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Friday, November 09, 2007

Surprise Handmade Gift For a Gardener, Idea No. 6

Looking through some pictures, I came across another handmade item which might be just what every gardener wants, especially if they have a raised bed vegetable garden.

I love raised bed vegetable gardens and recommend them for anyone who wants to grow vegetables. It is so easy once the beds are established. How easy? Very easy...

You don't have to roto-till the garden in the spring! You can just lightly rake or hoe up one of the beds and plant whenever the soil has warmed up and you are ready to plant.

You can more easily keep up with weeding, one bed a time. With traditional vegetable gardens, it seems like by mid-summer the weeds have taken over and it takes a day to hoe 'em all down or pull 'em all out. In the raised beds, it takes just a few minutes to weed up one bed.

You can more easily practice good crop rotation. One year, you can put tomatoes in a bed, the next year corn. And where you put the corn, you can switch to green beans. And where you had beans, you can plant squash.

I could go on and on about raised bed vegetable gardens, and I'm not the only one. Robin(Bumblebee) has one, Skippy has one, Marc gardens this way, and my youngest sister finally changed over to raised beds in her garden this past year. Oh, and my older sister has a raised bed vegetable garden. Who else?

But enough about the wonderful world of raised bed vegetable gardens, let's get back to the handmade gift idea...

The handmade gift is a tool rest!
I used 1 x 6 cedar boards left over from making my raised beds to make these tool rests. So that the tools won't slide off the cross bar, I used a jig saw to make the top wavy like that. Then I screwed the two pieces together and painted it with some flowers. The paint is starting to fade on my tool rest, but at one time the cross piece said "Welcome to My Garden". I have another one that says "May Dreams Gardens".

I use long wood screws to attach these to the raised beds each spring, using about six screws to make them nice and secure. Then I remove them in the fall in an attempt to keep the ice and snow off of them, to keep the paint from fading, but I don't think that is really necessary. They would, and do, weather quite well.

When I made these, I was going through a "bead craft" phase, so I also decorated them with some... what would you call those... bead decorations... made by stringing some decorative beads onto copper wires and attaching them to the post with eye hooks.

I wonder what I was thinking when I added those beads? Maybe I thought those beads would scare off the rabbits? Or maybe I thought the tool rests were too plain without them? I don't know, I just know that these tool rests, with or without the beads decorations, are nice to have in the garden to lean all my hoes on.

So there you have it, now I've provided SIX suggestions for handmade gifts for gardeners. A garden journal, seed packets, a compost sieve, fairy doors, a garden tool caddy, and these tool rests.

What ideas do you have for handmade gifts for a gardener?

6 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Another great gift idea. I also went through a bead stage. I have bags of beads and am always thinking where I can put a few of these. They do sparkle and catch the light.

sister with the homestead said...

I have two of these signs - Both courtesy of the gardening aunt. One of them says "Bunnies welcome here". Hmmmm.....I wonder why she no longer wanted that one in her garden?

Gina said...

carol - this is my favorite gift so far. I love anything with beads. I'll add this to my list of things to build

Annie in Austin said...

I love the tool rest! You are so ingenious, Carol!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

chuck b. said...

The tool rest is fantastic! What a great idea!

Molly said...

Love the tool rest. I'm always in awe of women who have power tools and aren't afraid to use them!
A potter friend made me a bunch of terra cotta plant markers one year. Long skinny triangles, stamped with a pretty design across the wide end, fired but not glazed so you could write on them with a marking pen. Really nice for those of us who can't remember named varieties to save our soul, but are still embarrassed by our little white plastic tags poking out of the soil.