Tomlinson: Christmas gifts need not cost money

Christmas gifts need not cost money. They can be gifts of time. Promise notes for time spent together or for work to be completed are cherished. Either give freely of your time or make an offer to complete a task. In gardening, some tasks are easier completed with two people or there are ones that the gardener cannot complete either due to expertise of physical limitations. Whatever you choose make sure time is set aside to fulfill the obligation.

Furniture, arbours, bird houses, feeders, trellises, obelisks, gates, tables and planters are just some of the items that can be built for the garden by handy people. Patterns are available online or at the local library. It is also possible to purchase books of plans or individual plans. These projects can be a daily reminder of time well spent.

A trip to a garden might also be appreciated. In Alberta the Devonian Botanic Gardens, the Botanical gardens at the Calgary Zoo or the gardens at Olds College are always attractive and informative. The cost of a day pass to Devonian Botanic Gardens, which is part of the University of Alberta, is between $9.75 and 13.50 for an adult. Season passes are between $32 and $42 per person.

The Botanic Gardens at the Calgary Zoo are just one of the many attractions available at the zoo. Expect to pay between$21 and $23 per adult. Parking is extra. Yearly memberships cost between $60 and $138. The more one pays the more benefits are available.

Olds College’s gardens are free to the public during the summer from dawn to dusk. Parking is also free of charge. This is a teaching garden and is used extensively for practical applications with students.

Pictures of the person’s garden are often appreciated. They can be made into a calendar to be, placed on a cup or framed. The pictures are a reminder of the garden even when the snow covers the earth.

There are general gifts that most gardeners appreciate: gloves, hand cream and a soft brush to remove all traces of soil from the hands. They need not be expensive, but they need to be usable.

Good gardening tools can be costly but they last of years. Tools must be sturdy enough not to bend or break when a medium force is used. They also need to be light enough not to strain muscles when being used for repetitive tasks over a long period of time. Cutting implements must be able to hold a sharp edge as ragged cuts damage plants.

Look for tools that can be used for more than one activity. There are gizmos on the market that take more time to find and set up than it takes to complete the task they were created for.

Floating row covers benefit people that would like to extend the outside gardening season. The cover warms the soil and air allowing gardeners to plant earlier and later in the season. Most covers protect the plants from light frosts.

Gift certificates can also make a great Christmas gift. It allows the gardener to purchase what they want or need. It also allows them to plan and dream of the growing season.

There are endless items that can be given to the gardener or gardeners on your list this year. Choose an item that is in your budget, or ability to do. It need not be expensive; it could be a gift of time.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist that lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at your_garden@hotmail.com

Just Posted

Prosecutor illness delays dangerous driving trial

Red Deer man facing dangerous driving charges in connection with 2016 d0uble-fatal collision

RCMP officer fires his gun in confrontation with suspects near Maskwacis

RCMP were called to Samson First Nation with report of shots fired early on Monday morning

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read