It’s time for Filipski’s Famous Favours For Gardeners (sorry I couldn’t find a synonym for gardener that starts with ‘F’).
My regular readers will know that every year I send out a column or 2 on gifts that would appeal to gardeners for Christmas. What this usually translates to is the column serves as a want list of things I want or need and hope that my lovely wife Julie will get me.
So without further ado let’s jump right into the gift bag:
• The first idea is a book entitled Hardy Roses – The Essential Guide for High Latitudes and Altitudes by Bob Osborne . The description on the book’s cover is a description of myself and I’m sure many other gardeners in the northern climes. “Many gardeners, particularly those who live at higher latitudes and altitudes, see the rose as a symbol of beauty but also frustration. They have spent countless hours trying to protect their roses from the cold of winter, only to be left with blackened stems the following spring.”
In Hardy Roses , author Bob Osborne shares his decades of experience raising roses without any chemicals in some of the coldest winters. Roses need not be intimidating and doomed to inevitable failure, regardless of the climate. With this indispensable guide, northern gardeners can enjoy that early snowstorm confident that their carefully tended roses will survive. The book is beautifully illustrated and contains countless tips on growing your favourite roses.
• I am always on the lookout for good quality knives for grafting and for use in the garden. I believe I may have found such knives. Victorinox, the same people who make the Swiss Army Knife make garden knives that caught my attention. The first one is the Victorinox Pocket Floral Knife .
Fitted with a sharp, strong, straight, 55 mm blade and a 100 mm nylon handle. This tool can handle the toughest branches, stalks and foliage.
The second knife is the pruning knife. A pruning knife is an essential tool for cutting back branches and saplings on bushes, shrubs and trees. The Victorinox Pruning Knife features a carefully honed curved blade designed to make pruning jobs swift, simple and precise. Formed of stainless steel, its blade is fitted with a sturdy nylon handle.
• I just ran across the next item the other day. Lee Valley carries several types of protective gloves. I think my favourite is the pruning glove . These heavy-duty waterproof gloves are great for jobs that require full arm protection. Made of nitrile, they are strong and protect against punctures and abrasion, exactly what is needed for caning raspberries or pruning roses.
Extra-thick granular coating on the hand portion provides excellent grip when working with slippery objects, while loose upper-arm gauntlets allow good mobility.
• Julie likes candles and uses them both indoors and outdoors. One candle company that caught my attention is Hollow Tree Candles . Born out of Whistler, BC, these candles use coconut wax and cotton wicks to create a luxury candle that is not only environmentally friendly, but is also produced from sustainable farming methods.
The fragrance oils are made purely from plant distillation so there are no manufactured or synthetic scents involved. Even the packaging is sustainable, using recycled paper (not trees) and the trademarked ceramic vessel is made of silica which can be easily broken down into the soil.
Another candle company that comes with a wonderful story is SHE Inspires by Lark and Ives . Handmade in North America by women fleeing persecution, war widows, mothers escaping poverty.
For anyone who is supporting Lark & Ives candles from the SHE Inspires Collection, they are supporting ethically made goods, the fair-trade principle of gender equality, diversity, respect of the environment and living wages. Each candle comes with a story card about the artisan and her courageous story!
The gifts I have listed here are all available online but please take the time to check with your local merchants. In these times it is so important to support local businesses. Most local businesses offer curbside pick-up and offer safe protocols.
E-mail your questions to [email protected] He is the author of Just Ask Jerry. To read previous columns, go to edmontonjournal.com/author/geraldfilipski
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