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The Blog: Let's Talk Gardening

Give the Unexpected

THOUGHTFUL LIVING GIFTS

Christmas is just days away and it’s no secret that plants and flowers are a big part of season. Everyone knows that holiday plants make festive holiday gifts. Poinsettias, Amaryllis and Paperwhites all come to mind, coloring the season with their traditional holiday hues. And yes, the holidays are all about tradition and that's part of the reason we love them. But why not think outside of the box this year and consider a living gift that can be enjoyed during the holidays and beyond? And don’t just limit your gift-giving choices to indoor plants. There are plenty of wonderful, lasting outdoor plants that can be enjoyed once the spring and summer months roll around. The choices are infinite, so get out gift giving rut and give an unexpected living gift. Here are few of unique gifts to consider...

KITCHEN HERB GARDEN – Growing your own herbs is a rewarding and efficient way to making it easy to harvest fresh herbs for cooking all year long. Herbs such as basil, mint, thyme, rosemary and oregano are just few examples of hardy and attractive pot herbs which can add a spot of fresh green indoors all winter long. Keep in pots indoors or transfer to the garden once the weather warms ups. Tuck one of these robust herbs in a sisal or decorative pot, and you’ll be sure to spice up someone’s holiday!

JEANS DILLY SPRUCE – This refined version of the popular Dwarf Alberta Spruce has short green needles that turn a cheery light green to welcome spring and remain green all throughout the winter! Jean Dilly has distinctive and refined pyramidal form, which lends a delicate texture to any landscape. A relatively low maintenance shrub, however, when pruning is needed, only trim back the new growth of the current season. Prefers full to partial shade. Its perfect shape, slow growth, lovely texture and color, combine to create an extraordinary little plant that never outgrows its place in the garden.

ORCHIDS – Whether a gift for another or a treat for yourself, orchids will captivate and add elegance to any setting. Moth orchids, also known as Phalaeonopsis, are some of the least expensive and longest-blooming orchids available. In fact, one bloom spike can look great for four months or more. Color range includes whites, pinks and blues. Orchids are surprisingly easy to grow. In the right setup at home they can be extremely low maintenance. Be sure to give them a spot in low, medium, or bright light and water weekly or every other week. Promote more and larger blooms by feeding moth orchids monthly with a fertilizer formulated specifically for orchids. Plants do best in temperatures from 50 to 75F.

YULETIDE CAMELLIA – This wintertime classic will bring warm, red flowers and elegant green leaves to your holiday decoration and will add beauty to your garden for many years to come. With single, vibrant, red blooms this evergreen is a beautiful addition to the winter garden. Blossoms poop against glossy, dark green foliage. A moderate grower, this shrub will grow to approximately 8-10 feet tall creating an stunning evergreen background. Extremely drought tolerant, once established - this shrub can handle most any conditions Mother Nature throws at it! Prefers full to partial sun. The perfect choice for a colorful hedge or screen, border shrub, or simply placed to add a pop of color to outdoor living spaces.

HELLEBORE – This hardy perennial offers beautiful blooms all through the dreary days of winter and into early spring. Also called the Christmas Rose or Lenten Rose, bloom time often coincides with the Christmas holidays. This evergreen, features blooms with five petals, cup-shaped flowers. The foliage is dark green, offering a beautiful back drop. Available in a variety of colors from white to pastel yellow to pink and purple, this intriguing perennial is without a doubt the star of the winter landscape. And, throughout the summer the deep green foliage creates visual depth and interest in the landscape too. This low maintenance plant is drought tolerance, although it thrives in moist but well-drained soil. And did we mention hellebore are deer resistant too! Not only will they grace your table with beautiful cut flowers, they'll provide color in your landscape at a time when there virtually is none.