Christmas For Gardeners
A few weeks ago, I received one of those forwarded messages, the sort of thing we all dread finding in our Inbox. If I ever get another one of those things that tells me how wonderful I am, how needed and how ‘special’ I am, I think I will gag. And don’t ever think I’ll “forward it to ten women that I think are special” too! (Sorry to any friends who have done this to me, but just tell me to my face that you love me, not in something you send to your entire mailing list.)
However, this one made me sit up and think, because first of all, it didn’t wax eloquent about my positive attributes. It was about starting a new Christmas tradition that entailed giving the gift of either your own time, or that of a local merchant or service provider, bought and paid for with your own locally earned dollars.
It led me to think of ways we gardeners can give to each other, whether to fully grown tillers of the soil, or the little ones just cutting their shovel blades on their very first plot.
As a person who loves my garden but rarely has enough time to accomplish the magnificence that dwells only in my head, I know that I would love to receive a gift certificate for labour. There are many young landscapers starting out who would appreciate the business as well, so a call to Glendale Gardens might lead to a match made in heaven; hire one of the graduates for a few hours to help your favourite gardener with Spring cleanup.
How about hiring the boy down the street to cut the lawn for your good friend who works all the time?
Be honest now, can you imagine a more thrilling gift than a truckload of really good soil, rock, or that delicious triple mix of soil/compost/manure? Be still my beating heart…
A photo of a vegetable garden, and a promise to “Help you plant your vegetables” perhaps with a gift certificate for the seeds would be a gift that keeps on giving, all year long.
If you can splurge on a special gift that really would make a lifelong difference to anyone who wants to grow vegetables, I can’t think of anything more wonderful than Linda Gilkeson’s class Year Around Harvest, at Glendale Gardens. If this is a bit beyond your budget, then Linda’s book Backyard Bounty would be the next best thing, and it’s available at the nursery.
If Mom or Dad loves roses (or Japanese Maples, or whatever), how about a gift certificate (to Russell Nursery, of course) for one of the chosen favourites with the best part being that you will help plant the gift.
Are you good at photography? How about pictures of your loved one’s garden? One of my daughters-in-law took seasonal pictures of flowers in my garden one year and framed them into four separate collections, one for each season. It is still one of my most treasured possessions.
If the gardener on your gift list happens to be a wee one, perhaps starting them out with a selection of easy seeds, hand tools, garden gloves, and their very own little plot of garden space, would spark a life-long love that will never be forgotten. You can’t imagine how often we hear gardeners of all ages talk about what their grandparents taught them early on in their gardening lives. What one package of sunflower seeds can lead to…
Many little girls are enchanted with fairies. A “fairy garden” either in a container or planted in a secret corner of your yard, is pure magic. Wondrous things can be imagined with just the right tiny accessories, plants with “fairy” in their name, flowers that invite the fairies to alight. Create a special place for the two of you to make memories that will endure forever.
We all wish you a very happy Christmas; may you give and receive the warm gifts of time, growth, and good gardening…and not too many of those sappy emails!