Gardening Tips: November 28, 2012
Holiday Gifts for Gardeners
I hope you survived Black Friday or even Black Thursday this year without going broke buying “bargains.” Holiday gift shopping may be a joy for some people but for others it is pure torture! Some of us are just not that good at picking out gifts that will be appreciated. Fortunately almost 75 percent of the households in this country participate in some sort of gardening activity so the following suggestions might make your task a bit easier this year.
Begin by visiting a local greenhouse or garden center. You will immediately see many beautiful plants that have been grown just for the purpose of being a gift. Colorful Poinsettias in all shades of red, pink, white and even yellow are available at prices ranging from a few dollars to 40 or $50 for a truly spectacular plant. Besides Poinsettias, flowering cyclamen, gardenias, chrysanthemums, Paperwhite narcissus, spring bulbs such as daffodils and tulips and a few other flowering plants may be enjoyed and then discarded without guilt a few weeks after the holidays.
Other flowering plants may become more or less permanent additions to the household. Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti make wonderful, long-lived houseplants as do Amaryllis bulbs.
Knowledgeable indoor gardeners will appreciate a beautiful orchid, African violet, streptocarpus, miniature rose or gloxinia. Seed packets also make nice stocking stuffers. If your home is too small for a regular Xmas tree a living Norfolk Island Pine or mini spruce tree makes a nice substitute. Fragrant wreaths or table decorations or door swags made from fresh greens add a festive touch to any household. Of course don’t forget the holly and mistletoe! It is interesting to note that mistletoe berries are poisonous so the mistletoe packages you see for sale often have real leaves but plastic white berries.
Gardeners love gadgets so fancy watering cans, atomizers, decorative planters, good gardening gloves and pot markers are a good choice. Decorative “Gro Lights” heated cables or pads, special fertilizers and high quality hand tools will be appreciated. If your friends like to cook, consider a herbal wreath or a braid of garlic or chili peppers. Sachets of sweet smelling potpourri, concentrated oils to make your own potpourri, dried herbs or other dried flower arrangements are popular gifts.
Weather devices such as indoor/outdoor thermometers, minimum/maximum thermometers, complete indoor-computerized weather stations, compost or soil thermometers, rain gauges, wind socks, weathervanes are sure to please gardeners.
Garden books are always welcome especially if the gardener has a special interest in a particular type of plant.