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Working in Our Gardens

My husband and I both enjoy working in our gardens. We have several flower gardens as well as a huge vegetable garden. We find that each spring we plant way too much so we end up having more vegetables than the two of us need. None of my sisters have vegetable gardens. We decided that garden gifts would be a great idea for Christmas. My husband’s side of the family all have gardens so they did not need or want additional vegetables, but we thought we could still go with the garden gifts theme for them and get them things for use in their gardens.

We made extra jars of dilled pickles, stewed tomatoes and pickled green beans to give as garden gifts. Our neighbor had an abundance of raspberries this year and told us to pick as many as we wanted. We made jars of raspberry jam and also raspberry syrup. We dehydrated apples off of our apple tree and also made apple pie in a jar. This is a recipe in which you can apples with sugar and cinnamon. All you have to do is dump it in a pie shell and bake it to have homemade apple pie. I found a garden supply shop that sells wooden crates. I bought one for each of my sisters. I then used wood shreds as a liner and placed the canned goods in it. I had taken a course in calligraphy several years ago so I wrote garden gifts on each crate.

For my husband’s siblings we went to one of our favorite stores in the Mall of America that specializes in gifts for people that are difficult to buy for. They have high quality specialty items including gardening tools. We bought each of them a gardening cart. It is made of molded plastic and is on wheels. It is designs so you can sit on it and wheel yourself along a row of vegetables as you are planting, weeding and harvesting. There are slots for tools and a basket to place seeds or harvested vegetables. We thought these were great garden gifts for helping to make gardening easier. It cuts down on stooping as well as crawling on your hands and knees. It also keeps your tools with you so that it is easier to stay organized.

Along with the garden gifts for both sides of the family I also made several pans of my homemade caramels. The homemade caramels have been a tradition for several years. I make them and my husband cuts them. We then spend several evenings wrapping each piece individually. I still think homemade treats make the best gifts.

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