Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday & Hostess Garden Gift Guide

Gardeners are easy to buy gifts for. 
No matter the Zone.

Garden lovers are like a prism – there so many facets to a true garden aficionado.
There is the garden artist – whether a designer or a garden art patron – who divines rapture from the beauty found in the garden at home, at a botanic garden or arboreta, in paintings, poems or literature. 

Of course there is the plant lover – those of us who blush at the sight of a rose’s ruby red color and the come-hither gaze of a Lady’s Slipper orchid or swoon at a blue Delphinium or…
The sensual attraction of a plant’s look, along with its fragrance, touch and taste that waits to be discovered within the plant kingdom is insatiable.

Then there are the “Plant Geeks” – those who are nuts for the latest tools, electronics, and gadgets that make gardening easier and well, fun. 

Not to be overlooked is the world of garden accessories, including furniture in the garden, lighting, and statuary and containers.  Containers along come in such variety and charm – from teeny, tiny thimble-sized to estate-large antiques or too-good-to-be-true reproductions.

Garden miscellaneous includes stationary and postcards, jewelry and fragrances, and fashion that are garden-inspired.

The Holiday week ahead is sure to be filled with visits to family and friends and the chance to give a Hostess gift.
For all the gardeners and garden lovers on your list, consider gifts from the following garden favorites here below.

In no particular order here are some of my favorite garden gift and hostess gift suggestions:

1.  EunYoung Sebazco is a garden wonder.  Over the years, I’ve had the honor and privilege to have worked with EunYoung – her name means Silver Flower – and thus the name of her landscape design and digital imaging services. 
You will adore her calendars. 
She designs them similar to postcards with appropriate, seasonal flowers and plants that grace every card. (And in fact I keep the cards from previous years and sometimes mail them to people who I really, really like – as I hate to part with them) There are two months on a card and the entire deck in inserted into a Lucite stand. 
It’s a happy desktop or counter top garden calendar.

2.  You have to go pretty far to find more beautiful distinctive garden pots, seating, statuary, and hand-crafted from Pennoyer Newman.  Cast from estate originals, the lightweight resin pots and garden art installations both punctuate a garden composition and
With more than 20 years experience the company has created planters for prestigious parks and gardens including the New York Public Library, NYBG – and my clients! 
The containers are indeed classics. 
They cast the most exclusive garden pots from historical designs.
Pennoyer Newman pots

3. Darlene Flood’s gardenscape stationary, including note cards, note pads and announcements, are custom-made, one-of-a-kind watercolors.  I first encountered them from the Neiman Marcus catalog. When they stopped featuring the custom cards, I hunted her down!  Now I can order unique cards for me and my Duchess Designs' business correspondence, as well as special gifts.  Now you can too!

4. Munder-Skiles garden furniture is the best.  For more than 20 years the firm has been making hand-crafted garden furniture.  All the best landscape architects source their garden furniture from here. 
Designed by award-winning exterior decorator, John Danzer, the Munder-Skiles collections features “customizable wood and metal designs in styles that range from historical to contemporary. 
Hailed by notable interior decorating icon, Albert Hadley, who wrote: “John Danzer has done more to integrate exterior and interior designs than anyone working today. His obsessive fascination with the subject makes him the change agent we all need.”

Danzer’s Munder-Skiles portfolio of artful garden furniture is enduring garden art.  See the lines and spaces and geometrics that will take your breath away. Over and over and over, again…

Munder-Skiles garden furniture
Munder-Skiles Taconic chair - nominated by the Cooper-Hewitt for 2005 national design award for Landscape Architecture

5. Membership in any of the horticulture or garden cultural institutions helps support education, science and public programs.  There are many garden culturals to choose from, including The Horticultural Society of New York http://www.hsny.org
Here is the most exciting place to celebrate plants and gardens with lectures, crafts, art work and exhibitions, tastings and more.  I love the Hort (and its team!)  

Membership in The Garden Conservancy helps “ensure that America’s treasured gardens remain intact as part of our natural heritage.”  You probably know them from their Open Days program that allows the garden lovers access to the best private gardens. I’ve enjoyed hosting my friends and family for annual garden parties before heading out for the GC garden tours.

And the American Horticultural Society is “dedicated to educate people to become successful and environmentally responsible gardeners by advancing the art and science of gardening.  Your membership helps make “America a nation of gardeners, a land of gardens!”
That works for me. 
Plus you get a magazine subscription chock-a-block with hort and plant news.

Plants are best sourced locally.  But you can always order from these trusted plant people:

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs https://store.brentandbeckysbulbs.com

The Maine Potato Lady (we get our potatoes, shallots, and garlic from here) https://www.mainepotatolady.com/productcart/pc/home.asp

Happy Holidays. 
Let me know your favorite garden sources.

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