Stuck on what to get the gardener on your holiday gift-giving list? Here are a few suggestions, some of which came from local gardeners.
• Native bee habitats
Master gardener and crafter Pam Aronow offers two types of habitats to attract native buzzing pollinators.
She reuses wood pieces, burns designs on them and adds recycled hardware for decorations. Holes in the wood provide tubes for bee nurseries.
For certain ground-nesting bees, she paints clay pots, which are placed upside down on the ground. Wire, bedding and other parts inside the pot create a safe place for these bees to build nests.
"These are good to have because we need our pollinators," she says.
Buy: $30, $50 and $75 for wood habitats; $30 for bumblebee pots. Order from Aronow, 743-6080.
• Local dirt
The Fairfax Companies goes full circle on recycling. Its organic compost and mulch are made from the company's local landscaping jobs. The decorative wood chips come from area mesquite, eucalyptus and palo verde debris. They and other products are sold under the Tank's Green Stuff label. If you don't like the idea of a bag of dirt under the tree, consider a gift certificate.
Buy: Compost in 2-cubic-foot bags ($8) at selected Ace Hardware stores. Wood chips in 2-cubic-foot bags ($6) at Mesquite Valley Growers. Bulk and bag sales available at Tank's Green Stuff locations, 5300 W. Ina Road and 7301 E. Speedway. Information: tanksgreenstuff.biz
• Tucson Planting Guide
Flagstaff resident Julie Lancaster packs an astounding amount of information on a double-sided laminated page. She consulted with Tucson-area gardening experts to provide planting and gardening calendars, companion-planting tips, soil preparation instructions, transplanting advice and more.
Buy: Harlow Gardens ($10), Rillito Nursery & Garden Center ($10) and Tohono Chul Park ($9).
• The Gardener's Hollow Leg
Strap the 5- or 1-gallon recycled polyester sack around your waist and take care of gardening jobs without having to go back and pick up debris. It's a hands-free way to carry around your litter bag.
"It is what I wished I had 15 years ago to do my clipping, deadheading, etc.," says Marylee Pangman, who teaches container gardening classes.
Buy: Mesquite Valley Growers and online stores. Suggested retail price: $30, $25. Information: thegardenershollowleg.com
• Desert Snow Bush
Also known as pearl bluebush (Maireana sedifolia), this Australian native adds an exotic color to the desert yard.
"It will be the only plant in your landscape that is almost pure white," says William Harlow, owner of Harlow Gardens.
The slow-growing, evergreen shrub has plump, pearly leaves. It's heat-loving, drought-tolerant and cold-hardy. It does well in the desert's alkaline soil.
Right now they're pruned to look like Christmas trees.
Buy: We found them at Civano Nursery ($19), McConnell Nursery & Landscaping ($25), Harlow Gardens ($30) and Mesquite Valley Growers ($30).
Contact local freelance writer Elena Acoba at firstname.lastname@example.org