It is always fun for me to write a column about gardening gifts. Focus is sometimes hard. I can get from “that might be a great idea” to “oh, I know what I could do with that” in a heartbeat, but the return trip takes a lot longer. Nonetheless, I think I found a few things that might help shopping for the gardener in your life more fun.
Seeds are such wonderful packages of possibilities. A gift certificate to your gardener’s favorite source might be a great choice.
The November/December 2019 issue of “Horticulture” magazine features new plant introductions for 2020. The magazine highlighted Everleaf Emerald Towers basil. It is touted to have the popular Genovese flavor, but with shorter internodes between the leaves, making a more upright, shapely plant with leaves all the way down the stem.
I checked the websites of two popular seed companies to be sure the new basil cultivar is available. It is and should be easy to find.
The problem was that I ran across a new eggplant hybrid called “Green Knight.” It was described as jade green, but the picture of long skinny fruits looked closer to chartreuse to me. How awesome would that look with one of the like-shaped purple varieties available. Pretty and tasty is a neat combination, but the gift of seeds is a ticket to a soaring journey of imagination.
Since I teased you with the mention of new plant varieties, here are a few that caught my attention and that you might look for or request at your favorite nursery. Again, if you are not sure what to get, his/her favorite nursery would be delighted to offer a gift certificate.
► Scentara Pura Lilac is purported to perform well in warmer climates with no loss of fragrance.
► “Bee Happy” beebalm is a more compact version of the popular cerise-flowered “Jacob Clime.”
► “Midnight Gold Petunia,” with big dark purple centers and margins of light yellow, is so unique and eye-catching that it’s the cover photo on the magazine.
Tools can make great gifts, too. Loppers with ratcheting mechanisms take the hard work out of pruning branches. Mine are my favorite new tool of the last few years. I always love getting new hand pruners, gloves and trowels, as they are so easy to misplace.
Gardeners have great gifts to give, too. Sharing the love and experience of gardening with a child is a gift that will last a lifetime. Even if the gardening part does not stick, the time spent together will be remembered.
Most of us have lots of seeds that we can share or cuttings from favorite plants. Planting extra vegetables to share with others is easy and only increases the joy of gardening. Community gardens delight in new volunteers.
The Big Country Master Gardener Association will be accepting applications soon for the training classes coming up early in 2020. It has been a great vehicle for us to share the gift of knowledge and passion for gardening with others, with an emphasis on stewardship. Call 325-672-6048 for more information or to contact the BCMGA hotline with your gardening questions.
Now where did I see those flower seeds? I bet they would look great …
Until next time, happy gardening.
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