The Gift of Gardening

The holiday season is back. Can you believe it? We have officially passed through spring, summer, and fall. Once again, it is time to light the candles, put up the trees, cook the meals, and buy the gifts. Every year I tell myself that I’ll start my gift search in the summertime. And every year I find myself panicked in the weeks following Thanksgiving, searching online for holiday gifts for my family members and friends. I peruse stores, check wish lists, and balance my budget. It can be a fun process, but holiday shopping is also one of the most stressful times of the year. According to surveys done by the American Psychological Association, 38 percent of people said their stress increases during the holidays. I would definitely count myself among that 38 percent. Would you?

If you, like me, struggle with holiday shopping, there might be another option. In the last couple of years, I have leaned into the idea of giving garden-themed gifts! Winter plants, winter container gardens, air plants, dish gardens, and other plants for fall and winter make wonderful gifts during the winter months. Read on for a few of my favorite winter gift ideas.

One of the best gifts I have ever received was a custom dish garden made just for me! This winter container garden was gifted to me in December, and it brought me immeasurable joy during the grey, cold days of winter. Filled with succulents, moss, and miniature accessories, this miniature winter container garden brings a little touch of the garden into my home office.

Do you have a friend, mentor, teacher, or family member in your life who could use a no-fuss miniature garden? A terrarium or dish garden is a great way to bring plants indoors. Outdoor winter container gardens are another fun option, especially for friends with patios, decks, and porches. You could even put your expertise to use and give the gift of your gardening services by working with your friend to design a winter container garden to their specifications. Deliver the garden on a sunny winter day and enjoy a cup of tea on the patio. This is starting to sound like a very merry plan, indeed!

For a no-fuss, no-mess holiday gift, consider a Bonsai plant. These graceful miniature trees brighten up any small space. A Bonsai tree in a beautiful vase is one of my go-to gifts for friends and family members. The teen and “tween” years are an especially fun time to gift a Bonsai, as younger gardeners can trim and shape the trees to give them a unique look.

I have been lucky enough to make a few friends who love to garden. But I also have plenty of friends and family members who have no interest whatsoever in large-scale, outdoor gardening. When I am thinking about plants for fall and winter that they might enjoy, I always come back to my favorite low-maintenance houseplant—the air plant. Air plants are inexpensive garden gifts that are perfect for almost anyone, thanks to their lack of neediness. Simply spritz them with water regularly and provide plenty of airflow, and air plants will thrive. They do not even need to be planted in soil!

Figurines like this Air Plant in Yoga on the Beach are a fun gift idea for yoga teachers, students, and anyone in your life who appreciates the practice of yoga. They would look great displayed alone or as a set on a desk, shelf, or windowsill. I am considering air plants, holders, and figurines for many of my loved ones. They are the perfect winter plants for homebodies and apartment-dwellers. This year, we could probably all use a little green pick-me-up to display around the house. Maybe I will “gift” one to myself as well.

Happy Gifting!

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