Gardening gifts for the holidays

Looking for a gardening gift this year? Here are some great ideas for the gardening gurus in your family.

If you're searching for the ideal gift for a gardening enthusiast in your family, then look no further than your local garden centre, nursery or supermarket. There is a wide range from which to choose, and gifts to suit every taste and lifestyle.

Amaryllis

Colour

Indoor plants are always a popular choice. For the holiday season, anything with a hint of red in the flowers, leaves or branches will fit the bill. Think of poinsettias, gerberas, chrysanthemums, begonias, anthuriums and amaryllis. Other flowering plants that make lovely gifts include colourful African violets, fuchsias, potted hydrangeas and potted roses. Green is also a winner at this time of year so take a look at the love palms, ficus plants with their attractive plaited stems, and ferns. Add a little gold ribbon and you have a wonderfully festive gift to give.

If you are working on a reduced budget, consider giving a selection of seed packs. There are many from which to choose, and you could vary them - either a selection of flowering plants, or a selection of herbs and vegetables. For those with a bigger budget, choose a colourful container or window box and wrap with the seeds. Don't forget to include a bag of potting soil for the perfect ready-to-sow gift!

Ficus benjamina

Gerbera

Grow your own

The hottest trend right now is to grow your own herbs, vegetables and fruit in order to reduce your food costs and to lower your carbon footprint. Gifts for the kitchen gardener include potted herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme, sage, etc. Why not buy a gorgeous container and plant up three or four herbs in one pot and give it to the aspiring chef in your family? A window box filled with a selection of compact veggies such as lettuce, chillies, sweet peppers and radish will also make the perfect gift for family members who love to cook.

Fruit trees are also ideal presents for the kitchen garden enthusiast. Try citrus trees, deciduous fruit trees such as peaches, nectarines and plums, or indigenous fruit trees such as the kei apple or Natal plum.

Eco-friendly gifts

Eco-conscious gardeners will always appreciate a gift that attracts wildlife to the garden. To attract bird visitors, select a bird feeder and fill it with bird seed, or choose a small bird bath or a bird house.

There are also many plants that will lure birds to the garden. For nectar-loving birds, plant the tree fuchsia (Halleria lucida) and Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis), for seed lovers, plant grasses such as Natal red top (Melinis nerviglumis) and heart-seed love grass (Eragrostis capensis) and for fruit-eating birds plant the Mickey Mouse bush (Ochna serrulata) and Bride's bush (Pavetta lanceolata).

For the recycling conscious, select a compost bin and a compost activator so that garden and kitchen waste can be transformed into life-giving compost for the garden.

Gardening gear

Garden gurus are always looking for a new pair or gloves, secateurs or gardening hand tools. Before heading out to the shops, check out the tool shed to find out if there is something that needs replacing. Consider any of the following: pots, baskets, watering cans, gumboots, kneeling pads, edge trimmers, sprayers, hedge clippers and more.

If your loved one has all the necessary gadgets for gardens, think about buying a feature to put in the garden. This could include a water feature, wind chimes, statue, bench or even candle holders for night lights.

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