holiday treat for back-yard birds. Made of black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, colored safflower and red millet, this 8-inch wreath weighs a hearty 2 pounds, $19.99. National Wildlife Federation at www.nwf.org or 1-800-822-9919.
Welcome everyone: A whimsical “Welcome to my garden” plaque makes visitors at home. Handcrafted from 100 percent recycled aluminum and made in the USA, the sign measures 12 by 7 inches, ground stake included; two to four weeks for delivery, $39.99. National Wildlife Federation at www.nwf.org or 1-800-822-9919.
Fine feeder: Turn your fruit feeder into a piece of artwork for your back yard. This heavyweight copper feeder holds two fruits, such as apples, and gives the birds a place to perch, $29.99. National Wildlife Federation at www.nwf.org or 1-800-822-9919.
Mason jar magic: The Perky-Pet Mason Jar Collection brings rustic chic to any outdoor space. The three styles include a wild bird feeder, hummingbird feeder and wild bird waterer, $17.95-$19.95; www.birdfeeders.com or 1-855-PERKY-PET.
DIY goodie: NativeCast’s eco-concrete container is perfect for crafters, DIY lovers, party favors, crafty kids and stocking stuffers. The kit includes NativeCast’s custom eco-concrete mix, a mold, organic potting soil and herb seeds, $15-$35 and up; www.nativecast.com.
Living art: Topiaries created with moss and succulents are living art that delights anyone who loves animals and wildlife. From a life-size bullfrog to a full-size giraffe, Gardens by Teresa in Yorktown, Va., can create it. Her online gardening shop also features handcrafted wire topiary frames that look nice on their own; custom topiary orders accepted; www.gardensbyteresa.com or 1-757-532-0080.