Take a look on Etsy when you are thinking about buying garden stuff.


, for the uninitiated, is a worldwide craft store online that gets about 5 million unique visitors a day.

You only need to go to their blog where Etsy publishes sales reports to find out what an active community it is. In April, $22 million in goods were sold for the month.

That’s some serious coin for super-creative artisans who put their products up in individual stores or “shops.” Each Etsy artist runs his or her own shop, creates product, ships and handles the billing.

To visit Etsy is to get lost in a day of browsing unique items that you would never find in retail environments. And you wonder why. There is obviously a big demand for handmade, and you’d think retailers would catch on to the concept.

If you go to Etsy.com you’ll likely get off the beaten garden path almost immediately and find yourself browsing endless categories of goodies.

If you are single-minded in your pursuit, you can find garden-related shops by logging on to Etsy.com, clicking on Housewares, clicking on Outdoors, and then further clicking on Garden Decor, Lawn Ornaments, Planters and more.

What I love most about Etsy is that the majority of the items are made in America — creating jobs where we live, helping our economy at home. There are some European shops, but not many.

What else do I love from the Garden Decor category?

Hammered silver spoons re-imagined as plant markers. San Diego artisan Allison Cecil managed to quit her day job and realize her dream of hammering out art, walking her Great Danes and catching “Oprah” in the middle of the day. monkeysalwayslook.etsy.com

Stained glass window ornament made by a nurse in Boston who crafts on the side. etsy.com/shop/pinky98

Andrews Reclaimed is a husband and wife team from Seattle doing a brisk business in bee houses, bird feeders, hanging planters and compost sifters all made from recycled old growth cedar. etsy.com/shop/andrewsreclaimed

Florida artist Natalie Bowman does some really beautiful things with gourds grown in Georgia. etsy.com/shop/natskreations

Historical products is a father/daughter team from Texas who make sturdy hose guards and plant stakes with a royal flair. etsy.com/shop/historicalproducts

Sewer Kelly McCants from Virginia has been in front of a sewing machine for 27 years and recently creates with oilcloth. If you used to love oilcloth but forgot all about it, you can jump back in at etsy.com/shop/modernjune

The Kansas City crafter at Blithe Gardens uses moss and lichens in her handmade terrariums and will gladly take custom orders. etsy.com/shop/blithegardens

And there’s more, lots more. Etsy.com.