DEAR SANTA: I have been very, very bad. Such facts notwithstanding, I’m submitting a request for the following items, should you be so kind as to overlook my occasional foul mouth, endless complaints about the weather, procrastination over writing my next book, and other general naughtiness. Begging your forgiveness, may I please have a pair of Okatsune pruners, more mossy pots and Weck canning jars, something magic to heal my wounded gardener’s hands, and a brush to clean the damn birdfeeder? (Oh, dear, there I go again….) The list of things I’d like, or like to give:
I don’t know if my hands can ever look as good as Kate Hudson’s face, but she loves Egyptian Magic Skin Cream and so do I. An all-purpose balm. About $30 for 4 ounces.
The inside of my birdfeeder looks even worse than my hands or face. Please, Santa, won’t you bring me a brush for cleaning it, like the one from Brushtech? About $10.
There’s this problem of too little moisture, Mr. Claus, on this aging face of mine (I think your beard helps obscure any such issue you may have). Wish I could trap some in a Johnny’s rain gauge and repurpose it, but I’ll have to settle for just the first half of that thought. My favorite weather device ever, just $4.95 from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.
Maybe a garden hose would do the rehydration trick? My favorite is super lightweight and truly kink-free, from Water Right Inc. In 25-, 50-, 75- or 100-foot lengths and beautiful colors. About $20 to $80.
What never looks anything but positively spectacular are the latest art packs from Hudson Valley Seed Library, and though I’d like them all ($75 for 23 varieties of seed), I’d settle for the ‘Cosmonaut Volkov’ tomato and the ‘Mammoth Long Island Dill,’ about $3.75 apiece.
Now back to the subject of aging (not that it’s on my mind or anything): Would you indulge me in a mossy pot from the “aged” terra cotta collection at Campo de’ Fiori (show in top collage, their Poppy style)? From $20-something to hundreds, shaped like shells or pine cones or classic urns, bowls and other basics. Browse around and drool.
I’ve been a Felco girl forever, but recently I tried a friend’s Okatsune pruners, which are Japanese made, and oh my oh my. Can I have a pair of my own? About $55.
I’m willing to delay gratification if you’ll reserve another coral-colored peony for me at Peony’s Envy or Klehm’s Song Sparrow Farm, or just about anything Clematis (or any other climber) at Brushwood Nursery (Garden Vines).
When we shift from rain to snow season, my choice of favorite tool shifts, too—to my Yaktrax that I strap onto all my shoes and boots. Great for avoiding a horizontal view of winter. Pro model, about $30; Extreme about $60.
Inside, I’ll be cooking, especially from Anna Thomas’s “Love Soup,” from Melissa Clark’s “Cook This Now,” and Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Every Day.” All smart, and all emphasizing seasonal fresh ingredients.
Speaking of cooking: I started tossing my Tupperware and other plastics in favor of all glass jars, and I sure do love the German Weck ones. More, please—for use in the freezer, refrigerator, pantry and for canning. About $30 for 6 large or 12 small at Kaufmann Mercantile (choose from all the nicest shapes); onesies of the plainest style at Crate and Barrel.
My library got a whole lot better recently with the addition of two key references: Michael Dirr’s new “Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs,” and the other an exploration of the astonishing and exotic-looking world of caterpillars: “Caterpillars of Eastern North America,” by David L. Wagner.
(Note on all links and prices: Shop around—where there are multiple sizes or colors of something, I’ve simply linked to the manufacturer, but you may do better elsewhere. I gave an average price—you know how it goes with shipping and deals and so on. Exhausting!)
- My story on the Mike Dirr book.
- My story on the cookbooks by Melissa Clark, by Anna Thomas, by Heidi Swanson.
- My story on canning tips, including Weck canning jars.