Some ideas for last minute Christmas Gifts with a gardening theme from Cathie’s Gardening School, Secretts Garden Centre, Milford.
It’s that time of year again when all the kids want expensive gadgets and we are wondering what to buy for our friends and family members who seem to have everything they need already!
Why not choose something gardening related?
As well as the Poinsettias that appear in their thousands every year there are so many other beautiful houseplants to adorn the Christmas table. Poinsettias come in many shapes and sizes as well as colours now but can be quite temperamental as they don’t like cold temperatures or drafts. Often taking them from the garden centre to the car can be enough to make it drop all it’s leaves!
Amaryllis bulbs make a lovely present and have a spectacular flower. You can buy them as a bulb, planted bulb or why not choose a lovely planter to make it a special gift. They can be kept every year but need some drastic treatment to get them to flower again. I treat myself to new ones each year and let the growers do the work, it’s well worth it.
Cyclamen abound at this time of the year but they generally don’t like centrally heated rooms so try and choose somewhere light, cool and don’t over water!
Christmas cacti come in a range of colours and are sensitive to day length so they naturally flower around now and again in the Spring. They do like a warm light spot and not much water and can last a long time, they are also easy to propagate from cuttings.
There are lots of planted baskets and containers to choose from with flowering plants and foliage plants in every colour.
There are some lovely plants to brighten up the garden in the depths of winter.
Hamamellis mollis or witchhazel is a delight in the garden and makes a fabulous gift for the gardener who has everything. They do make quite large trees ultimately though!
There are early flowering Camellias and Rhododendrons which need acid soil so if you are giving them as a gift make sure you pot them up in ericaceous compost.
Skimmias are fabulous with their array of berries and/or flowers. One of the nicest is ‘Reevesiana’ or ‘Red Riding Hood’ which have red berries all winter and ‘Rubella’ which has red buds as it is male which open up to white flowers in the Spring.
Callicarpa is something of an oddity with purple berries. They look wonderful in a container with purple and white Violas.
Hellebores are an excellent garden plant for shade but also look lovely grouped together in a tall container or even a hanging basket if the flowers are looking down!
There are mixed planted pots which have been filled with plants that will keep going throughout the winter months and make a welcome gift.
There are vouchers available for all plants and sundries if you would rather your recipient made their own choices.
Why not buy Cathie for half a day to advise a family member or friend in their own garden? Cathie can discuss planting design, name your plants, teach you how to prune and anything else you may need help or advise on in the garden. The cost is £150 for half a day and the voucher lasts a whole year and the benefits last forever!
There are also e-vouchers for garden makeovers, workshops and courses so why not ask for a bespoke and unique gift available right up to and including Christmas eve!?
If you want to learn more about gardening there are regular workshops and taster sessions at the Gardening School available for everyone!