Christmas Plants & Greenery Keeps the Christmas Spirit Magical!

It is hard to believe Christmas is only a week away. Hopefully you have been in the Christmas spirit for several weeks and have poinsettias, amaryllis, Christmas cactus, cyclamen, Christmas trees, mistletoe and Christmas wreaths and ropes of greenery surrounding you at home and work to help create that Christmas magic. If you have been busy and haven’t yet surrounded yourself with Christmas plants and greenery there is still time to select your poinsettias and Christmas trees and you can enjoy them now and for an extended season after Christmas. Although living or cut Christmas trees and greens should have a limited time inside our warm, dehydrating homes and offices, the living poinsettias and cyclamen can often be enjoyed for several months with a little attention to light levels and watering.

One of the cherished rituals of Christmas is sharing gifts with those we care about or love. If some of those on your gift list love plants or gardening there are literally hundreds of great gift ideas that should help you find the right last minute gift. You can always give actual plants like poinsettias, amaryllis, paperwhite and hyacinth bulbs for forcing into flower or their favorite house plants to green up their home or office right now. Gift certificates or gift cards have grown in popularity in recent years and most nurseries and garden centers offer gift certificates so the person you are gifting can pick out their own favorite plants, shrubs or trees. This allows the avid gardener to pick out the new rose bush variety they have been dreaming about this next spring or to get the vegetable transplants to start their new vegetable garden or to select the shade tree they desire to replace that giant tree they lost in their backyard. You can always gift tools, gloves, garden hats and decorative garden containers in addition to actual plants.

Another popular gift for gardeners is a membership in the Myriad Gardens Conservatory, The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens or the new Tulsa Botanic Gardens so they can make regular visits to these great Oklahoma gardens and get special rates at their events and classes. If they have special interests in one type of gardening consider a membership in a plant society of other folks interested in that same plant area. These include the Rose Society, Iris or Daylily Groups, Cactus or Succulent Society, Orchid Society, Chrysanthemum, Bonsai, Wildflower and Native Plants and many other specialized plant groups. I love the Oklahoma Horticulture Society, a group of folks from all across the state with a general interest in all phases of horticulture and gardening. A membership in the Horticulture Society or a local Garden Club is always a good choice for gardeners. An Oklahoma Horticulture Society membership includes a year’s subscription to the Oklahoma Gardening magazine and helps fund scholarships for Horticulture students.

Gardeners love to learn and know there is always more to learn so classes are another good gift. Many local nurseries and garden centers offer classes as do many of our public gardens like the Myriad Gardens, the county extension offices and master gardeners. Plant and Horticulture Societies and many of our Vo-Tech or Technology schools and the Horticulture departments at Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater also offer great classes.

For the gardeners who have everything consider a gift of travel to other botanical gardens like the Dallas Arboretum, the St. Louis Botanical Garden or gardens all over the world or even to plant events like the spring Azalea Festival in Muskogee or the spring blub show in Dallas, Texas. Another great gift is to honor a gardener with a scholarship to encourage young people to get interested in nature and gardening through 4-H or FFA or to encourage Horticulture studies at the OSU/OKC or OSU/Stillwater campuses.

One of the most appreciated gifts to parents or grandparents or friends who struggle to keep up their gardening is to offer to spend a half day, day or weekend working with them in their yard and garden. That time together may be the greatest gift of all even while you are accomplishing needed landscaping and gardening efforts. We hope you, your family and friends have a very Merry Christmas Season.

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