In the Garden:
Lower South
November, 2004
Regional Report

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Some bulbs from an old family home or from your own garden can provide family and friends with years of fond memories.

Give a Gift That Grows

The holidays are a great time to come back to the basics of life: personal reflection, spending time with family and friends, and choosing gifts to let others know they are important to us. There are so many great gift options we can buy for gardeners and "would-be" gardeners on our list. There are also many creative things we can make from our gardens, including dried arrangements, preserved fruits, wreaths and herbal vinegars.

Gifts With a History
I'd like to offer another perspective on gifts for some of the special people in your life: that is, the gift of a living reminder of your friendship. When visiting private gardens across the country, I am struck by the number of times the gardener has said something like: "That plant was given to me by [so and so]" or "This rose came from a cutting we took from my grandmother's home, which is now long gone."

Plants can provide a link between people and across time. It may be a special species or variety you bought for someone. It also could be a gift started from a special plant in your garden. How about a seedling tree started from that special tree you and a sibling or friend played under as children, some bulbs from the old family home place, a rose propagated from a bush at a special grave site, or an herb division from your own garden with a note about your friendship. You get the idea. The possibilities are limitless for giving someone a living reminder of your friendship or a connection to family history that will last long after all the other gifts of the holidays are gone.

You may have heard it said that, "Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them." There are few things more gratifying than giving someone a special plant that will be an ongoing source of enjoyment.

Gifts of Your Time
In addition to giving a plant, you can give the planting. Some folks may not know how to properly plant a shrub, bulb, perennial or tree. Others may be physically unable to get out and garden. With your gift plant include a coupon good for "Planting One Rose Bush and Visiting Over a Cup of Coffee." Then head on over some late-winter day to make establish the plant and visit. That time spent will be more important for many folks than any store-bought gift they received during the holidays.

Every year in late winter when those gift narcissus announce spring, or each spring when that rose blooms, your friendship will bring back fond memories. This holiday season, give a living memory that grows in the landscape, in the garden and in the hearts of your friends and family.


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