David Daehnke

The Gardening Guru
Mahwah, NJ 07430

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The Gardening Guru's Book Review

I have created this web page to help “steer” you through the incredible amount of horticultural books that are available to you, to give you an idea of which books are worth purchasing, and which ones you are better off reading at your local library or bookstore for free. Remember, even the Gardening Guru admits that he does not know everything about gardening. Life is a continual learning experience, and so it is with gardening. This month’s book review is:

Green Gifts
by Gill Dickinson
photos by Debbie Patterson


Learn how to create more than 50 growing gifts all year round!

Flowers and plants make great gifts throughout the year, and this beautiful book contains “green” ideas for every season and occasion. Whether you garden and can grow gifts for free or want to create gifts from purchased plants and flowers, all the basics are covered, including ideas for gifts using natural materials such as seed heads and fallen leaves.

Being a “green” person, I try to incorporate plants and green material into all of my gifts, and this book will give you plenty of ideas of what to make and when to harvest, so by the holidays this year you will have plenty of green gifts to give as present. Below is an exerpt from the book on how to make lavender bottles.

1. Put the stalks together so the heads are at the same height. Tie narrow ribbon around the stems just below the heads. Leave one end of the ribbon long. Carefully, one at a time, bend the stems back on themselves to enclose the heads.

2. Pull the long piece of ribbon to the outside. Weave it over one stalk and under the next. Continue until the heads are enclosed. If you want to change ribbons, tie the new piece to the old, making sure the knot is concealed inside the bottle.

3. Fasten the ends of the last piece of ribbon by tying it around a stalk and pushing the knot and end to the inside. Cut the stems even and tie decorative ribbons around them. The lavender is now safely enclosed and cannot shed petals, while the delicious lavender fragrance can still be smelled.

There are plenty of pictures and illustrations to help you create a beautiful garden gift, even if you are a clutz with creating gifts like me. I am great out in the garden, but I am not a crafty person. This book was easy to follow, easy to read, and easy to create the gifts, and they turn out just like the picture!

You may be wondering why I am listing a gift book in the middle of the summer. There are two reasons;

1. Now is the time to start the planning process to grow, collect and dry the materials you need to create these garden gifts, and;

2. If you go to Fulcrum Publishing, they have the book 65% off until July 31, 2002. So instead of paying $19.95, you can purchase it for only $6.98, a tremendous savings.

It is 128 pages, 8 ½ x 11 hardcover book with plenty of full color pictures and illustrations to head you in the right direction. With this kind of bargain, you can even buy the plants that you will need and still be less than the original cost of the book!

If you would like this reviewed copy of Garden Gifts, please send an email including your name and mailing address with Garden Gifts contest in the subject line to gardeningguru@juno.com. The winner will be notified by email on July 31, 2002, and must agree to have their name and state publicized on the Gardening Guru’s web site. A big congratulation goes to Ali from Thetford Center, Vermont, who won last motnh's contest! Good Luck and Good Gardening! Dave


Sex in the Garden, by Angela Ovary