Celebrate your green thumb this holiday season with everything from décor to gifts.
Bring the garden indoors with plants, plants, and more plants. Start some amaryllis bulbs or paperwhites. Bank poinsettias in a bay window.
Top a delicate cyclamen with a gardening cloche or delight in the blooms of a Christmas cactus or orchid. These plants will add beauty and satisfy your need to play in the dirt.
To keep your plants lush and lovely throughout the holiday season, check out the care tips in our Home and Garden Information Center fact sheets. Here are a few to get you started:
Go natural for decorations. Snip some holly or evergreen boughs and stuff them in baskets and pots. Add some winterberry or curly willow branches for flair. Fill a pottery bowl with pinecones.
Jazz up outside containers with evergreens and colorful branches for some welcoming eye candy.
Weave yarrow, baby’s breath, statice, hydrangea blossoms, and other dried flowers into wreaths, swags, and arrangements. Stuff an antique pitcher with an armful of Lunaria’s silvery seed pods.
Take a walk through a meadow with your clippers and a big basket and discover an abundance of interesting grasses, seed pods, and natural forms to enhance your holiday decorating.
Leave them natural or dust them lightly with a bit of gold or silver spray paint for a bit of holiday sparkle.
Next, add a few purchased decorations that mirror your passion for gardening. Tie tiny copper watering can ornaments onto your tree. Use zinc or copper plant markers as gift tags.
And just for fun, decorate a child’s holiday tree with brightly colored kids’ gardening gloves and tools you can later donate to a school garden.
Gifts for gardeners are a breeze. Give hand-softening soaps and lotions. Wrap a bunch of fresh holly in festive tissue. Pot an amaryllis bulb or other plant in a handsome pot.
Look for classic garden jewelry with blossoms cast in silver or gold. Or give a gift from your garden such as homemade pesto, a rooted houseplant cutting, or seeds collected from a favorite plant.
Are you crafty? Indulge your artistic side to create homemade gifts with a gardener’s touch.
I give friends tins filled with lavender cookies made with lavender from my garden. I delight in friends’ gifts of hand-stitched sachets, dried flower bunches, and potted herbs.
I can hear the guys out there saying, “Enough with the girly stuff, whatcha got for me?” Tools, dudes. And yes, we gals like tools, too.
Check out your local garden centers, then hit the catalogs. Two of my favorites are Lee Valley and Gardener’s Supply. Both have quality tools and other garden gear.
And in my book, you simply cannot go wrong with a gardening book. New or used, your favorite reads and references will help to grow your gardening friends’ libraries and know-how.
Whether yours is a homemade or store-bought holiday, make your home and gifts a beautiful reflection of your passion for gardening.
By Annette Cormany, Principal Agent Associate and Master Gardener Coordinator, Washington County, University of Maryland Extension.
This article was previously published by Herald-Mail Media. Read more by Annette.