Friday, December 11, 2009


THE WELL-DRESSED GARDEN by Marty Ross for Universal

Santa can take a hint — and he might need one, if a bubbling fountain, a shiny new spade, a fancy trellis or an antique garden urn is what you have at the top of your wish list.

Santa is a jolly fellow, indeed, but not much given to gardening up there at the North Pole, so see to it that he gets the word loud and clear — and in plenty of time — to improve your chances of actually getting the surprise you're expecting on Christmas morning.

You can send a text message to Santa these days, of course, but be sure to send a copy to loved ones and close friends. You'll really be doing them a good holiday deed, by reminding them that garden stores are great places to gift-shop, even when the weather outside is frightful.
You might even send word to your favorite garden shop. At department stores, traditional gifts for brides — dishes, bedding, housewares, — remain on the shelves year-round. At garden shops, "things change a lot," said John Kinsella, managing director of terrain at Styer's, a gardening and outdoor-living shop in Concord, Delaware County.
"If you want a certain garden chair, we may not have it any longer than three weeks," he said. "It's a challenge." At Terrain, gardeners or their friends who stop in to browse for presents will find practical, unexpected and fun gifts: Besides plants and pots, hoses and mulch and everything nice for under your trees, terrain stocks the shop with garden antiques, home furnishings with an earthy, garden theme, and even terrarium kits. "We like to inspire people to think creatively," he said. "We want gifts to be memorable."

Gift certificates at Terrain (and at most garden shops) do not expire. They can be redeemed year-round for anything: trowels, boots, bulbs, design consultations or lunch in the shop's cafe.

Visit terrain’s online store at shopterrain.

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