Home: Christmas gifts for gardeners

It doesn’t take a lot of money or time to give a thoughtful gift.

Christmas fairy garden and a Princettia poinsettia.

Gift giving is a personal act to me, because unless one puts some thought into the exchange, then it’s just going through the motions.

There is a lot of this at Christmas, which is why the stores are filled with frivolous, generic offerings – things to be opened and soon forgotten.

Yet it doesn’t take a lot of money or time to give a thoughtful gift.

I remember Christmas shopping for my rather grumpy grandfather back when I was 10 years old and had a $1.25 to my name.

Here was a man who already had every possible tool and widget he could possibly want, so I decided to buy him his favourite thing to eat – black olives.

My mom almost made me bring the can back to the store, but my dad said: “Let the boy choose his own gifts.

And so it was carefully wrapped and placed under the tree.

The smile on my grandfather’s face when he unwrapped his gift on Christmas morning was only surpassed by the pride I felt when he opened it up on the spot and ate every last one of them (good thing it was a small tin) in front of everyone, which taught me an important life lesson: gifts should be personal.

Gardeners, in general, are no different than my grandfather: some of them can be difficult to please, but when confronted by even the smallest of thoughtful gifts, they often succumb to the honest gesture of love or friendship.

Those with a wry sense of humour will appreciate Beverley Nichols’ Down the Garden Path (reprinted by Timber Press), a riotous account of a ramshackle garden estate and its new owner, written with such deadpan insight to put one in mind of our own Des Kennedy.

Next on the list is something new in amaryllis: self-contained waxed bulbs that require no watering and come with their own stand.

The bulbs essentially flower on stored energy and need only a well-lit location, so there is no need for messy soil or watering, making it an ideal gift for people in nursing homes or those with limited mobility.

For the pink-lovers in your family, there is the new Princettia poinsettias, which have unabashedly embraced this once taboo Christmas colour.

Now those wearers of pink toques, scarves and ski jackets will have a house plant to proudly proclaim their favourite hue when they get home and take off their bold colour statements.

These poinsettias are no different than their red and white counterparts, except they seem to be a little more compact in nature.

Last on my list of gift ideas for gardeners are Christmas-themed fairy gardens, which are a favourite of both boys and girls.

This is one trend that I thought would have run its course a few years back, but still seems to be going strong, expanding into seasonal themes such as Halloween and Christmas.

Any small, shallow container can be used for planting (although many custom-made planters exist) with your choices for features or figurines being endless, including elves, reindeer, Santa, North Pole signs, sleighs and little workshops that actually light-up.

Add a few small houseplants for colour and you’ve got your own little world to take care of which becomes a winter wonderland with a light top-dressing of white gravel.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to garden-related gifts, and by way of example, I always give Matt, my old nursery assistant, an unusual beer that neither of us has tasted (last year’s was a maple-bacon brew), just to keep his palate on its toes.

 

Mike Lascelle is a local nursery manager and gardening author (hebe_acer@hotmail.com).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media files)
Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie Seniors Network keeps elders informed on how to vote

Rides to polling stations hard to come by, but many long term care homes have stations set up within

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows candidates engaged in an online debate on the environment. (Facebook)
Parties promise improvements to Golden Ears Park

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows candidates debate environmental issues

If you didn’t vote by mail, or at the advance polls, we hope you get out Saturday to cast your ballot in the 2020 provincial election. (Black Press Media files)
OUR VIEWS: Get out (or not) to vote

The B.C. election is happening on Saturday, Oct. 24. Please make sure to cast your ballot.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows’ NDP incumbent Lisa Beare, believes Reese Witherspoon – seen here in the series “The Morning Show,” could best play her on the big screen. (Special to The News Apple TV+/TNS)
Maple Ridge candidates cast themselves in dramatic comedies

ELECTION LEVITY: MLA hopefuls reveal who should play them on the silver screen

The Jolly Coachman Pub in Pitt Meadows will be closed until Oct. 30 due to a case of COVID-19. (Google)
Pitt Meadows pub stays closed after COVID-19 case

Fraser Health advises patrons to self monitor for symptoms

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read