First and foremost, shop locally for your colorful holiday plants. Our Saratoga County nurseries offer a wide array of houseplants you can choose from to create your one of a kind gift that will last for many months/years after the 2014 decorations are tucked away. My two favorites plants for this year are the Norfolk Pine and Traditional Christmas Cactus. They provide much needed texture and life to the myriad of artificial decorations in the home.
When giving these living gifts…do not assume the recipient is familiar with the plant care. The best gift you can give a non-gardener is taking some time to research and generate plant care practices. Print it out creatively on an attachment card. I took it a step further this year and added additional best practice care elements like pea stone and slow drips to give my friends a jump start. Not only is it a great help for beginning care…it can be a unique addition to your packaging.
I also applied my passion for the art of “upcycling” this year. Recently I came across some old dusty Christmas dinnerware, no longer a “dinnerware set” due to years of breakage and pottery chips, memories of Christmas pasts. These languished in a box down my basement. So I “re-purposed” these as the decorative containers for my plant gifts. What character they added! The sparkly red wrapping fabric I found left over from floral arrangements I did for my daughter’s wedding this past autumn.
Using living plants, and pieces of memories/events re-purposed can truly make for a meaningful yet inexpensive holiday gift. So as national retailers scream for your attention this time of year, take a moment to consider gifts that sustain: shop local, upcycle, give a living thing, and share your personal garden passion and memories with the folks you care about this season of giving!