From the Desk of Ed Hume: Living Gifts for Christmas

December 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM Leave a comment

With Christmas just around the corner, are you having a hard time finding a gift for someone on your gift list?  What about a living gift?  I’m not talking about a dog or a cat or any pet (although they do make great gifts for some people).  I am talking about a living plant.

A living plant is a gift that keeps giving, one that grows in both sentimental value as well as size and dollar value.  Another benefit is that plants come in various sizes and prices, so it should be quite easy to find one that will fit most any budget.  Just think: if that person on your gift list is a new home owner, what would be better than a nice outdoor Winter-flowering plant, an outdoor container planting, a houseplant, or even an indoor flowering pot plant?  If the person lives in an apartment or rest home, a flowering houseplant, foliage plant, or cut flowers can make ideal holiday gifts.  Let me give you a few ideas on shrubs and trees that would make ideal gifts for the homeowner:

Winter-flowering Heather: There are well over a dozen varieties of heather that flower during the Winter.  Some of them even flower for almost six months.  I think they make wonderful gifts, and the plants are usually available in containers from 4 inch pots up to 2 gallon containers, so there’s a size to fit practically any budget.

Sasanqua Winter-flowering Camellias: Another good choice because of the flower color they provide at this time of year.  There are a whole bunch of different varieties with flowers in shades of pink, rose, red, and white.  Their dark, glossy green leaves make a nice background for the showy flowers.

Helleborus:  There are dozens of varieties that have single, semi-double, or double flowers.  This perennial is a nice outdoor plant to use in a container by the entryway or in a semi-shady part of the garden.

Viburnum tinus (commonly called “Laurestinus“): This is one of my favorite plants for Christmas giving.  It is evergreen and is covered with clusters of cream-to-shell pink flowers.  They start flowering in October and finish their flowering in about late April.  There are several different varieties, some of which grow taller than others.

Gosh, I could go on and on, but here are a few other plants that don’t bloom now but are still considered garden favorites:

Japanese lace leaf Maples that have red or green leaves, Blue Spruce with their gorgeous silver blue needles, Magnolias with their showy spring blossoms, Rhododendrons with their bold foliage and color blossoms, or even some fruit trees; citrus trees, berry plants such as blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, and more.  The list goes on and on!

If you’re sending the gift by mail, look for lightweight gifts.  Some perfect options are flower seeds, vegetable seeds, bulbs, roots, or tubers.

Living gifts are truly a great economical-yet-sentimental Christmas gift idea.  Go to for other living gift ideas.


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Podcast Mondays: Living Gifts for Christmas Clip of the Week: Living Gifts for Christmas

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