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Gifts to get someone started in gardening.

Would you like to help a friend or relative get started gardening this Christmas? A thoughtfully chosen plant or tool can foster a beginner's interest and success.

Here we've singled out easily grown plants as well as tools and supplies that are especially helpful in cut-flower, vegetable, and container gardening.

To meet our criteria, the garden tools had to be sturdy and hardworking, but easy to use and not expensive. Plants were selected for their ability to survive and grow without much care.

The ornamental plants pictured are distinctive in form and foliage. And the vegetables will grow and produce a crop without much fuss.

Not all the plants listed here are suitable for every Western climate. To check on a particular choice, consult the Sunset Western Garden Book.

When selecting plants or seeds, choose something easy to grow but unusual enough to be interesting. If you're getting a child started in gardening, buy large seeds--they're easier to handle.

For a cutting garden

The photograph below shows almost fool-proof plants and seeds--bachelor's button, carnation, forget-me-not, statice, stock, sweet pea--as well as tools usefuls to the cut-flower gardener. Other flowers to consider are baby's breath, calla lily, daffodils, ranunculus, and sweet William.

To supply cut greens for arrangements, give a few foliage plants. Besides those pictured, Oregon grape, podocarpus, sword fern, tobira, and many members of the asparagus plant family are good choices.

For container gardening

Shown opposite are some easy plants for containers. Other choices include camellias, cyclamen, cymbidium orchid, liriope, New Zealand flax, Primula obconica, and the vegetables suggested below.

Don't skimp on size when you buy a container; small containers require constant attention to watering. Also, buy high-quality pots made of clay, cement, or redwood--they'll last much longer.

For the vegetable gardener

Large bags of compost and fertilizer and a versatile digging tool come first. The tape is for planting seeds with correct spacing. Stick to easy herbs and vegetables such as beets, lettuce, peas, and radishes, but look for unusual or gourmet varieties like limestone lettuce, curly endive, elephant garlic, French peas, shallots.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Christmas gifts
Publication:Sunset
Date:Dec 1, 1985
Words:346
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