Living Holiday Gifts

    • Living Christmas trees make a fine tradition. Slow-growing Colorado spruce trees can be used for 3 to 5 years before they need to be planted. Water them every other day while indoors.
    • Check your nursery for stocking stuffers: kids’ gloves, watering cans, bonsai figurines, seeds and bulbs.
    • Spray for peach leaf curl with copper sulfate. Peach and nectarine trees may suffer from this fungus disease without a protective spray.
    • Water living Christmas trees frequently while they are indoors, and put them outside after a week or ten days.
    •Feed the birds this winter and enjoy the pleasure of their company. Bird feeders come in many styles and make wonderful gifts.

Living Gifts

Head to the nursery this month for plants that can be enjoyed long after the holidays. Evergreen shrubs like Daphne, Camellias and Rhododendrons are lovely gifts that will be enjoyed even more when they come into bloom in the spring.

The sweet fragrance of Daphne is one of the pleasures of springtime. The small, evergreen shrubs have handsome foliage and a profusion of pinkish-white flowers that bloom in February. One stem will scent an entire room.

The beautifully shaped flowers of Camellias cover the glossy, evergreen leaves throughout a long season. The early flowering ones begin blooming now with dainty, single flowers and those that bloom in April and May have perfectly formed double flowers. They are lovely in a partially shaded area and do well in containers on the patio or deck.

Rhododendrons also have spectacular flowers in large clusters in the spring. They are generally deer-resistant, like partial shade, and will grow for many years in a large container.

Roses are available this month at the best prices of the year. For best selection, look for bare-root roses this month. If you want roses for cutting, choose hybrid teas, like ‘Fragrant Plum’. For small spaces or containers, choose varieties that stay compact, such as ‘Sunsprite’, and to add a focal point to any landscape, choose a tree rose, like ‘Betty Boop’.

The interior landscape will welcome a fresh, new houseplant. From hanging ferns and spider plants to tall palms and dracaenas, there’s a plant for every situation. They add life and color to the area and clean the air at the same time. Or create a dish garden with a combination of small plants in an attractive container, for a unique gift.

Bonsai plants and succulents also make nice gifts, and a bag full of Daffodil bulbs will be happily received by almost any gardener.

Trees of all kinds will grow into beautiful specimens that will outlive us all. From fruit trees to dogwoods, Japanese maples, and flowering magnolias, trees become an important part of any piece of property. Beauty, shade, fruit, and a greener planet are all good reasons to plant a tree this season.

Give a gift that will continue to grow and remind them of your thoughtfulness for a long time to come.

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