Snapdragons are a favorite in the garden, and they provide a wonderful vertical element to any landscape or raised garden bed. They are prolific seeders, and Snapdragon seeds will self sow if left to fall. The seeds are easy to harvest, and can provide you with a bounty to spread throughout you landscape and gardening early spring.
Here are some quick steps to gather and collect you Snapdragon seed pods:
As the growing season ends, and you move into Fall, your Snapdragons will turn from green to brown.
Once you gather your brown stalks, organize a flat surface on which to work. Layout some sheets of white paper on the surface. The paper will help gather any snapdragon seeds that fall during handling, and provide a way to herd the seeds later.
Look for the seed pods on the stalk, and snap them off. They are hard to miss, they look like little round faces.
Once you have a pile of the snapdragon seed pods, grab a plastic cup or container to hold your seeds temporarily.
Take the pod and roll it in between your thumb and forefinger until it cracks. The little black seeds will fall out onto the paper or into your container. You will be surprised at the number of seeds Snapdragons produce.
Grab a seed collecting envelope, and be sure and put the date collected, the type of seed and then seal it and wait for early spring before you plant your Snapdragon seed.
As we go into the holidays, a great choice for the gardener, or want to be gardener, is the garden gift box. There are a broad variety of choices on the market:
High End Gardening Gift Boxes
Cheap Garden Gift Boxes
Gardening Tool Set Gift Boxes
Garden Apparel Gift Boxes
On and On
But what should you choose? What are the best ideas for these garden gift baskets or boxes?
Here is a quick guide to some gardening gift box ideas that are unique and will be a great gift for the gardener to be or expert gardener.
Unique Gardening Gift Boxes
There are a large number of gift box providers, and many of them have created unique offerings that will be a standout gardening gift. Companies like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel have their offerings. Smaller gardening gift companies, like Celtic Farm, assemble unique and complete boxes focused on the season. Below is our fall garden gift box with bulbs, bulb planting tool and our unique and beautiful copper garden markers.
Gardening Tools Gift Box
Gardeners love great tools, and Japanese gardening tool sets have taken the gardening world by storm. Hori Horis, bonsai scissors and all type of gardening digging/weeding tools are a fantastic gift for gardeners. You Can purchase these garden tools from a site and put together a tools set any gardener would envy, or you can purchase a tool set from any number of gardening gift sites. Our Japanese Garden Tool Set is shown below.
Garden to Table Gift Box
Whether your target gardener has an affinity for vegetables or flowers in their garden, they will love a gift set that provides fun and functionality in the kitchen. A cutting board, knives, towels and other items packed in a box is sure to please. You can take a look at our garden to table gift box below.
Don’t like what you see from an idea perspective? You can also look across a broad swath of products and build your own gift box. Click to shop and build that custom gift for gardeners.
With the holidays fast approaching, and the rush to find those special, cool and unique gifts, how can you find that special gift for the gardener in your life? To find that standout gardening gift, there are a couple of recommendations.
Cool Garden Gifts: Where to Shop
The gardening gift market is plagued with low quality, plastic goods that barely last a season. You can find high quality gardening gifts made of stainless steel, wood and copper, you just have to look. Here are some quick tips:
Support Small Gardening Businesses – there are a ton of small, specialized gardening shops online that are run by gardeners and farmers, and usually sell what they use and recommend. Not the big gift stores that just buy in bulk and push their wares.
Buy From Those That Do – would you buy a car from an appliance dealer? ;). Gardeners know what gardeners need and love, and you can find those unique and useful gardening gifts by doing some research and finding a niche store that fits your gardener’s style.
Ask Questions and Look for Gardening FAQs – it is my favorite thing, and I just love chatting via email or on Instagram on our unique and cool gifts. Ask questions when you find a store you like, and get recommendations for the type of gardener you are buying for. You will get some cool gift recommendations and save some time.
Now that you have some basic hunting details for that special garden gift, now let’s talk about the type of gardener that is your unique gift target. Here is how I classify gardeners:
The Serious Gardener – not afraid to get dirt under their nails. They use any garden weapon or tool. Plants relentlessly, and constantly change their landscape. Will go at it with or without gloves. This gardener will love anything gardening related, but will especially love garden tool sets, the Hori Hori or a gardening apron.
The Casual Gardener – loves the outdoors and gardening. Lives for the stress free feel of the garden. Has others do the heavy labor, but does get dirty on occasion (my wife ;)). Occasionally plants and pots, content with pruning roses and doing light work. So any item that makes her/his gardening experience more pleasurable would be a great gift. Try stainless garden scissors, a great garden gift for the casual gardener. Would love one of our gardening gift boxes.
The Flower/Vegetable Lover – hands off with the exception of cutting flowers or grabbing vegetables in the garden. Not a dirt lover like the serious gardener, but has a passion for the beauty and variety of plants. Garden snips or a gardening apron to protect clothing would be a great gift for this type. Mostly this unique gardener has an affinity for flower gardening, but also loves farm to table.
So, with all this info on finding that unique gardening gift, hopefully you can take our suggestions and be successful. Here are some links to our unique garden gift collections for men, women and general gardeners.
Ever been out in the garden and wondered, is there something more I can do now to have a more glorious Spring? I have always loved to see the fruits of my labor, and get a surprise in Spring that was either new or unexpected when it comes to the flower garden. Here are 5 things you can do in the garden now, for an even better garden in Spring:
Collect seeds. Seed collecting is one of the easiest and simplest ways to extend and selectively enhance your garden. Fall is the time to do it, and you can walk through your garden and in minutes have a supply of selected and adored plant seeds for the following season. If you haven’t collected seeds before, with most flowers its simple and fun! You can use our unique seed collecting envelopes to label and store your bounty.
Change the color of your hydrangeas. Here at Celtic Farm, hydrangeas are one of our favorite flowers, and we have had so much fun over the years changing the soil Ph, and seeing the affect on the blossoms. The pinks, blue and purples are just breathtaking. Not all hydrangeas can be altered, and typically your standard pink varieties are the best subjects for experiment. Here is a blog post describing the technique and results: How to Change Hydrangea Color.
Plant fall flower bulbs. Nothing says Spring like the blooming of Daffodils, Tulips and Hyacinth. Their flowers tell us that warmer weather is on the way, and when planted en masse, create a stunning visual in the garden and landscape. (Fall Flower Bulb Collection)
Mark and organize your garden. I am getting old, and do so much planting in fall, if I don’t mark our beds, I typically forget my varieties :). First off, start a journal to log your handy work. These notes will pay dividends, and make sure you know the variety and where you sourced the bulbs and seeds. Secondly, use garden markers to label your planting areas.
Compost your leaves!! It breaks my heart to see piles of leaves on the city streets that are waiting to be taken away. We have found over the years that leaves make the best compost and provide substance and nutrients to the soil. Try my lazy method: I just place layers of leaves over new farm or garden areas and give them a good soaking. When planting time comes, I till them in and create an amazing soil base.
Five quick things to do here in Fall out in the garden. I guarantee you will love the results.
Pruning your lavender is critical to plant health and the longevity of the plant. When proper care is applied to your plants, lavender can last upwards of 20 years! Pruning is required, and there is definitely a technique you must follow. Without this annual care, your lavender will grow long and lanky, and typically split. Here are the steps:
Steps for Pruning Lavender Varieties
Look for the woody growth. Old growth turns brown and woody, and this is your key reference point for the pruning. Typically, plants in year two of growth will have this established growth.
Prune the soft growth. Measure up about 3 inches from the woody growth you have identified on your lavender, and this soft growth area will be your target pruning point.
Get the shape right. The result of pruning your lavender should be a dome or mound looking bush.
Deadhead during growing season. For certain varieties, a quick deadhead prune can urge a second flowering and bloom.
How Not To Prune Your Lavender
Pruning your lavender is quite simple once you know the technique. But there are certain things you should not do.
Don’t cut into the woody stems at the heart of your plant. This old growth grows slow, and may not grow new stems at all.
Don’t prune in fall. New growth will die quickly in the cold of Fall and Winter, and stress your lavender plants. Finish up pruning by end of August.
Don’t take off too much. A good rule of thumb is to only remove the top 1/3rd of the plant. Too much more and you risk the health of your lavender.
A quick guide for you to keep your plants healthy, and enjoy the bloom season after season.