All set for poinsettia gifts
Go green this season, and celebrate with healthy natural gifts for the family
HAVE you got a gardening enthusiast in your family, and are you looking for gift ideas? Go green this Christmas, and avoid the crowds at the malls this festive season, heading rather for your local garden centre.
“We have some sizzling festive gift ideas to suit all pockets,” says Nick Stodel from Stodels Nurseries.
“Whether it’s for you or your kids, garden centres have a range of great green ideas for shoppers.” Consider his ideas: ● Indoor plants: These are colourful and popular. Anything with a hint of colour in the flowers, leaves or branches will fit the bill. Think of gerberas, chrysanthemums, begonias, anthuriums and amaryllis. Green is also a winner at this time of year, so take a look at the love palms, ficus plants and ferns. Add a little gold ribbon and you have a wonderfully festive gift.
● Christmas flowers: The beautiful, red-flowering poinsettia or Christmas flower has always been the most popular indoor plant gift for the festive season. Potted and ready for the table, poinsettias will last throughout the festive season. They are grown in greenhouses to make them flower in December. When planted in the garden, they will revert to flowering in midwinter.
● Colour for the garden: Fuchsias, hydrangeas and roses are all must-haves. Revel in the variety of colours and forms, and you will certainly find many a gift idea among these beauties. Indigenous plants are also highly regarded as gifts. They send an eco-friendly, waterwise message.
● Seeds: If you are working on a reduced budget, consider giving a seed pack. There is a host of seed packs, both for flowering plants and vegetables. The new Patio Vegetable seed range from BallStraathof has been specially created for container gardening. It includes three different cherry tomatoes for hanging baskets, a compact vine cucumber, baby sweet peppers, and Simply Herb pots consisting of dill, parsley, thyme or sage.
● Herbs: Consider a planter for a sunny windowsill in the kitchen so that you can snip what you need as you cook. Look out for a potted basil, parsley or thyme. You can also consider a miniature greenhouse – the complete kit for planting herbs. The kit includes seed for parsley, chives and basil, as well as tins for planting and growing tips. Both are great gifts for beginners and experienced gardeners alike.
● Bonsai: The gift of living art is a glorious idea. Consider a potted ginseng ficus bonsai as a perfect gift. It’s ideal for first-timers or newcomers to the world of bonsai growing. This little pot-bellied tree is especially suited to anyone looking to start a hobby in the world of bonsai. Considered the beginner’s bonsai, it does very well indoors, provided it is away from excessive light and watered moderately.
● Gardening accessories: For the true enthusiasts, the list of gift ideas beyond plants is endless. Take a look in your loved one’s tool shed before heading out to shop, or try a starter kits for pet lovers.
Once you arrive at your garden centre, look out for attractive pots, baskets, shears, watering cans, digging and planting tools, gloves and gumboots, kneeling pads, weedeaters, sprayers, hedge clippers, a water feature, wind chime, statue, bench, bird bath or even candle holders for night lights.
● For the birds. Attracting birds to your garden is an enormously rewarding pastime and there are a number of gifts that will help someone to set up a bird paradise. Consider a range of wooden bird feeders, wild bird seed in the shape of apples or Christmas trees, or a specialist nectar feeder that will attract sunbirds.
● Something fishy for the kids: “The Daro Goldfish starter kit includes mixed gravel and everything you need to set up on Christmas morning. Fish are beautiful, peaceful and mesmerising. An added bonus is they don’t bark and you don’t need a house sitter when you go away,” Stodel quips.
“Goldfish are perfect lowmaintenance pets, and setting up ‘home’ for Goldie is particularly fun for creative kids. Not to mention the fact that they can make a little pocket money by breeding them. Buying your child a goldfish as a pet also instils a sense of responsibility as they learn that animals need loving care and attention,” he adds.
For something more elaborate, “invest in a fashionable fish tank kit with all the accessories, so Nemo and his slightly more exotic mates can live happily in your home”.
“Remember, fish tanks are soothing and the festive season can be stressful, so not only are they the perfect gift for your child, but for yourself. Watching the fish reduces anxiety and lowers blood pressure while you relax at home.”
● Gardening 101: An informative book on gardening is the perfect festive season gift. Take your pick from a range of best-loved gardening books: Organic Gardening, The Garden Planner, Small Space Gardening, The Gardener’s Year and Practical Gardening, or a book on bonsai.
● Gardeners Greenhouse: Get your children interested in creating a garden of their own with the Gardeners Greenhouse, a wooden greenhouse-to-assemble pack with potting soil, four packs of seeds, a rake and shovel. Everything is clearly labelled and there are easy-to-follow instructions and labels for the seeds.
● Wacky Wellies: Why not buy a pair of Wacky Wellies for your children? Gone are the days of boring green and black wellies. Mini Max gardeners boots are colourful, fun and stylish, and come with large round button eyes on the front, making them an instant hit with youngsters. The boots come in a pretty and sturdy bag for easy storage. Finally, if you are undecided, purchase a garden centre gift voucher to solve all your problems.
SPOT ON: The beautiful, red-flowering poinsettia or Christmas flower has always been the most popular indoor plant gift for the festive season.
PEACE: During the festive season, peace lilies are a heart-warming living gift.
LOVE IT: Green is a winner at this time of year, so consider a love palm, left, as one of your gifts. Above: A nectar feeder for attracting sunbirds to your garden.
WELL TOOLED: If your loved one has all the necessary gadgets for gardens, think about buying a group of hand tools.