Giving a gift to a gardener can be as easy as gardening shears or gift certificates to local nurseries. The good news? Garden gifts don’t necessarily have to be wrapped, especially if you give a gift like a potted plant. Here is a range of gifts to give the gardener on your list this holiday season.
Look for blooming, potted hellebores this week at area nurseries and garden centers. Hellebores are perennials with evergreen foliage that flower as early as December and continue to bloom into the spring.
These tough slug-, deer- and drought-resistant plants have been improved from recent breeding experiments, and many now boast blooms that are larger, more upright and adaptable to indoor use. This means you’ll find potted hellebores, wrapped in foil and ready to give as indoor gift plants – enjoy hellebores indoors for a few weeks and then remove the plant from the foil wrapping and plastic pot and replant in a shaded spot in the garden. You can plant hellebores in the winter months, just not when the ground is frozen.
MEMBERSHIP TO LAKEWOLD GARDENS
Lakewold Gardens is probably the best-kept secret, and most European, of the few show gardens in Washington state available for public visits.
Located in Lakewood, Lakewold has spectacular mountain and lake views. The house and extensive gardens now run as a nonprofit, so buying a membership is not just an original gift idea but a tax deduction as well.
Depending on what level of sponsorship you want to give, the recipient will be getting free admission to the gardens, the quarterly newsletter, a discount at the gift shop, admission to the plant sale preview, invites to special events and tours with the garden manager. If you really want to dig deep and donate at a higher level of sponsorship, your benefits will include the use of the Lakewold mansion for meetings and private functions.
Contact: 253-584-4106, lakewoldgardens.org.
TICKETS TO THE NORTHWEST FLOWER AND GARDEN SHOW
Early-bird tickets to this winter tradition – Feb. 20-24 at the Washington Convention Center in Seattle – go on sale at local nurseries in cities from Bellingham to Portland. Advance purchased tickets are $16 instead of the $20 you would pay at the door. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Northwest’s most spectacular garden show and so the theme is “Silver Screen Takes Root,” with display gardens giving a nod to Hollywood. The show also features more than 100 free seminars, more than 350 vendors and acres of fantasy display gardens – all in the weather controlled confines of the convention center.
There is a big push this year to have more blooming flowers than ever before as local growers are already forcing buds, bulbs and blooms for a spectacular display of color and fragrance. You may not be able to escape winter in a tropical paradise, but tickets to this show will transport visitors to a colorful spring just when we need it the most.
Contact: Visit a local nursery or go online at gardenshow.com.
MEMBERSHIP TO PACIFIC HORTICULTURE SOCIETY
You’ll be joining knowledgeable gardeners and plant lovers all along the West Coast when you become a member of this garden group. The annual membership fee includes a one-year subscription to the quarterly journal Pacific Horticulture plus advance notice of programs, tours and events.
You’ll also receive an informative monthly newsletter full of tips and advice on growing. A look at the latest copy of this respected journal displayed fantastic photography and a story about how a pair of gardeners from Orting turned windstorm debris into a beautifully stacked wall of composting twigs and fallen branches. The articles are in- depth, always interesting and not at all stuffy.
You don’t need to live in Washington state to enjoy this membership organization, so go ahead and give this gift to a gardener in California or Oregon.
Contact: membership. pacifichorticulture.org/gift or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Marianne Binetti has a degree in horticulture from Washington State University and is the author of several books. She can be reached at binettigarden.com.