Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Thoughtful gifts for gardeners and GARDEN SHOES

      Have  you been in your garden? I bet you have! This week I gave my first garden tour in Hopalong Hollow. I was a bit reluctant about having a garden club traipse my paths, because things here are so FAR from perfect. Perhaps I had forgotten that true garden lovers are special people; they don't require perfection, they are interested in atmosphere, plants, garden bones and ideas. The group of 8 women  brought sack lunches and sat beneath the trees after the "tour", as ducklings waddled past and Peacocks willingly spread their tails to have their photos taken. I handed out seeds from my garden that I had collected last summer and a good time was had by all.

I  also enjoyed the company of a longtime blogger friend, Sharon,  who stopped by the Hollow on her way through East Tennessee this week. It is always a delight to meet up with bloggers!
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 Sharon's friend Larry  walked through the gardens and commented that " I bet people give you a lot of plants" to which I replied, "Hmmm. not really, seeds sometimes, but not often plants" It got me to thinking of gifts that gardeners would love to receive and here is the list I came up with.
1.) Garden gloves; all types, rubber, leather, vinyl, cotton,  rose pruning gloves. Gardeners go through gloves like my donkeys go through a bag of animal crackers!
2.) A potted perennial or a 6 pack of small annuals, believe me, a gardener will find a place to put a gifted plant. Every time that gardener looks at the plant, she will think of you! You will become a part of her garden. Packets of Seeds are nice too, especially if they can be sown directly in the garden.
3.) A garden hat is SO IMPORTANT! I found this great hat which is perfect for many reasons; it shades my face, it is lightweight, and it has air holes in the top to let your scalp breath without the sun burning it.

4.) Cheap plastic sunglasses, sunblock and sunscreen. Garden-folk go through tubes and tubes of this stuff! Cheap sunglasses because they are going to get scratched up and stepped on eventually.
5.) A subscription to the best garden mag ever...
,
OR, any beautiful garden book, because gardeners love to dream.
  I love the book below.
  Penned in the year 1898 but just as pertinent today, see how Elizabeth writes about her garden:
 Anyone who loves their garden will understand how Elizabeth feels.
 6.) Small hand garden tools like pruners and hand rakes and diggers AND doodads like plant markers,
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 Which come in oodles of shapes ... my friend makes these that you see beneath.
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7.) And last but not least, what gardener does not love a bee skep?
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or a concrete bunny?
Or absolutely ANYTHING that has a bee or a bird on it!
One thing you SHOULDN'T buy a gardener? garden shoes.. why? because garden shoes must be chosen by the gardener. They need to be comfortable more that anything else and only the person wearing the shoes can determine that.
These are my favorite garden shoes, an old pair of Bass loafers.
 They are ugly but well worn in, with comfortable rubber soles. I can get them muddy or wet  and still keep on working. I have rubber garden boots, and although flowery and patterned garden boots are cute to look at, I can't take them seriously as they are hot, inflexible and  awkward to work in.
 This pair is great too!
 So the next time you need a gift for a gardener, be it your mom, your sister, your neighbor or best friend, take it from me and put a real smile on a gardeners face with a garden treasure.
I am reminded  of one of the best garden gifts I ever received. A neighbor pulled into our driveway with a truckload of horse dung and asked me if I wanted if for my garden beds.... Of course I did; what true gardener would turn down free pony poo?!
Have I left anything out? What gift would you love to have as a garden lady?
UPDATES:
PEA-CHICKS at 3 weeks old.
AND
The new garden video I am working on is the revival of this side garden. I've been restoring this garden for the past 4 days. It was destroyed last year when a walnut tree fell into it and smashed it to bits. I will be planting and
I will be laying  a new garden path using found stone.
  (I do wear my husbands waders when
gathering stones from the creek.)
I will post this video soon.





















56 comments:

  1. Hi Jeri,

    Can't wait for the next video! I agree with your list of gifts for gardeners, especially about never having enough gloves. And about the shoes: Years ago, I spent a lot of money on a pair of rubber shoes with a removable lining that I thought would be great since I could remove the lining and hose out the shoes. I've never enjoyed that pair of shoes like I enjoy a pair of old Clark's shoes that have paint and many, many other stains on them. So comfy.

    Sweet picture of the pea-chicks. For the first time ever, I have new fish babies in the pond. Yea!!! So far I have counted ten new babies that look like Roy, Saturday, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. (I name all my fish.) Now if I could figure out whether Roy, Saturday and the rest of the gang are males or females! But what fun to watch the little ones grow. Last week the wee fish were not much bigger than 1/2" and this week, they have already grown to almost 3". So I have hope that the bullfrogs and bigger fish won't eat them now that they are bigger.

    Love from Diane in North Carolina

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    1. I've never had any luck with fish in my tiny pond, but the frogs are happy! Love that you name them all.

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  2. Dear Jeri, your garden is an absolute delight, I love all the cottage garden plants, and your whimsical figures gorgeous fences.
    Of course the icing on the cake are the critters who inhabit your coveted landscape....free to dig and scratch and bed down in all that prettiness, such privileged creatures.
    As a kindred spirit, I enjoy most any gift for the garden, my latest self-gift has been an old punched tin colander, with plans to use it as the light in my newly wired potting shed. The ceiling looks celestial when it is lit :)
    Love your post Jeri.
    Hugs,
    ~Jo

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    1. Jo, I would love to see that colander light shade, it sounds charming.

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  3. Your little tour group was blessed to have been able to walk around your lovely gardens.

    Your little pea chicks are so cute.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your next video.

    I was just looking at my gardening shoes today and will be on the lookout for another pair. That is a great gift list for gardeners.

    Happy garden restoration and have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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    1. I need to come and see what you are doing!

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  4. OH MY....Jeri Landers, good afternoon.

    IT IS GREAT TO SEE YOU! And I must say that as I am reading "Elizabeth's" narrative from 1900, I have to agree 100%. She has stated what I often feel when I go outside to simply weed or take out the trash. For the latter, I have found myself just stopping and praising God for such a peace place. But what is it about this place that stops you in your muddy tracks? The innocence of the hedges, the not-so-innocent squirrels skulking within them, the song of the birds. It all hugs you, you forget about your "sins" within, and you breathe the fresh air.

    Woman, I am having the time of my life sitting in my screened in deck, hearing the sounds of my garden. I am reading voraciously as planned, I am writing poetry (bad poetry, but I'm writing!) and I'm practicing my photography. And the perfection I seek in the garden? NAH.....what's perfect is the peace that comes from accepting the torrential rains that cause the weeds to grow and the basil to turn black, and still be happy.

    BIG LOVE COMIN' ATCHA! Anita

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    1. Anita, Yes, the garden DOES hug you< how perfectly said. I am sure your poetry is beautiful , it always is.

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  5. great ideas for gifts. You should have no worry about visitors to your garden it looks heavenly...

    Annie v.

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    1. Thanks Annie, it feels like Heaven to me.

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  6. Your garden is so lovely. Looking forward to seeing a new video. Take care

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  7. All of your gardener's gift suggestions are spot on, Jeri! I also love to receive gift certificates from garden shops or hardware stores so I can go shopping! Some of my friends cock their head quizzically when I tell them how I excited I was to receive a gift certificate to Lowe's for Mother's Day! I bought some perennials for my garden and a couple of tools I needed and was thrilled to bits.

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    1. A gift certificate from Lowes is a perfect gift!

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  8. Thank you for sharing your garden with us. I enjoy seeing your pics and video's. I try to spend time in my garden every day as long as the "joints" hold up. Next to quilting it is my favorite thing to do. I also care for the garden at the school I work at. It's like therapy only cheaper. I have started a small collection of old garden books. So far my favorite is An Island Garden By Celia Thaxter. I will be looking for the book you have shown. It looks delightful! Enjoy your peaceful retreat!

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    1. Hi Wendy, I found my copy on Ebay.. it is worth the hunt!

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  9. How nice of you to invite a garden club to your gardens. I'm sure they enjoyed seeing all your unique and delightful beds. I adore Elizabeth and Her German Garden. Your ideas for gardeners are spot on. I've found that gardeners love bird houses and have gifted friends houses and special seeds. Enjoy making your new paths at Hopalong Hollow. ♥

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  10. Hi Jeri, I would add old wrought-iron gates or fence sections to that list! I just bought a fence section, 80 inches long, for $45 which I feel was a steal! We're going to wire rebar on either end to stick it in the ground. I have no idea where I'm going to use it yet. I may have to make a new garden. Thanks for the update on the peachicks. I love the squirrelly bench! I look forward to seeing your new garden. If I ever pass through TN I hope you will give me a tour of your garden! I will be sure to bring a gardener gift now that I know what you want. :-)

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    1. Cathy, that really was a deal at 80 inches. You could do a lot with that, and I won't be surprised if you start a new garden. Of course you would be welcome in my garden!

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  11. My first response would be "a gardener"... LOL I sincerely wish I loved gardening! I do love to see them though.

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  12. Hi Jeri,
    Thank you for sharing your garden today... Boy, you have been busy.. There was a time I had this energy, how I wish it was still there... I can't wait to see your stone garden path.. The flowers look just beautiful, and I love your garden hat!

    How nice it was to have your blogger friend drop in.. I knew everyone would enjoy your garden tour... How could they not.. How I wish I could have been there.. I think all garden gifts above would be great for any gardener.. I also love gardener's lotion... But what I usually do if my hands need some tender care is just plain old Vaseline at night and put a pair of thin white gloves on.. In the morning my hands are soft and ready to go. Country Gardens is one of my favorite magazines!

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    1. Penny my hands are completely ruined, even with gloves. I have the hands of an 80 year old...even Vaseline won't help.

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  13. hello,
    such a wonderful list of garden gifts! I am surprised at how many gloves i go through! I have found it is also good to have gloves in all sizes around because sometimes a friend shows up with different size hands and wants to help out or stack wood, or......
    loved seeing you with your new friends and your photos.

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    1. Tammie, You mean, people actually help you around the place?! I wish I were so lucky!

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  14. WOO HOOOO! Jeri darlin', YOU ARE IN on the party to Europe! YES YES YES....you need not ever have been to your DREAM destination. I want imaginations as well as real-life experiences to play a role in this. Take us darlin', take us to where YOU would love to be. A garden in England? A woodland somewhere in Ireland or Scotland - a fairy cottage cooked up in your talented mind out in Wales somewhere? ANYWHERE dearest, take us. I am putting you on my list right now! I am so happy you are doing this! Anita

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  15. Hey, maybe one of your stuffed creatures can be our tour guide?Oh, you don't need me to tell ya....I know that mind of yours is cranking out the ideas like a well-oiled imagination-machine!

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    1. Oh gosh, don't give me any more ideas... I might actually do it!

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  16. Aaaahhh, your posts always bring a smile... :))))) <--- see? If money were no object in the gift giving ~ I'd want a big, beautiful Haws watering can, with a curved spout please..... More realistically? I'd love a cement garden bunny.... or a bunch of the little stakes that help keep your tall flowers standing up straight! Oooo, Ooo, or "the snake" little garden digger tool! Hmmm, seems I have a long wish list....:))) My garden shoes can be anything from my favorite clogs (closed back)... to flip flops.... or bare feet. Depends on the day, and if I need to step on a shovel! My garden is much smaller since the ponies moved into the back yard ~ it's the best thing ~ It's finally small enough that I can enjoy it, and the ponies love to eat the stray grass I pull up!! Yeah!
    Love your little baby "Peas" :)))) Thanks for sharing! Happy July to you!

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    1. Melody, I do bare feet sometimes, it feels pretty good if the soil is soft and cool.

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  17. It all looks beautiful and I like the moon and stars loafers best.

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    1. Moon and Stars loafers... ah oh! off to do a web search!

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  18. Dear Jeri,
    Upon looking at the garden shoes I began to picture a fun coffee table book of just garden shoes!! Mine always have the backs smashed down to serve me as quick slip on's! ( I must confess that I do lust for Beatrix CLOGS)!!!
    That is a most desirable gardener's gift list! My kids know it and I have also enjoyed receiving bird houses and feeders as well ;-D Also I tell family "when in doubt a live plant to dig in" (rather then cut flowers and such) And there are no calories in them either!! I LOVE Elizabeth's German Garden! I have a wonderful antique copy as well! So treasured.
    It is true for me that I have been in the garden so much that my face may appear on a milk carton soon!! (inside of house pretty messy though)!
    How fun for the garden club, and blogger friend! I think well loved gardens ARE PERFECT!! ;-D

    Looking forward to the video!
    And such cutiepie Pea-chicks!!!
    Blessings Dear One, Linnie

    ps I belly chuckled so hard that you picked up on the " Baldwin Sisters Dolls" I wondered if anyone would notice!! ;-)

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    1. Linnie, someone should do that book! Or a post with nothing but other peoples garden shoes! Maybe I will... or you will.
      So no one else got "the RECIPE?"

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  19. I find myself agreeing to everything on your list. I especially love that book and also "Enchanted April". I wish I lived nearer so I could wander down the path with you. We could do a plant swap.

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    1. Valerie, I've never read "Enchanted April" but I loved the movie. I wish you could join me on my paths and I'd love a plant swap... I have pots and pots of perfect little False Indigo plants that I grew from seed just waiting for the right person.

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  20. Bird houses are top on my list right now. A couple more benches were added earlier in the summer. But for me the best gift of them all is the gift of time.

    Time in your garden was the most perfect of perfect gifts for those lucky ladies!

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    1. Sharon, I've been looking for a cast iron garden bench that seats two. It is going in this garden I'm working on. Benches should be everywhere!

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  21. Jeri,
    What a wonderful post, it was so timely for me to hear of your garden tour, as I am getting ready to have 40 or so people from a Garden Club (from a larger city several miles away) stop by my garden.
    I have been stressing, weather, heavy rain, storms, wind, all making me anxious and fretting about so many things. Today I told myself, to just relax. The garden will be fine, it is different each year, and the process of gardening was beginning to get lost in the desire to have things perfect.
    I don't want a perfect garden! I love a messy, cottage, farm garden!!!

    Can't wait to see your next video, it's so wonderful to walk along with you and hear your gentle voice narrate the wonderful views.

    And, love all your garden gift ideas! I have a few more suggestions--a stack of clay pots, garden twine, and some sweet little Herb snips!

    All the best garden friend
    Stacey

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  22. Stacey, I don't think I could manage 40 all at once! But everything will be fine and they will all be delighted and thrilled with your garden. I agree with clay pots... I should also have added cloches. I would love to find some of those old English clay pots without the rim.

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  23. Wonderful post Jeri!
    Great list of gifts- I love when people have brought me rocks! People think I'm nuts - but you get it ! Ilove big rocks placed around plants and creating boarders with them. I've been collecting broken plates and tiles for years and this is the summer my kids and I are going to make some fun stepping stones. Enjoy your magical world and thanks so much for sharing it with us!!

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    1. HI! Yeah, I love stones...tons and tons of stones! I've been hauling them all week from the slopes of our stream. It's great that you have the kids to help with all your garden ideas.

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  24. Replies
    1. OOH, I have no concrete ducks, just real ones. I may just look for one of concrete.

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  25. love those gardeners gifts ~ each one would be perfect to give OR receive! Great post as usual my friend ~ oh, and your garden shoes look comfy ~ I am barefoot 99% of the time around this place ;)
    L

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    1. I have a lot of flip flops, but barefoot is difficult around here because of all the waterfowl... if you know what I mean.

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  26. Hi Jeri,

    Must be wonderful walking around your gorgeous garden - love the bee skep and all the gardeners gifts you have given.
    Hope you are enjoying the summer
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  27. Dear Jeri,

    I love your gardening inspiration! I agree 100% with all of your gift ideas. I bet your new friends were inspired, as well! Looking forward to your new video.

    Love,

    Marqueta

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  28. I am soooooooooooooooooooo jealous that Sharon got to visit you!!! Fun! :) :) :) Your gardens are so beautiful Jeri as is everything in your world. I love it all. Now I'm off to pout. ;)

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  29. Yes-I go to the gardens when I am 'vexed' and when the servants are surly! I must keep them in their place! So the gardens calm me down :)
    What a nice post-I just love your place-I think a picture book about your home and gardens and animals and your art would be just the ticket....

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  30. love your garden and video here we are still in winter and am trying to slowly clean my gardens that have been overtaken by weeds the last couple of years.

    My son gave me french white metal wheel barrow/trolley for my birthday it is on our deck full of flowering plants and is beautiful then i found a small metal child size wheelbarrow so that is full of moss and couple of plants, and childs wheel barrows are full of bulbs all coming up now.
    Now I only need time that four letter word ,time to get out and garden.
    I have a rabbit and frogs in our garden at present, but have cement rabbits,wombat, and foxes that are beautiful,and lots of bird baths and bird house and solar lights, really like them.
    I really love your pickets and wattle fences must try something similar.
    cant have hens at present so I think I will look for some cement ones shorlty

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  31. Jeri - Please oh please let me come visit your gorgeous gardens - no perfection is needed for me either. You have such a way with all artistic endeavors...writing, gardening, painting, decorating - I am always so inspired when I visit.
    My garden list is always full of needs - lol... I am in the market for another bird bath - hubby to build me post for an old mail box I want for in my veggie patch...another cement bunny and always more seeds and flowers to sow! O yes I could use some new garden gloves too - mine are in holes!! Have a great week. As always thank you for such a delightful post.

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  32. I don't think there is anything nicer than receiving a plant from a friend. I have some plants from some friends and I smile every time I look at them. They make me happy, and make me think of my friends.

    I love this post, it is a fantastic idea! Have a great week!

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  33. Bonjour,

    Une publication qui fait du bien... Se retrouver dans un jardin me remplit de bonheur et me ramène à celui de mon grand-père qu'il chérissait tellement. Il avait aussi cette faculté de parler de lui comme si c'était son ami.
    Merci pour le partage de ces magnifiques photos... j'ai beaucoup aimé entre autre, ce pot de terre avec un visage !! qui crée la surprise...
    Je vous souhaite un bel été...
    Gros bisous à vous et merci pour votre gentil petit mot.

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  34. Yes! to all your realistic gardener gift ideas. Plus I always love to get trowels so I have one to hand wherever I am in my garden. My garden shoes--a pair by every door in the summer, plus a few to muck around in--everything from old faux birkenstocks to my favorite clogs accented by broken down athletic shoes. A girl can never have too many garden shoes!

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