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Monday, December 14, 2009

9 Places to Shop for Alameda Gardeners Without Leaving the Island

I hate to say this but there are only six more shopping days until Christmas. If you're feeling the time crunch, I can offer you one big tip for saving time while you shop: Don't leave the island! Although I often hear Alamedans (mostly newbies) complain about the shopping options here, there really are some great places to find what you need, especially if you're shopping for gardeners. Check out these spots for gifts, gear, and goodies for the Alameda Gardener on your list:
  1. Encinal Nursery: In addition to the usual plant selection, Encinal Nursery is well-stocked with Christmas trees (including living trees in pots), wreaths, garlands and other greenery. They also have bulbs still in stock, ivy topiaries, and some nice bonsai plants.
  2. Thomsen's Garden Center: You'll always find a great plant selection here, but they also carry lots of great garden ornaments and pots. They still have some bulbs in stock as well as seed potatoes (something not many of the local nurseries seem to carry). While you're there, stop upstairs at Vines cafe and gift shop, where you'll find great gift-y things and excellent lattes.
  3. Ploughshares Nursery: In addition to knowing that you're supporting a great nursery that helps train and put people back to work, Ploughshares is a good place to find California natives. Right now they also have a large selection of fruit trees and citrus trees from Four Winds (talk about a gift that keeps on giving!), as well as lots of plants on sale for 50-75% off. Note: Ploughshares is open this weekend and probably only half a day on Wednesday before the holidays, so shop early!)
  4. Japan Woodworker: Shop here if you want to find the kind of gardening tools that make gardeners drool. They have amazing gardening tools from Japan at reasonable prices. You'll find everything you'd need for aesthetic pruning, or just some cool gear that will make you feel like you know what you're doing.
  5. Pagano's Hardware: This is the place to find the more pedestrian but nevertheless essential garden tools, some garden ornaments, and fertilizers. A gift card for Pagano's would bring a smile to any gardener's face.
  6. Books Inc.: Although there isn't an extensive selection of garden books at this otherwise terrific bookstore, they do carry some titles specifically related to gardening in the Bay Area and Northern California. Definitely worth a look.
  7. Wilmott's Books: This used bookstore is the real deal and they stock a good variety of gardening books, from the practical to the literary. Stop by for a good browse.
  8. Urban Forest: Follow the stream of bubbles into this little shop on Park Street to find a wide array of wind chimes, as well as some very cool fountains and garden ornaments.
  9. See's Candies: This one's self-explanatory.
Happy shopping!

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2 comments:

Jonson said...

I follow your blog for a long time and must tell you that your posts always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers. Keep it up.

Claire Splan said...

Thanks, Jonson! I hope you'll keep checking back.

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