Win Stocking Stuffers for Gardeners

by Seasonal Wisdom on December 19, 2011

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Sponsored Post: Enter to win great little gifts for your favorite gardener (or yourself!) from aHa! Modern Living. You’ll find these fun items are perfect for stuffing into Christmas stockings this holiday season. But hurry! This giveaway lasts only one day – December 19, 2011! Photo copyright Kevin O’Connor

Want to garden more in 2012? Or, eager to get your friends and family members gardening too? These cool little prizes from aHa Modern Living will get you started this spring. As many of you know, I’ve partnered with the owner of this hip online store, Jayme Jenkins, on a seasonal home & garden podcast called Nest in Style for a couple years. The podcasts aired on Horticulture Radio. Listen to episodes at the aHa! Home and Garden blog (NIS podcasts) or on iTunes.

owner of aHa Modern LIvingJayme Jenkins, together with Billie Brownell, recently coauthored a new book called Garden Rules: The Snappy Synopsis for the Modern Gardener. This small, short and sassy paperback has many simple rules for finding satisfaction and success in your garden, especially if you’re just starting out.

Garden Rules is a bit like the CliffNotes® version of a comprehensive gardening resource. It’s the kind of book you can throw in a pocket, then pull out for a quick read when you have a second to learn something new. That’s convenient in today’s hectic world, where many people want to learn quickly about gardening without spending a lot of time studying it.

“Modern gardeners are busy people with many interests,” explains Jayme. “They just need a little help understanding the basics of how to grow plants successfully. You certainly don’t have to be a horticulturist to enjoy gardening.”

closeup Garden Rules Book

Sized just right for a stocking stuffer. Photo copyright Kevin O'Connor.

To take the fear out of gardening, the gardening book’s rules include sensible advice presented in a humorous way, such as:

  • Rule Number One: There Are No Rules
  • Make No Garden Larger Than You Can Weed
  • Hold A Dress Rehearsal Before Planting
  • Bugs: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
  • Free Mulch Falls From The Sky Every Year
  • The Bigger The Leaf, The Harder It Drinks

Along with other practical advice, readers will find a mini-glossary and botanical pronunciation guide. Pull out this small paperback when you suddenly need to know how to say the Latin name for American holly, Ilex opaca. (The correct Latin pronunciation is I-lex o-PAY-kuh, in case you were wondering.) These diverse topics are presented in simple language that beginner gardeners will appreciate, and the book is perfectly sized to fit into a Christmas stocking.

“We didn’t want people to think they needed hours of study to start their first garden,” says Jayme. “Being outside and enjoying nature is important on an emotional, physical and spiritual level.  As with many things in life, it all comes down to realizing what you can really commit time to. Is it a one-acre edible landscape? Or, a windowsill of potted culinary herbs? Both have benefits.”

In the spirit of giving, Seasonal Wisdom has partnered with Jayme and aHaModernLiving to have a whirlwind, one-day giveaway with one lucky winner receiving:

Garden Rules book photo

Garden Rules by Jayme Jenkins and Billie Brownell

  • Autographed copy of The Garden Rules: The Snappy Synopsis for the Modern Gardener ($9.95)
Garden seeds shaped like matchsticks

Matchstick Gardens from aHa! Modern Living

  • Two Matchstick Gardens. Embedded with seeds, these matchsticks are like having a portable garden in your pocket … or, your Christmas stocking.  The innovative seeds from aHa! Modern Living were recently featured in Better Homes & Gardens. Win two Matchstick Gardens: Mixed Greens (garden lettuce, radicchio and arugula seeds) and Wildflowers (cornflower, shasta daisy, corn marigold and field poppy seeds). It’s an easy way to join the green revolution, and grow your own food and flowers. ($2.50/each)

aha Modern Living logo

  • More Savings. Although absolutely NO PURCHASE IS REQUIRED to enter this random drawing, the winner will also receive a 15% discount which can be applied to his/her first order. Be sure to check out other cool gardening gifts, such as an elegant Roost Recycled Glass Wall Terrarium for winter indoor plants, or a Greenbo Planter that hangs securely on city apartment railings and fire escapes.
To Enter this Giveaway:

How To Enter: It’s easy to enter this stocking stuffer giveaway. Just do the following before midnight on December 19, 2011:

1)      Leave a comment below and tell us some of the best gardening advice you ever received from a book, friend, family member, Master Gardener, whoever, whatever. And, how has this advice served as a good gardening rule for you personally?

The winner will be chosen at random on Dec. 20, 2011 and contacted within 24 hours. If the proposed winner forfeits or does not claim the prize by Dec. 22, 2011, the prize will be re-awarded based on the sponsor’s sole discretion. All prizes will be awarded. Please provide your name and email to enter this contest, so we can contact you promptly if you win. The winner agrees to allow his/her first name to be mentioned in conjunction with this giveaway. We cannot guarantee these prizes will arrive in time for Christmas, although we’ll do our best. So, if you win, please get back to us quickly.

The number of eligible entries will determine the odds of winning. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, who are over the age of 18 years old. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO WIN. This sweepstakes is VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to these conditions.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, and books were provided at no charge. However, all expressed opinions are my own.

Please be sure to enter this giveaway before midnight on Dec. 19, 2011. Good luck everyone! Update: This giveaway is now over. The winner will be announced shortly.

On Social Media:

Jayme Jenkins on Twitter

aHa! Modern Living on Twitter and Facebook


Stacey December 19, 2011 at 7:40 am

I was given the advise by a fellow gardener to use a moisture meter (an affordable and handy little tool) to determine the best time to water. It’s taken all the guess work out of watering AND given me something to do in my garden when it’s not time to water and I’m just waiting for things to grow!

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 8:39 am

Hi Stacey: Good advice. You don’t want to waste water unnecessarily, especially when towns and cities are starting to run out of water in some areas of the United States. Typically, plants like to be watered in the morning, so they can dry off before evening. This helps prevent fungal diseases too. Good luck in the giveaway and thanks for entering! Teresa

Barbara Hobens December 19, 2011 at 8:11 am

Best advice: from a past-fellow community gardener: Watch to see the wildlife that visits your garden, find out what they need to eat and raise their young, and grow for them, too. This made such sense for me, not to rely on what nature provided them (often lacking in urban/suburban areas) but to augment every garden with some native plants.

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 8:38 am

Hi Barbara: I’m a big fan of native plants, and they really do attract a lot of wonderful pollinators to your gardens. Good luck in the giveaway.

NatraCourtney December 19, 2011 at 8:17 am

Best advice-check soil quality often!! That really helped me this year-helps avoid buying unnecessary nutrients and helps get to the root of issues-literally! :)

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 8:37 am

That’s right. It all comes down to the soil quality. Thanks for entering, and good luck!

colleen dejesus December 19, 2011 at 8:18 am

I would have to say the best advise came to me from my Mother. She told me long ago that not every plant would do well and not to take it too personally. When first starting out you always expect to see your garden looking like that perfect display you saw at the local botanical gardens. It just doesn’t work that way! Even now there are certain plants that just will not do well for me…(ranunculus)…no matter how much I love them. You get over it, you stop wasting your money but you don’t stop trying new things that catch your eye. Thanks Mom.

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

Hi Colleen: Mom really does know best! That’s great advice. It really helps to buy plants that do well in your area already, and then make sure to plant them in the proper location. Best of luck in the giveaway. Thanks for stopping by. Teresa

Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand December 19, 2011 at 9:06 am

The best advise I learned about farming and gardening and that I preach to day was handed down to me. It’s truly all about the Soil! Feed it for best results, make your own compost whenever possible and feed your soil nutrients throughout the growing season. A great garden will grow from well fed soil…

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 9:56 am

I agree, Annie. A farmer once told me, “Feed the soil and the soil will feed you.” It really is “all about the soil.” Good luck!

Lucy Lonning December 19, 2011 at 9:07 am

My sister told me to go ahead and take risks. If you really like something, try it! Don’t let people tell you something won’t work in your garden. If you like it badly enough, it’s worth a shot. Sometimes you’ll find things work in your particular space!

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 9:56 am

Good advice, Lucy. It’s always worth taking a risk. Thanks for entering. Good luck

Leslie December 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

Best advice? Grow what you like to eat! It gives you more incentive.

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 11:06 am

Leslie: Yes, why grow food you won’t enjoy? Especially, when food tastes so much better straight from the garden. Good luck and thanks for entering!

Tom Mann December 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

Fortunately, I married a Master Gardener who came with a vast array of books :) One thing I learned immediately from her was the benefit of compost in the garden. Not just that it was good, but what it actually does to and for the soil. Thanks for the contest, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 11:05 am

Tom: So true — compost is a great way to recycle garden waste and create healthier soil. And weren’t you smart to marry a Master Gardener? All the best to you both. Good luck!

Tina Coleman December 19, 2011 at 11:28 am

Best gardening advice was from my grandmother, whose garden was magical – don’t spend so much time working in the garden that you don’t have time to sit down in the midst of it and simply enjoy the sight and fragrance of it!

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 11:32 am

Tina, I love that advice. And I’ll try to implement it in my own garden. 😉 Good luck in the giveaway. Teresa

Jennie Brooks December 19, 2011 at 11:55 am

amending soil. i’ve read about it and been counseled about it. Dee Nash has helped me with that and so many other things. don’t know what i would do without her and all my other gardening gurus on FB. thanks for the opportunity to win! Merry Christmas. OH and I must share my new motto with you: Live, Garden and Learn.

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Jennie: That’s great advice. By the way, I’m friends with Dee Nash, and I’m sure Dee would be glad to know her gardening advice has helped you. Love your new motto. Good luck! P.S. For the rest of you all, learn more about Dee at

Judy Inman December 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm

The best advice I’ve had is for protecting early plantings in the garden, just prior to Spring…Cut out the bottoms of plastic milk containers (those with handles) and cover your early tomato and pepper plants in the garden by pushing the cut-out bottoms into the ground (be sure to build-up dirt around the outside containers. This will protect them from wind and late winter frosts….you can recap the tops of the containers if cold weather still persists.

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Love this idea, Judy. Thanks so much for sharing. Good luck in the drawing!

Claire December 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm

The best advice I ever received is that growing a garden takes patience. Just keep at it and you’ll reap the rewards soon enough.

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Claire, that’s a bit like life, isn’t it? 😉 Good luck with your garden, and thanks for entering this random drawing. Best regards, Teresa

Victoria December 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Probably some of the best advice for me; don’t expect perfection in your garden. Gardens change all by themselves, and most often for the better.

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Victoria, I’ll try to remember your advice. Sometimes we work so hard, we forget to just enjoy the garden that we have NOW. Good luck in the drawing! Teresa

Kerry December 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm

The more plants you kill the better gardener you will become! The only people who don’t kill plants are those that don’t have them.


Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Thanks for the advice, Kerry. Good luck in the drawing and all the best to you this holiday season. Ho ho ho. Teresa

Joey Pierce December 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I can’t narrow it to one bit of advice but Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew changed my gardening life. Until I read it I was a row gardener just like my grandmother taught me. In just one gardening season using the square foot techniques I doubled my harvest on most crops, even tripled some! This book was just the beginning of using new (to me) methods of growing. It is a must read for any gardener! Happy Holidays to All!

Teresa O'Connor December 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Thanks Joey. Good luck in the giveaway. Teresa

Connie Bolick Lee December 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Mulch, mulch, mulch! This is the advice I read and hear very often. It is some of the best advice to take, and I say that it works very well for me.

Teresa O'Connor December 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

Connie: That’s so true. Thanks for entering, and bringing up one of my personal favorite tips. Mulch does so many things. It warms the soil early in the season, and cools the soil later in the summer. Mulch saves water, and reduces weeds too. Plus, mulch even improves the soil, when you mulch with things like compost and finely shredded leaves. For those readers who like to grow roses or tomatoes, it’s very important to use a good mulch. That’s because mulch helps prevent fungal spores in the soil from splashing up on these plants. So, Connie, whoever told you about mulch gave you very good advice in my book. (One more tip about mulch, readers. Never mulch right up against the plant stem. Instead, leave a few inches between your mulch and the plant.) Good luck in the giveaway! Teresa

Betsy December 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm

All you need is water and sun! I like to heavily water my tomatoes every day, they are juicy and delicious! Merry Christmas and thank you for the chance to win a present, Teresa!

Teresa O'Connor December 20, 2011 at 9:21 am

Hi Betsy: Thanks for entering last night. Good advice! Remember to always water your tomatoes early in the day, so plants can dry before evening. It’s best to avoid watering the foliage, instead irrigating the vegetables at the roots. This helps prevent fungal diseases, and will continue to provide plants with “juicy and delicious” tomatoes. Enjoy your garden, and Merry Christmas to you too. Good luck!

Marsha March 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I am looking for heirloom seeds do you know how to get some?

Teresa O'Connor March 20, 2012 at 11:48 am

Yes, Marsha – Here are some of my favorite suppliers of heirloom seeds – Good luck! Teresa

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