HELEN LANG: Some gardening ideas for Christmas

When thinking about gift-giving this year, consider a hearty plant

Oh dear, it has caught up with us. Now we are in for it. Christmas is rapidly approaching, and we better get out a pen (make that a pencil as we are bound to erase some things and substitute others) and start making lists.

What shall we give Grandma this year? A pretty container of lavender bath salts … I think we gave her the same thing last year … oh well, she probably won’t remember anyway so, let’s go for it. That’s one less gift we don’t have to worry about. But how about Dad? He really wants new golf clubs. But forget that, we haven’t got that kind of money  but maybe we could get him some golf balls plus a dozen tees  to make it seem like a bigger gift.

Now, how about Mum? She reminded me the other day about the number of diapers she had changed for me when I was small. I think she is hinting that we come up with something nice this year instead of those vaccum-cleaner bags we gave her last year.

How much have you got to spend? Is that all?

I guess we shop at the dollar store or the “Thrift”… sometimes they have some quite nice stuff and it’s often almost new. I can touch things up with the iron if they are badly wrinkled!

Mum always said it’s the thought that counts.

Because this is supposed to be a garden column, may I suggest a plant — either an indoor one or a small shrub for outdoors or on a balcony or deck.

You could even make up a winter hanging basket using kinickinick as a trailing plant with spring bulbs underneath (if you can find any) and a hardy fern in the center, surrounded by either winter pansies or several hardy primula.

It could be put on the porch for the winter for ease of watering, and hung up somewhere else in earliest spring.

Because the assembly will take time, which gets to be in short supply as the month progresses, I’d start soon.

It makes a thoughtful gift for a keen gardener and it’s fun to plan and plant.

Another thought: You might buy an amaryllis bulb and pot it up as a special treat (they are inclined to be pricey).

Next week I’ll try to give you a few more garden related ideas In the meanwhile try to relax. Christmas is supposed to be fun!

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.

 

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