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Nature-based Gifts

December 17, 2018
A membership to the Denver Botanic Gardens is among many gift ideas that will please the gardening and plant aficionado on your holiday list.
A membership to the Denver Botanic Gardens is among many gift ideas that will please the gardening and plant aficionado on your holiday list.

Do you need gift ideas for the gardener or nature lover in your life? A couple of years ago, I wrote about gifts that gardeners can use. Items like pruners, spades, and scissors always come in handy, as well as a tool caddy, knee pads, and twine

Last year, I switched my perspective a bit, because personally I didn’t need any more garden tools, seed packets, journals or calendars. My bright idea at that time was to make a garden-related craft to be given as a gift. We talked about making bush critters, sun catcher wind chimes, seed mosaic art and leaf rubbings. I also mentioned that getting together with friends and family to create these items could be a gift in itself -— an idea I still cherish.

As with all of us, my view on the season has changed yet again. This year, I would be delighted to receive anything that does not require much effort on my part. Or, something that does not remind me of the amount of work that will be staring me in the face come spring. So, please, no pruners for me this year.

A low-maintenance and perhaps slightly exotic looking house plant is something I would absolutely adore. An amaryllis comes to mind. You can purchase bulbs already potted in beautiful containers ready to go. This is a gift that will keep giving. The recipient gets to watch the plant grow, and then bloom six to ten weeks after planting.

Or, who doesn’t love the scent of lavender? This is a beautiful, delicate-looking plant. It may not be entirely happy indoors for the long haul, but if you place it near a southern-facing sunny window, it should last until spring. This gift also keeps giving because you can transplant it outdoors when the weather warms up.

Other plant ideas include bamboo and a wide variety of herbs. I like the idea of growing bamboo indoors, especially a lucky one to ring in the new year.

What about non-plant ideas? An adult botanical coloring book sounds like loads of fun to me. No work or maintenance at all required with this one. Or how about a membership to the Denver Botanic Gardens?

Could your friend use a macramé plant hanger? The ones made from jute have a nice, earthy texture. You could make your own or purchase one.

I like to bring nature indoors, so anything made from wood would tickle me pink. I’m thinking a wooden vase, keepsake box, sculpture or wall art.

This time of year, I have to remind myself that winter won’t last forever. Bringing a little nature indoors can be most helpful during these short days. Nature has a way of providing us with some fabulous gifts. And, having nature nearby has been proven to be beneficial both psychologically and emotionally.

Kelley Rawlsky has an M.S. in horticulture and is the director of Bringing People and Plants Together, an organization dedicated to bringing horticulture education and therapy to the community. For more information: PeopleAndPlantsTogether @gmail.com or follow us on Facebook.

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