Master Gardeners set out to explore some favorite local garden centers to help you find that perfect holiday gift for the special gardeners in your life. Gifts suggestions are categorized as: “Stocking Stuffers” (under $25), “Great Gifts” ($25-$100), and “Over the Moon” gifts (more than $100). Read on to discover what we found.
If your gardener enjoys taking classes, CSU extension has gift certificates available. They can be used for classes, workshops and our highly popular make and takes.
Good Earth Garden Center | 1330 N. Walnut | www.GoodEarthGardenCenter.com
Good Earth Garden Center is a local, family-owned business. They have been at the current location for 19 years. They are proud to have one of the best plant selections during the growing season, and their gift shop is great place to find gifts for all of the gardeners on your list.
For a Great Gift, you might consider a $40 Hori-Hori knife, a popular all-purpose gardening tool for digging and weeding. Rain gauges are another option. A decorative, easy-to-read model made of copper is $50, and a less expensive model made of plastic, but copper-colored, is $30. Seeds for the upcoming growing season make inexpensive Stocking Stuffers. For that Over the Moon gift consider a pretty bird bath starting at $118 in a range of styles made from a variety of materials including stone, iron and ceramic. They feature an eclectic mix of garden art and pottery – always a great gift. You can also find a beautiful stone garden bench in a variety of colors ranging from approximately $300 to $680. Old World Christmas Ornaments and Mary Lake-Thompson tea towels are thoughtful hostess gifts. Stop by for a lot more choices.
Harding Nursery | 721 N. Powers Boulevard | www.HardingNursery.com
Billie and Joan Harding opened Harding Nursery in 1957. They currently operate on 120 acres of growing fields with 25 greenhouses east of Colorado Springs. The main nursery has more than 12 acres of stock and 17 greenhouses. The knowledgeable sales staff (mostly family members) can help you with all of your plant and landscape questions including pamphlets and free how-to seminars.
A visit to Harding Nursery, will reveal a great gift shopping venue. From solar-powered mobiles to rustic copper wind chimes, options abound for the budget-minded gift buyer. For Over the Moon gifts they have a wide variety of garden ornaments including a beautiful green wind spinner of bejeweled butterflies ($129), or great sculptures in several different mediums. Perhaps the favorite section of this garden center was the fairy garden displays. They have several gardens already planted, and a great supply of accessories, in every budget, for those who might want to start a new fairy garden or add to an existing one. These will delight hearts young and old. Be sure to visit the Christmas shop for holiday décor and gifts, and handmade wreaths and centerpieces that will grace your door and table.
Phelan Gardens | 4955 Austin Bluffs Parkway | www.PhelanGardens.com
The Phelan story begins in 1977 when Don and Sue Phelan set out to pursue their shared dream of owning their own business. They started a greenhouse in the Knob Hill area of Colorado Springs named Sunset Greenhouses. That business was so successful, the family expanded its operations and opened Phelan Gardens in 1981 in its current location where it is still family-owned and operated.
Phelan Gardens is a year-round greenhouse, nursery, gift shop, and garden center; and its seasonal decor during fall and Christmas is a tradition for many. To support pollinators in the garden, consider Phelan’s Beneficial Bug House ($24.99) as a Stocking Stuffer. Bamboo gardener gloves start at $7.99 or a seed sprouter ($23.99) could be the perfect gift. You will impress a gardener that also has a penchant for the Broncos with a glass bird bath with the team logo and a metal stand for around $85. Other Great Gift considerations are a self-watering Earth Box Garden Kit for $85.99, or a metal, flower-shaped wireless speaker that can be “planted” to add some music to the garden ($95). However, if you want to really want to send your favorite gardener Over the Moon, Phelan has a wooden potting bench for $208.
Rick’s Garden Center | 1827 West Uintah | www.RicksGarden.com
Originally from Pennsylvania, Dwight (Rick) Richner and Ferda (Jackie) Richner started Rick’s Nursery at its current west-side location in the post-World War year of 1948. In 1985, Mike Estes (a long-time employee) and his wife Gail, purchased Rick's Garden Center where they still carry on the Richners’ legacy of exemplary customer service, positive attitude and a wide selection of products.
At Rick’s Garden Center you will find gifts in all price ranges. For $25, accessories for a fairy garden are unique Stocking Stuffers. Wind chimes so beautiful they can be considered works of art are available in the $50 price range, and the Harvest House Indoor/Outdoor Greenhouse priced at $150 is an Over the Moon ‘wow’ gift. This amazing greenhouse is just 4.5 feet wide, 2.5 feet deep and stands 6.5 feet high. It could be tucked in a spare room in winter to get seedlings started, or set up outside on a deck or patio in warm weather. Three tiers of shelving on three sides of the greenhouse maximize the space.
Spencer’s Lawn & Garden Centers | 1430 S. Tejon Street and 4720 Center Valley Drive in Fountain | www.SpencersGardens.com
This is another family-owned and operated business in Colorado Springs since 1934. Their qualified staff understand the importance of quality products at a great value. Here you will find everything necessary for outdoor living – the basics, the extras and the fun. They carry fantastic selections of planted pots, hanging baskets, annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs and, importantly for this time of year, holiday gifts.
Anyone would love to discover some Colorado-made old time candies in their stocking and these are some of Spencer's on Tejon Street’s specialties. Made in Denver since 1929, Hammonds candy canes come in many flavors and are priced at $3 each ($4 if filled with chocolate). At $29 per pound, Enstrom's toffee candy made in Grand Junction, has been given as gifts by US presidents to visiting heads-of state. Spencer's Fruit Baskets come in a range of sizes and prices ranging from $30 (peck) to $90 (bushel). Each is filled all the way to the bottom with fruit, candy and nuts (no paper fillers). Any gift basket can be customized to include shelled nuts, honey, candies, and Colorado-made jams and jellies. Starting at $100, Over the Moon decorative art poles with colorful and positive, uplifting messages are easy to install and made in USA.
Summerland Gardens | 124 E. Cheyenne Road | www.SummerlandGardens.com
Summerland owner, Julie McIntyre, is a native of Colorado Springs with a Master's Degree in Horticulture from CSU. She is a Colorado-Certified Nursery Professional and has worked at the Denver and Atlanta Botanic Gardens. Julie has traveled the world studying plants and has a passion for bringing back new and unique plants. Staff members have 50 years of professional experience in Colorado gardening, plants and maintenance.
This is a treasure trove for gift seekers. Whether you are looking for Stocking Stuffers or a really special gift for the gardener in your life consider visiting this garden center. To stuff those stockings, pick up some of their unique glass stones with messages ranging from “Grow Dammit!” to “I Love Mom” ($9.99), or consider a set of mini vases ($32.99) that are perfect to display small flowers. There are numerous and varied houseplants, some in amusing containers. The prices range from $4 for an air plant to $200 for a mature Bonsai ficus. Victorian style terrariums are also available, and you can let your gardener fill them, or Summerland can assist you in creating these unique planters. There are too many garden-themed decorative and practical options to list here, so pay them a visit.
This is the final year round gardening article for 2017. We return in February 2018.
When you have questions, Colorado State University Extension has research-based answers. Get answers to your horticulture questions by visiting ask.extension.org any time day or night. Follow the El Paso County Master Gardeners on www.facebook.com/ColoradoMasterGardeners.EPC/.