SOME BLOOMING GREAT GIFT IDEAS

THE GREEN THUMB IN YOUR LIFE WILL AP­PRE­CI­ATE A THOUGHT­FUL GIFT FOR THE GAR­DEN OR OUT­DOOR SPACE

The Queensland Times - - WEEKEND - GREEN THUMB WORDS: MA­REE CUR­RAN

Gar­den cen­tres are al­ways re­lax­ing places to visit. At Christ­mas time the con­trast be­tween a lovely nurs­ery and a large busy shop­ping cen­tre is quite stark. I know where I would rather be do­ing my Christ­mas shop­ping.

Most gar­den cen­tres have lots of gift ideas, for gar­den­ers and non-gar­den­ers.

Fruit trees are al­ways pop­u­lar, with citrus per­haps the most pop­u­lar of all. Dwarf va­ri­eties are good for smaller gar­dens and for pots.

Small fruit­ing plants such as blue­ber­ries, rasp­ber­ries, pas­sion­fruit and pa­paws are also much ap­pre­ci­ated. Olives, figs, mul­ber­ries and man­goes are suit­able for those with room to ac­com­mo­date a larger tree.

Most peo­ple love to have fresh herbs for the kitchen, even if they don’t have a gar­den, so why not put to­gether a potted herb gar­den con­tain­ing a se­lec­tion of their favourites? You could do this your­self, or you should be able to find one al­ready made up.

For the flower lovers there are lots of op­tions. Potted or­chids, bromeli­ads and an­thuri­ums will grace any room or shady out­door area for months to come. The red poin­set­tia is a clas­sic Christ­mas plant and makes a great ta­ble dec­o­ra­tion.

Potted colour is great for those oc­ca­sions when you want to give a lit­tle some­thing with­out go­ing over­board. Add some pretty wrap­ping, or a sim­ple pot, and you’ll have a lovely gift that won’t break the bank.

Bon­sai and car­niv­o­rous plants (like venus fly traps) are also ex­cel­lent gifts. Air plants (tilland­sias) and suc­cu­lents are very pop­u­lar and lend them­selves to some re­ally cre­ative dec­o­rat­ing ideas.

If the whole plant thing is a bit scary you could check out the gar­den or­na­ments and other ac­ces­sories. Beau­ti­ful tools are al­ways pop­u­lar.

“In­sect ho­tels” pro­vide a home for ben­e­fi­cial in­sects like lacewings, soli­tary bees and hov­er­flies in a gar­den. Got a gar­den­ing ques­tion? Email ma­[email protected]­nat­by­ron.com.au

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