Gardening: Cozy catalog shopping fills the bill this holiday

Nancy Szerlag
Special to The Detroit News

Shopping for the gardeners on your holiday list can be frustrating. Your local garden center has probably moved out the good stuff to make way for Christmas, so gardening catalogs are the way to go. You can sit in front of the fire with a cup of tea and shop away.

The Active Eye Universal Mobile Phone Microscope turns a smartphone into a 60X microscope.


Here’s a list of some of my favorites I’ve been thumbing through the past few weeks.

The Gardener’s Supply catalog (888) 833-1412, is widely known for their unique gardening accessories and tools. They have the best collection of raised beds and large self-watering containers on the planet. A perfect choice for senior citizens and busy foodies who want to grow their own veg.   Order deadline for hard goods using economy shipping is December 19th. One day priority shipping is noon on the 21st.

A great source of gifts for active gals and guys, who enjoy the out of doors in winter and summer, is Duluth Trading (866) 300-9719, Yes, that’s the company that gives way to much information on TV ads, regarding men’s underwear.  What they don’t tell you in is they also specialize in attractive clothing for women with an emphasis durable fabric and construction as well as style.  If you’re looking for real wool sox and gloves this is the place to shop. There’s also a catalog for men. Order deadline using economy shipping is December 18th. For those who like to fight the crowds, Duluth now has several brick and mortar stores in Michigan, so check their website for locations.


If you’re looking for quality garden, woodworking or cooking implements, Lee Valley Tools @ Veritas (800) 267 8767, is a great place to shop. Perusing their holiday catalog is great entertainment and they have useful stocking stuffers for all ages that actually fit in a Christmas stocking. Order deadline using economy shipping is December 17th.


A.M. Leonard’s Gardener’s Edge catalog (888)-556-5676 is a treasure trove of useful goodies for gardeners of all levels. My pick of the crop is a gadget that transforms a smartphone into a 60x microscope (#AEM60C) using the camera app.  It’s perfect for identifying pests and diseases on plants and photographing them for sending or future reference. And, it’s under $10. Order deadline using economy shipping is December 17th.

Gift cards are available for all these websites on-line. For those who like to give packages to open, the gift card can be included in a beautifully wrapped box filled with home made holiday cookies or specialty edibles, like chocolate truffles, that provide immediate gratification. Yum!  

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Fridays in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at detroitnewscom/homestyle.