Christmas is just a week away and we look forward to the special celebrations of faith, family and friends. Hopefully you've already got a horticulturally enriched Christmas celebration under way, blessed with the color of poinsettias, the scent and outdoors look of Christmas trees, wreaths, rope and pine cones.
Plants not only contribute to our holiday festivities and celebrations but there are many gardening gifts that hit the spot with nature lovers and gardeners. There are an almost endless number of choices from a gift of fresh flowers, a special live plant, a gift of landscaping, decorative containers or garden products.
If you know someone who loves roses, give a gift certificate for a rose bush next spring. If they dream of a new shade tree or one to replace a tree damaged by storms or drought, give a shade tree to plant now. You might even help them plant it over the holidays. If they want to expand their vegetable gardening give a basket full of vegetable seed packets or a gift certificate so they can select their own. Fruit trees, grape vines or berry plants are great choices for food gardeners.
It is hard to beat the continuing joy of a membership in the Oklahoma Horticulture Society, the Myriad Gardens Conservatory, or the plant society your friend or family member most enjoys. You could make a gift of a gardening book, horticultural magazine subscription, gardening classes, workshops or a horticultural tour or trip here in Oklahoma or even to the gardening capitals of Europe.
If your spouse or loved one has always wanted a greenhouse please consider a gift of a coldframe, shade house, hobby greenhouse or hoop house. One of the most special gifts may be the gift of your own time to help landscape their yard, to help with tree trimming, mowing, digging a new flowerbed or countless other projects. If you aren't able to do the labor yourself as a gift of love consider hiring a nursery or landscaper to do these projects for you as a gift.
Use your imagination a little and there are almost always a number of perfect horticultural gifts for anyone on your list. Visit your local nursery or garden center to get ideas and to arrange for the gardening gift you choose.
If you haven't already picked out one or more poinsettias to decorate your home or office you are missing out one of the best ways to say “Merry Christmas.” Poinsettias are now available in hundreds of varieties in different tones of red, white, orange, pink and lots of marbled colors. They are easy to care for and the colorful bracts will often stay in color for months. Just put them in good light and water when dry. Amaryllis bulbs produce beautiful trumpets of red, white or pink flowers at this time of year if you want something different than poinsettias. If you haven't picked out a Christmas tree there is still time to get it set up and to enjoy it through the New Year and into early next year. If you have limited space, Norfolk Island pines make great small living Christmas trees for rooms or apartments and make a nice houseplant year round. Have a great holiday season and a very Merry Christmas.
Rodd Moesel serves on the Oklahoma Horticulture Industrial Council and the Oklahoma State University agriculture dean's advisory committee. He is a former president of the Oklahoma Greenhouse Growers. Email garden and landscape questions to email@example.com.