Updated Friday, December 7, 2012 at 01:01 PM
GARDENERS ARE nothing if not eclectic in their tastes and interests, but they do tend to fall into convenient categories, for gift-giving, anyway ...
For the dirt gardener: How about a gift card to Gardener's Supply Co. (www.gardeners.com) for the person on your list with perpetually grimy fingernails and a penchant for debating soil additives? This emporium of all things practical offers washable, protective knee pads ($19.95) and stackable tomato ladders in red or green (set of six, $49.95) as well as rain barrels and composters. Just a glance at the catalog that comes with the gift card will set a dirt gardener's heart aflutter in anticipation of spring chores.
For the reader: Winter is the only season we have time to actually read a gardening book. A new title that'll stir recognition in gardeners as well as delight them, "Roots Of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden" (Timber Press, $14.95), offers essays both humorous and profound. The internationally known gardeners, including Northwest luminaries such as Dan Hinkley and Tom Hobbs, hold forth on how they lost their hearts to plants early on and never looked back.
Introduce the gardener on your list to the updated "Pacific Horticulture" magazine with a year's subscription ($28, four issues a year, www.pacifichorticulture.org). For the first time in its illustrious history, the focus of this West Coast journal is shifting northward with a Seattle-based editor, an online presence and a fresh look.
For the fashionista: Stylish garden wear is no longer an oxymoron since Garden Girl USA (www.gardengirlusa.com) opened six months ago. Designed by women for women, this Swedish company's clothing is functional, durable and chic. If the gardener you know heads outside to work in paint-spattered jeans and worn-out sneakers (that would be me), she might enjoy classy, flower-print Wellies ($85.99) or the spruced-up comfort of a Garden Skort ($69.99), a stretchy split skirt with utilikilt-worthy pockets.
For the cook: Comfort a cook lamenting summer's end with a Tomato Vine Heirloom Apothecary Candle from Terrain (http://www.shopterrain.com). The $20 candle is made of organic soy and beeswax loaded with the scent of ripe tomatoes. Hints of basil and lemon zest complete the hit of summer. Terrain also stocks redolent-of-the-garden items such as Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce ($12) and Garlic Dill Pickles ($14).
New to Seattle: There's no better way to meet like-minded enthusiasts than with a membership in the Northwest Horticultural Society (www.northwesthort.org) or the Arboretum Foundation (www.arboretumfoundation.org/). Plant sales, lectures, events, tours, newsletters and volunteer opportunities abound.
For the flower lover: Brighten every month of the year with a bouquet delivered to the door of your favorite flora worshipper. Marigold & Mint, a cool little shop on Capitol Hill, is known for its inspired mix of fresh, local, organic materials. Arrangements, depending on size, cost $45 to $100 plus delivery charges, and you can subscribe for any number of months. I can't imagine anything more luxurious than nature's bounty, arranged in a beautiful container, showing up on my doorstep. Honey, are you reading this? (www.marigoldandmint.com).
Valerie Easton is a Seattle freelance writer and author of "petal & twig." Check out her blog at www.valeaston.com.
Local news partner - Plant Talk
Valerie Easton writes in her blog about gardens and the people who make them.
OLLE BENGTSON / GARDEN GIRL USA
The skort has roomy pockets.
GARDENERS SUPPLY CO.
Colorful cages offer sturdy support for a bumper tomato crop.
MARIGOLD AND MINT
The gift of fresh flowers, delivered monthly.