|My Abraham Darby shrub rose and my little dog, Tobey.|
The holidays are here and if you are like me, you a long list of people to find the perfect gift for. Because I love plants and gardening, I like to look for gifts with a garden theme to give, as well as to give my husband some hints as to what to get for me.
I’ve created lists of some of my favorite garden gifts and have split them up into different categories, which I will share with you over the next week, so be sure to check back daily. For your ease and convenience, all items can be purchased online, so grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started.
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What is gardening without plants? Thankfully, it is easy to order a variety of plants for the gardener in your life. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Waxed Amaryllis
I’m starting out with my favorite this year. Imagine a plant that needs no water, fertilizer or any special care other than to place it by a window? While the dramatic blooms of amaryllis are a popular holiday gift, these waxed amaryllises take it one step further. Covered in wax, they have all the water and fertilizer needed for them to bloom, which makes them an excellent choice for people with a self-professed ‘black thumb’. Click here to order.
Want to learn more about this pretty, low-maintenance flower? I talk about it in my newest Facebook Live video:
Since I’ve posted the video, I’ve heard from several of you that you have seen these for sale at their local grocery and big box stores, so they shouldn’t be hard to find if you don’t want to order them online.
2. David Austin English Rose
Christmas is the best time to buy a new rose for the garden, ready for being planted in January. David Austin has created a class of roses the couples the beautiful shape and fragrance of the old-fashioned roses with the repeat blooming of more modern roses. Why else should you want to add one of these beauties to your garden? They are disease resistant and much lower-maintenance than your more traditional roses. My favorite is ‘Olivia Rose’, which grows in my side garden where I view their pretty pink blossoms from my kitchen window. David Austin roses can be ordered here.
3. Potted Succulents
Dive into the latest gardening craze, which is all about succulents. You don’t need a lot of space to grow your own – just a pot, potting mix, and a pretty little succulent. Imagine how nice this would look on your windowsill. There are a number of potted succulents available such as this one with a gold-toned planter. Click here to order.
4. Air Plants
Create your own little garden world with this kit, that has all you need, including an air plant, moss, rocks and a lovely hanging glass container. Air plants have such unique shapes and are easy to care for. Click here to order.
5. Assorted Agave
Did you know that there are over 200 species of agave? The different shapes, colors, and sizes mean that there is one (or more) that are right for your garden. You can get a good start on an agave collection by ordering this assortment either for yourself or divide it up into four separate gifts. Click here to order.
Do you have a favorite plant that you received as a gift? I’d love to hear about it.
Come back tomorrow when I’ll share my picks for garden tools and gear.
Do you love roses? I do.
I used to have 40 roses in my Phoenix garden – I must admit that I went a little overboard.
|Showing my sister a few of my roses back in the 90’s|
|I look cranky in this photo, but I blame it on the jet lag from arriving in Ireland the day before.|
For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I sometimes write about the goings on in my life. And so I begin the post with fair warning- if you are looking for gardening content – there will be some, but not a lot.
Do you ever look back at your calendar for the past month and wonder where the time went?
I did just that and was pleasantly surprised to see how much went on. I thought that I’d share with you a small snapshot of the past month in the life of ‘az plant lady’ (me)!
|Surf shop in California|
|Santa Barbara Mission and rose garden.|
Well, here is the last installment, showing some of our favorite highlights from the last few gardens we toured.
I was looking forward to visit Caroline’s garden. She blogs about growing and cooking great food at Boho Farm and Home.
The first thing you notice as you enter her back garden is that you start to feel relaxed amidst the beauty and shade.
Who wouldn’t want to spend time enjoying a beautiful summer’s day in the shade?
Galvanized tubs are all the rage for planting vegetables gardens, flower, etc. I may need to get one for my garden…
I love the wire mesh arch connecting both of these raised vegetable beds at Boho Farm. I can just imagine growing Scarlet Creeper vines up and over this arch.
The vegetable beds were full of delicious vegetables, which Caroline serves to visitors.
I like her fence, don’t you?
Her apple trees are espaliered along the fence.
Throughout the gardens at Boho Farm were artichokes mixed with ornamental plants. Artichokes are a beautiful plant, so why not combine them with the rest of your garden?
Our last stop was a home where I was inspired to create my own trellises…
This scarlet creeper vine, which are very easy to grow in the summer, is growing up a vine made up of rebar and wire mesh.
How simple would that be to make? I think my husband and I are up for it.
Rebar is the hot trend in garden art right now. I love trends that are cheap – you can’t get much cheaper then rebar.
Of course, we saw more apples growing. They won’t be ripe until mid June.
Which reminds me – it is almost time for me to haul out my canning supplies and get ready to make peach, plum and strawberry jam. You can read about my adventures in canning here, if you like.
Of course, I will also make some applesauce too using apples from my mother’s trees. My apple trees are too young to be producing apples yet. I’ll probably have to wait a few more years.
As you can see, we had a wonderful morning together and I came home with some new plants and a few new ideas for my garden.
Would you like to go on this tour next year?
The past couple of days on the road have been both eventful AND uneventful.
Yesterday morning found us in Columbia, SC. We set on our way to find a folk art festival that was scheduled near the campus of University of South Carolina (USC), but couldn’t find it.
What we did find, driving through the campus, was a community garden, a rose garden and beautiful perennial beds along the roadside.
We parked near the university book store in the only spot we could find – we had only 30 minutes to explore or else we could get a ticket.
|Graham Thomas, Abraham Darby, and Falstaff David Austin shrub roses.|
Do you know what the definition of the word ‘conundrum’ is?
I do. Actually, I had to look it up – but it basically means a “difficult situation”. That sums up what I am facing in my back garden.
Here are the ‘parts’ that make up my conundrum:
First, there is my wonderful husband….
Guess what a leaf-cutter bee’s favorite type of leaf is?
Bees are in huge trouble and their populations are declining and I’d like to help…
Some of you may remember reading about one of my rose bushes, Mr. Graham Thomas, who last week made a fool of himself. You can read more about Mr. Thomas his foolish exploit here if you like. Even though he had only been in the ground in my back garden for only 10 weeks, he decided he couldn’t wait and produced 10 beautiful rose blooms.
What is wrong with that you may ask? Well, Mr. Thomas was so impatient to outdo his neighbors, Mr. William Shakespeare and Mr. Abraham Darby that he neglected to wait for his stems to grow strong enough to hold up the blooms. As a result, the stems flopped to the ground under the weight of the roses.
Doesn’t he look foolish?
Well, I am proud to say that Mr. Thomas seems to have learned his lesson this week. I went outside this morning and there he was, proudly holding up a single rose.
Now I realize he is still a bit small and the stem is a bit wobbly, but he holding up his rose just the same.