Best and Worst Garden Gifts: Part Four

Tovah Martin: Photo: Susan Johann

Here’s well-known horticulturalist – and lecturer – and writer – and great friend, Tovah Martin, with her best and worst garden gifts.

Remember, we not only welcome your comments, we embrace them!


  • A massive, lingering bear hug before lecturing from Roger Swain.
  • A friend offered to help move an overgrown shrub and then arrived the following spring to make good on his promise (without even being reminded) when the weather was perfect for the deed.
  • A friend sent a really good photograph of a gorgeous garden I visited the previous summer.
  • Someone left an anonymous gift of Atlas Grip XS gloves on my doorstep, I’ve been addicted ever since – thank you, whoever you are.
  • When I drooled over a double red poppy, the garden owner sent an envelope filled with seeds, progeny from that plant.  Proving again that drooling in public has its rewards.


  • Paperwhites – the “scent” is nauseating.
  • Gloves with no fingers. Go figure…
  • Years ago, someone gave me a set of children’s tools.  I confess, I was insulted.  Never got over it.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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7 Responses to Best and Worst Garden Gifts: Part Four

  1. Wendy says:

    the children’s tools? how funny and bizarre?!


  2. Peg says:

    I really have to agree about the paperwhites. So pretty… but I can’t get within 10 feet of them indoors!


    • dirtynailz says:

      Check my earlier reply re paperwhites and look into “Wintersun” which I am growing this year. It has just the faintest of scents – not even noticeable unless you stick you nose right into it.


  3. dirtynailz says:

    I don’t mind the smell of paperwhites, but my husband hates it. Actually, I solved the problem by buying a new cultivar this year. It is called “wintersun” and it does not have a strong scent. It’s cream colored and quite pretty. I think this might very well be the answer I’ve been searching for.


  4. HerbDoc says:

    When my family complained about the scent of the white variety (I think it smells like acetone), I switched to Grand Soleil d’Or a few years ago; it is a totally yellow variety with the fragrance of sweet, slighty musky orange juice.


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