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For The Garden

December 2012 Picks for the Gardener

Author: Nancy Erdmann
Issue: December, 2012, Page 107

DISH IT UPThese Southwest-inspired Agave Leaf dishes by Scottsdale ceramicist Jim Sudal make ideal holiday gifts. Made from stoneware clay, glazed, then high-fired, each piece is hand-sculpted, so no two are exactly alike. They are food- and oven-safe, available in 12" and 22" lengths and signed and dated by the artist. Find them at Jim Sudal Ceramic Design, Scottsdale, (480) 947-2254.

If you like to watch birds enjoy snacks from feeders but find yourself missing most of the show when you’re away, a high-tech device now lets you select your viewing times. Powered by four AA batteries, the programmable AutoFeeder dispenses seed up to four times a day. The gallon-size container holds enough birdseed to last for weeks. It also comes equipped with a squirrel-resistant baffle. To order, log on to
COVER UPThe Cadillac of outdoor umbrellas, the Alfresco365 not only looks good, it can be decked to the nines with all sorts of bells and whistles. From built-in misting and heating to lighting and sound systems, the UV-treated umbrella may be custom-designed to fit the architecture of any home. Available in various materials, sizes and shapes, it can be ordered through MistAMERICA Corp., Scottsdale, (602) 255-0500.

Cold-Weather CactiAlthough cacti usually bring to mind images of arid deserts, they actually can be grown almost anywhere, says Leo J. Chance, author of Cacti & Succulents for Cold Climate: 274 Outstanding Species for Challenging Conditions. Chance provides tips from regional experts, as well as descriptions on how to prepare planting beds, protect plants in winter and maintain them long-term. His book makes a good case for growing these plants, no matter where you live.  —Valerie Slade

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