by Sandy Swegel
There’s something about winter coming on that sparks the desire to garden. Suddenly we think of all the things we wish we had grown. Or we remember how nice it was to always have a vegetable or flower bouquet to give away. And now what. We want to grow and create to give something.
These are the gifts that I’m giving that I can grow indoors quickly in time for the holidays.
A lucky visit to the garden center showed me this year’s casual gift. Amaryllis bulbs already starting to bud right in the box were on sale at 50% off. Amaryllis are ridiculously easy to grow…in soil or in water. I soaked the roots of the bulbs overnight and potted them in plan plastic pots and put them on the windowsill. Once they bloom, I wrap the pot in holiday wrap, add a bow and have awesome gifts ready to go.
Fresh pots of basil.
If you soak basil seeds overnight and plant them densely in clean potting soil in a warm place they’ll germinate very fast. Keep them in a sunny spot or under lights and in two weeks they will be a vigorous aromatic patch of basil micro greens that make a great winter gift.
Vase of coleus
Before your coleus freezes, take lots of cuttings of the most beautiful leaves. Put several stems in a mixed vase. It will be a beautiful arrangement (the reds are quite poinsettia-like.). This is the perfect gift for people who say they have a brown thumb…they just have to monthly refill the water. Those with green thumbs will have rooted plants next Spring.
My favorite gift idea a gardening friend gave last year is pretty hard-core. It is a gift from a serious gardener to another serious gardener. The gift? A bucket of goat manure pellets. Goat manure is one of the best manures…dry, no weeds and not very smelly. I love my eccentric gardening buddies!