I wrote last week about the challenges our nurseries are facing with the late arrival of spring and the prolonged cold weather. This got me thinking that plants for the garden make great gifts.
Trees make wonderful presents. When my Dad turned 60 my sister and I brought him a Walnut Tree (before he was a nurseryman I might add!) and it’s planted in their front garden, actually within the area that is now Forton Nursery. Over the years it’s grown and matured and although it hasn’t reached its full height yet, it has produced walnuts for the last couple of years.
Unlike a bunch of flowers, a plant will continue to grow and mature over time. Depending on the species, it will produce flowers and interest year after year. If you think about it, a plant for the garden is really good value for money.
I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t send cut flowers, I love having flowers in the house and I certainly love receiving them, but if it’s a really special occasion that you want to be constantly reminded of then a plant for the garden has to be a better choice.
So what if you don’t have a garden? Well I guess it’s a bit more challenging to choose the right thing, but plants in pots can work well – you’ll have a front door even if you live in a flat so perhaps something each side of the entrance will brighten things up a bit.
Formal topiarised trees can look stunning in pots as long as you ensure that the balance is right i.e. the pot needs to be the right size for the plant otherwise it just doesn’t look right. I wrote a piece in one of my newsletters (scroll down to “Design Tip of the Month”) last year which you may want to take a look at.
Sending flowers is obviously easier if you want them to be delivered further afield. It’s not so easy with a bulky plant. I noticed recently that Marks and Spencer have started to offer potted plants in their mail order range.
I think the camellias (top centre and bottom right) offer the best of both worlds really – flowers and something you can plant out in the garden. All is not lost if you don’t have acidic soil, camellias grow well in pots which means that you can keep the soil acidity up with ericaceous feed.
So next time you’re wondering what to buy someone as a gift, why not consider sending them something for the garden – it will give them pleasure for years!
Images: Lisa Cox, Marks and Spencer
Blog post published in collaboration with Marks & Spencer