THE ABSENTEE GARDENERS
By Kit Flynn and Lise Jenkins
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and finding the right present for a gardener can be frustrating as we gardeners are an opinionated group — and there are only so many shovels and hoes a gardener needs.
Lately, I’ve become interested in trellises and obelisks in the garden because I have overexuberant clematises and roses. Some of my hybrid teas want to grow to extreme lengths thereby requiring some form of containment. Two of my favorite places to go to are (1) hpotter.com and (2) kinsmangarden.com. Not only are their trellises and obelisks handsome-looking, they are also easy to put together.
Gardeners can always use new hand pruners. Here I have a definite preference. Simply put, Japanese garden tools are of high quality that last and last. Google “Best Japanese Garden Tools” and you will find many dealers selling garden tools that you didn’t even know existed. If you’d prefer buying American, two good American brands found everywhere are Fiskars and Felco.
We can’t garden every day as nature has the habit of intruding, forcing us to remain inside by a roaring fire. One book I highly recommend to gardeners is Nancy Goodwin’s and Allen Lacy’s “A Year in Our Gardens.” The book consists of letters written between these two friends and passionate gardeners who know more about gardening than I shall ever know, and it comforts me that they still have questions to ask one another.
Most gardeners become passionate about a particular genus so don’t give up hope. There is a plant society membership out there to please your gardening friend.
Plant societies do a great job educating the public about a particular genus and there is virtually a society for every respectable garden plant; I use the word “respectable” because I have been unable to find an American Pokeweed Society or an American Nutsedge Society.
Because I am passionate about roses, my favorite is the American Rose Society, that charges a yearly fee of $49. This includes six issues of American Rose, a magazine aimed at rose exhibitors, those who are passionate about sustainable roses and those who want roses for their floral arrangements. This is the place to go if your roses are displaying signs of disease or you want to know about the newest introductions on the market. And best of all, they have recommendations for which fertilizer to use, always a confusing subject. More at rose.org.
A membership to the American Hosta Society (americanhostasociety.org) is the perfect gift to give to the hosta enthusiast. Their magazine, The Hosta Journal, is filled with information on how to nourish your hostas. The yearly membership is $30, and well worth it.
If daylilies are your thing, join the American Hemerocallis Society (daylilies.org). Their magazine, The Daylily Journal,arrives in your mailbox four times a year. Interested in the newest and hottest daylily? This is the place to find it. Membership is $25.
The only national magazine I subscribe to is The American Gardener, put out by the American Horticultural Society (ahsgardening.org). Generally, I find that most of the national magazines don’t pertain to my particular gardening needs and obstacles but this magazine has pertinent, well-written articles written by people who obviously garden. The website also has a large listing of “Societies by Plant Type,” so you can find all the available plant societies, including daffodils, peonies, ferns, hellebores and Irises.
If you cannot find a suitable society here for your gardening friend, relax — and realize that your friend is not a gardener.
Absent from their gardens, Kit and Lise enjoy roaming our region exploring the intersection of horticulture and suburban living. More on Instagram @AbsenteeGardener or email: firstname.lastname@example.org