Before purchasing any gardening book about outdoor gardening, look to see where the author lives and gardens says a central Alberta gardening expert. (Pixabay photo)

Before purchasing any gardening book about outdoor gardening, look to see where the author lives and gardens says a central Alberta gardening expert. (Pixabay photo)

Give a gardening book this Christmas

Still looking for presents for the gardener in your life?

A gardening book, if chosen with care, can make a good present. For the most part, gardening books are either instructions on how to do something or plant references.

Both genres cover a multitude of topics. When looking at how to books, choose ones that interest the gardener and are slightly above their level of expertise which allows them to try out new ideas and learn.

Reference books also need to be relevant to the gardener’s interest and location.

Before purchasing any gardening book about outdoor gardening, look to see where the author lives and gardens. The goal is to insure the information pertains to the area or zone where your gardener lives.

When purchasing books on growing plants indoors, be sure the book includes each plant’s preferred growing conditions including: light level, temperature, fertilizer, soil and moisture.

Gift certificates from local garden centers, or favorite seed companies are always welcome as it allows the gardener plan and dream for the next season.

Support a local farmer and purchase a gift certificate for fresh produce delivered throughout the 2021 growing season. CSA, Consumer Supported Agriculture works on the premise that customers either pay up front or pay weekly for a basket of fresh in season produce. The amount of produce received depends on the package purchased and the season.

The Alberta government has a list of SCA gardens:

It is a good starting place to search. Word of mouth, local agriculture offices, farmer’s markets are other places to look for local producers.

Garden supports are an integral part of any garden as they keep plants upright. Plant supports can be hidden by foliage as the season progresses or main structures such as trellises. Plant supports may be designed for one plant or may work for a number of different ones. When purchasing plant supports look for ones that are sturdy and large enough to support the plants at maturity. If they are going to be visible, they should be attractive and fit into the theme of the garden.

Garden ties are often needed to hold the plants in place but they should be discreet, not obvious. Ties are available in an assortment of products and styles. Look for ones that are wide enough that they will not choke the plant when tied tight.

Early and late frosts plague most gardeners. Giving a gardener a floating row cover is the same as giving them another month of gardening. The average floating cover will provide 5 degrees of frost protection if the fabric is secured at the ground level. The polyspun cover allows moisture and sunlight to penetrate. The floating row cover also works as an insect barrier in the vegetable garden.

This year’s local artisan events have been canceled or limited, find out there contact information to see what they have available for the garden. Unique benches and bird feeders always add to the garden. Their contact information should be available through the event organizers.

Linda Tomlinson has gardened in central Alberta for over 30 years. She can be reached at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. A British Columbia company that feeds food waste to insects to produce pet food has received $6 million from the federal government for it’s new state-of-the-art plant just north of Calgary. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
B.C. company turning fly larvae into pet food gets $6M in federal funds

Fly larvae fed a mixture of food waste and agricultural byproducts

FortisBC is reporting record electricity usage as temperatures spike. (File photo
AltaLink seeks to refund extra $350 million over three years to Alberta customers

AltaLink submits proposal to Alberta Utilities Commission

Annamie Paul, leader of The Green Party of Canada and byelection candidate for the Toronto Centre riding, walks back to her car after greeting supporters on election night, October 26, 2020. Paul has spent most of the past 10 months holed up in her apartment, just like you. But that stationary, pandemic-induced state belies the sharp pivot her party is making as it manoeuvres to break the tether of a one-issue party and reframe itself as a fresh inheritor of Canada’s social justice tradition. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Annamie Paul charts new course for Green party — through crowded waters

Paul’s calls for guaranteed livable income, universal pharmacare and child care, and free post-secondary education

ATB Economics released new vehicle sales stats for November. (Contributed by ATB Economics)
2020 will be remembered as tough year for new car and truck dealers in Alberta

ATB Economics releases new vehicle sales stats for November

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Opinion: A trend that should keep Freeland up at night

With a raft of fresh economic forecasts and a promised $100 billion… Continue reading

A yard in Gascoyne, ND., which has hundreds of kilometres of pipes stacked inside it that are supposed to go into the Keystone XL pipeline, should it ever be approved are shown on April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
TC Energy decarbonization response to Keystone setback unlikely to sway ESG investors

Plans announced for the Keystone XL project to achieve net zero emissions

President-elect Joe Biden waves to reporters as walks out of The Queen theater Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Joe Biden to propose 8-year citizenship path for immigrants

An estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status

This screen grab from a Zoom call shows new New York Mets general manager Jared Porter Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (Zoom via AP)
Report: Mets GM admits explicit texts to female reporter

Another embarrassing development for the Mets

A man wearing a protective mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walks near banners of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics are to open in six months on July 23. Interestingly, Tokyo organizers have no public program planned to mark the milestone. There is too much uncertainty for that right now. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Tokyo Olympics Q&A: 6 months out and murmurs of cancellation

Instead of a countdown celebration, the focus is on COVID-19

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard is shown during a bail hearing in Winnipeg on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in this courtroom sketch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tadens Mpwene - POOL
Canadian fashion mogul seeking bail on U.S. charges of sex trafficking, racketeering

Lawyers for the Attorney General of Canada say Nygard has a history of not showing up to court

Montreal Canadiens down Edmonton Oilers 3-1, sweep series

Montreal Canadiens down Edmonton Oilers 3-1, sweep series

Most Read