After emptying a house filled with an accumulation of 35 years worth of stuff, I am on a crusade to encourage the giving of useful gifts.
I spent the summer clearing out closets and drawers stuffed with unused Christmas gifts, things that my family or I liked, but had no real use for. So we stashed the stuff away and as the old adage says ‘out of sight out of mind.’
Because you last minute Christmas shoppers don’t have the time to worry about useful, I am prepared to help you shop for the gardeners on your list.
If you’re tearing your hair looking for the green thumbed Aunt Tillie, get her a gift certificate from her local garden center and let her choose. Not to worry if the place is a day’s drive. Just call them up and order the certificate over the phone using a credit card and have them mail it to her. You can quickly make up a home made version explaining ‘the checks in the mail’ and wrap it up in a box tied with a lovely ribbon so she will have a pretty package to open on Christmas day.
Order a gift certificate from a catalog on line or by phone and wrap up the catalogue along with your gift card. You can do the same thing with a gardening magazine subscription.
You don’t have to give physical things either. One gal who no longer drives on expressways told me she’d love to have one of her relatives take her on a spring power shop to some of the neat garden centers I’ve written. She lamented that she plants the same old stuff every year because she is limited to what she can buy at the little seasonal garden mart in her neighborhood.
Another gal said a great Christmas gift for her would be the promise of help getting her garden ready for planting in spring. “If everyone pitched in, it wouldn’t take but a couple of hours, but for me it’s slow going and it takes weeks.” ‘And I’ve been wanting to amend some of the soil in my rose beds, but I can’t handle those 40 pounds bags, so what I could really use is help,” she lamented.
My Dad didn’t garden so after Mom died, I celebrated his May birthday by planting his containers and pruning his shrubs. When I got busy one year and had to delay the planting, he called and left this message on my answering machine. “This is your father calling to find out when you are going to plant my flowers.” That’s how I found out how much my annual gardening gift meant to him.
If you don’t live in the same area consider a gift certificate to cover the cost of hiring out the work. Call a garden center to ask about hourly rates and referrals for help.
Sharing expertise can also be a priceless gift for a relative for friend, especially if they have recently purchased a home. Non-gardeners often feel overwhelmed when it comes to the care and feeding of a lawn and garden that is new to them. A few hours of your time helping them to identify flora and giving them tips on care and feeding could be a priceless gift in their eyes.