Give a garden … in a pot or basket Essay

Give a garden . . . in a pot or basket A gift of a garden is a fine choice for anyone on your list whoenjoys growing plants or would like to learn how but needs a nudge toget started.

You simply assemble all the elements needed for onegardening project, then given them in a pot or basket that can be usedfor planting. These presents continue giving (as salad fixings, flowersfor cutting, or herbs for cooking) well beyond Christmas. Here we give some suggestions, but your imagination can come upwith others. Cost varies widely depending on your choice of pot andaccessories such as shears.

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Include a how-to book, or write plantinginstructions on a gift card as shown above (if in doubt, consult theSunset New Western Garden Book.) The combination pictured above includes everything needed toassemble a hanging basket for showing off cool-season annuals well intospring: a 22-inch wire basket, enough sphagnum moss to line it, andfive sixpacks of violas. To dress up the basket, line it with coloredtissue paper tie on a wide bow, and add a card or a book (like the oneabove) with planting information. The salad garden we show at far left includes romaine andred-tinged loose-leaf lettuce. Two sixpacks of plants, or packages oftwo kinds of lettuce seeds, are plenty. Since lettuce has shallowroots, you don’t need a deep container–the one pictured is 16inches in diameter and 8 inches deep, and requires just less than acubic foot of soil.

The rose garden in our photograph features a bare-root rose with alarge, deep pot (20 inches in diameter and 18 inches deep, near minimumfor a full-size rose). More compact roses, such as several of thefloribundas, and still smaller patio or miniature roses grow well insmaller containers. Include potting soil, pruning shears, and a how-tobook.

Our herb garden contains chervil, chives, lemon thyme, oregano,parsley, rosemary, sage, and silver thyme; a decorative container (20inches long, 8 inches wide, 6 inches deep) suitable for indoors; pottingsoil; and miniature shears for easy snipping. You might advise yourgardener-to-be to rotate the container every month between indoors and asunny spot outdoors when weather permits. Photo: Shopping at nursery, he chooses white violas, sphagnum mossfor hanging basket garden Photo: Recipient beams over her gift garden; card contains plantingdirections. Finishing touches include big red bow and potting soil;total cost was about $35 Photo: More gardens to give: salad garden (left) includes lettuce(plants or seeds), shallow pot, gloves, soil.

One-rose garden includesdeep pot, soil, pruning shears, and packaged rose. Herb garden includesdecorative pot, soil, shears, herbs. Add books or instructions. Cost:about $30 (for salad) to $50 (rose) and up

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