Traditionally, when we wanted to send someone our best, a letter or greeting card covered in flowers by post used to be the most popular method. Nowadays, many of us are likely to communicate via a text, an email or even a social networking site. It could be argued that despite the convenience of such methods, their remoteness hampers us in communicating our sentiments effectively.
Hampers at Christmas or Easter are still popular, whilst Mothers Day and Valentine’s Day give us the opportunity to send flowers to loved ones. Whilst taking the time to send flowers by post is the perfect way to show you care, your own garden can be a great source of gifts for friends and family. By thinking ahead, it is possible to have a supply of potential little ‘thankyou’ gestures and presents that say ‘Happy Birthday’ when you’ve left it too late to order a bouquet!
Plants from bulbs and corms make excellent gifts. They can even be given when not in bloom, provided that the container looks attractive. Miniature daffodils and crocuses make perfect springtime choices. Small varieties of tulips and cyclamen work equally well later in the year. You will need to have these planted some months in advance to be sure that they will be in their growth phase when you want to give them as presents. Cold weather hampers development, so it is best to bring the pots indoors during winter.
The prettiest containers for gifts are baskets and ceramic or terracotta pots. Make sure your decorative pot has drain holes if you intend to use it as the only container. By hanging on to little baskets, bows and cellophane from any flowers by post you have received in the past, you will soon build up a stock of accessories to make your plant gifts look extra special. Remember that it isn’t practical to send flowers such as these by post. They are really intended as gifts to be given in person.
Choose easy to grow container plants that will tolerate a little forgetfulness if the recipient of your gift isn’t an avid gardener. Lack of water hampers the survival of delicate blooms. Flowers such as Perargoniums, Begonias and Impatiens are sturdy plants, giving plenty of colour. If these are sown from seed, they are also very cheap. Variegated ivies and other trailing plants break up the edges of a container and make the overall display more attractive. Use a good quality compost and a slow-release plant food in each pot to ensure your gift will give weeks of pleasure. If you have any moss in your garden, some transplanted around the base of your main plants will also give them a more established look. Remember to do this well in advance and keep the moss moist until it has become established.
When one pot of flowers simply won’t do, you might like to give several assorted plants together in boxes or hampers as one large gift. Such hampers can even include little extras such as packets of seeds and extra pots to encourage the recipient of the gift to get growing themselves!none