Gardeners are born ‘gifters‘! They give all year round, frequently being extra generous at holiday times.
You are no different! You can share the bounty of your garden with your special family or friends.
Bright preserved fruits or vegetables in their shining glass jars bring their own presentation.
Yummy Gifts From the Gardner
Your ripe tomatoes can become a tasty pasta sauce, sealed and ready for your friends or family to enjoy. Those last green tomatoes can become delicious chutney.
Veggies can be combined into a soup mix which lets you give a sample of the things you grow. Your memorable vegetable stew recipe can be added to the packaging on a pretty card.
You can expand the preserves, jams and jellies option through your produce and beyond. Last bits, including carrots, beans, peppers, onions can be pickled into a “Last of the Garden” relish mix. I love the bright colors that can go with this mixture.
Preserves from fruit available in your garden will become smaller, beautiful gifts. I’ve not been able to get into berries, but I know many people have fruitful strawberry, raspberry and blueberry patches. The canes keep producing when the berries are picked. They’ll keep working for you till frost, giving you some marvelous gift material.
Were your Zucchini vines on a run-away this summer? Zucchini can be shredded and frozen as gifts to your baking friend to use for quick bread. Include a sachet of spices for their favorite recipe. Zucchini bread can be baked, wrapped tightly and frozen to accumulate through the harvest season for delivery at the holidays.
Pretty Gifts from the GardenER
People on your gift list who love plants will enjoy cuttings from your favorites. Soft plants which can serve as houseplants till spring. Cuttings from shrubs can be set up in pots for spring planting.
Easiest for houseplants are decorative sweet potatoes, coleus, begonias, impatiens, mouse ears, bridal veil, and purple heart (or wandering Jew). I’m taking cuttings right now to root and plant toward gifting time or to keep for my containers next summer. I have some already rooted and ready to go into soil. My favorites to keep and share from season to season are the decorative sweet potatoes along with those listed above. I keep some slips from edible sweet potatoes too because they add a beautiful contrasting vine to a container.
Roses, Creme Myrtle, Rose of Sharon, Mock Orange are all shrubs that I have found easy to start now in early autumn for planting next spring.
Herbs are fun to get started now and give at holiday time so your gift can give flavor right away. Rosemary sprigs can be started in pots. I simply stick them in potting soil and keep them with the other containers. The new starts will be different from your Rosemary plant/shrub. They will prefer to stay damp.They like sunshine and warm, humid conditions while they are taking root. Basil and Parsley are easy to seed in pots any day now to have them ready for gift time.
If you want to care for the plants in your garden location during winter, you can give a promise card for plants to be delivered in spring. Include a photo of the plant in the promise card I recommend starting more than one plant to have a spare.
Seeds And Scents
Gathering seeds from your favorites to share in small packages can be a real treat for your gift list. Do you wonder how to deliver your flower or tree seeds?
Plantable paper is always fun. I found some clear instructions for making your own at NaturesSeed.
I modified the process for the paper that I seeded with marigold seeds. A photo of the paper using a canning jar ring as a frame is in the photo. By making your plantable paper or seed paper now, you can do much of the drying outside. I left the jar-ring in a ‘cat free’ spot where it wouldn’t get ruined to let it air dry.
Purchase or sew small bags from nylon organza. Fill them with favorite seeds for planting in season. The fabric will control the seeds, but will also let them breathe and stay viable.
Aromatics — Mints, lavender, rosemary, roses and others can be put into the little organza bags to bring their sterling herbal scents to your friends. They are so nice in cupboards, drawers and closets.
GIFT Cards from your yard: Cuttings from your roses and shrubs will be happiest overwintering in containers in your yard. We all know that there won’t be 100% survival. But there will be close to 50% of the cuttings available for planting next year. You can give a card promising baby lilac, Rose of Sharon, forsythia, Mock Orange. The lilac bushes and Rose of Sharon bushes will probably have some younger starts around their base that would make a viable shrub to move.
Remember there are extra bulbs and roots you can share from your lily beds, hostas and sedum.
I would love to hear some of the items you choose as gifts from your garden at any time of the year. Please comment below to share.
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