Every year my husband forces me to write out a Christmas list to give to him. I resist. He already takes very good care of me. I am embarrassed to make a list of “things I want.” I also don’t want to put the brain power into it, but he says it helps him. I warn him that as soon as I begin brainstorming, the list will keep growing! He says I had better get busy.
As I was working on this assignment this week, I remembered homemade gifts that both my husband and my father have given me for my gardening activities. A couple of them are on the list again because they have been used until they are falling apart. Others of them are nice to have in multiples. A few of my favorite past garden-related gifts were purchased, but make the list here because they are used so often.
The cold frame that my husband made me several years ago is beginning to disintegrate. I have used it every year for nearly 15 years. It is just made out of scraps of particle board and 2×4 lumber. The windows are plexiglass. Not only does the lid open, but he made front panels that come out. The plexiglass lid is not too heavy and I didn’t have to be so concerned about it breaking. It leans nicely against the house when opened. It might not be a first choice for a photograph of the prettiest cold frame, but it was cost effective and is completely functional.
My dad took a welding class at a local college a couple of years ago. He has been very creative with building structures out of rebar. He made me a tall fan trellis with a hose basket as the base. It is very sturdy. The hose basket doesn’t collect dirt, since it is open work. He has also made me a hose rack with a shelf for my back patio. The shelf holds various sprinklers and nozzles. The hose rack holds a lot of hose. The whole stand is bolted securely in place.
It was my dad who introduced me to “the spading fork,” which is my most used garden tool. I hardly ever go out into the garden without my spading fork. When I use it, my strength and effort in weeding and digging is greatly magnified. It is my secret weapon.
My yellow garden wagon was a gift from my husband. He completely surprised me with it. It is much easier to move around with it than a wheel barrow, although there are still some preferred uses for the wheelbarrow. The wagon hauls everything from large sacks of garden debris to patio bricks for building pathways. In fact, it is so popular, that I might need another, because it is always being borrowed!
My grow light stands are another thing I appreciate a lot. As usual, with a little research, my husband came up with a way to make them for a very reasonable cost, from components that are easy to find locally. This makes finding replacement parts simple.
Last, but not least, my shed for storing yard equipment is long lasting and nice looking. I’m thinking about painting something fun on the outside. I have lovely racks inside, given to me by my kids for Christmas last year, that help keep it organized. There is a loft for bins of things; and I have future plans for a lower shelf around the perimeter, to put things like back-pack sprayers on.
My list is still growing. A bin for my potting soil in the greenhouse would be handy and easier to use than the bag. I wouldn’t argue about a few durable plant identification stakes. And I can always use another trowel and some gloves. All in all, I think having Christmas right before gardening gets under way again is a good idea!