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 who
enjoys growing plants or would like to learn how but needs a nudge to
get started. You simply assemble all the elements needed for one
gardening project, then given them in a pot or basket that can be used
for planting. These presents continue giving (as salad fixings, flowers
for cutting, or herbs for cooking) well beyond Christmas.

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Here we give some suggestions, but your imagination can come up
with others. Cost varies widely depending on your choice of pot and
accessories such as shears. Include a how-to book, or write planting
instructions on a gift card as shown above (if in doubt, consult the
Sunset New Western Garden Book.)

The combination pictured above includes everything needed to
assemble a hanging basket for showing off cool-season annuals well into
spring: a 22-inch wire basket, enough sphagnum moss to line it, and
five sixpacks of violas. To dress up the basket, line it with colored
tissue paper tie on a wide bow, and add a card or a book (like the one
above) with planting information.

The salad garden we show at far left includes romaine and
red-tinged loose-leaf lettuce. Two sixpacks of plants, or packages of
two kinds of lettuce seeds, are plenty. Since lettuce has shallow
roots, you don’t need a deep container–the one pictured is 16
inches in diameter and 8 inches deep, and requires just less than a
cubic foot of soil.

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

Our herb garden contains chervil, chives, lemon thyme, oregano,
parsley, rosemary, sage, and silver thyme; a decorative container (20
inches long, 8 inches wide, 6 inches deep) suitable for indoors; potting
soil; and miniature shears for easy snipping. You might advise your
gardener-to-be to rotate the container every month between indoors and a
sunny spot outdoors when weather permits.

Photo: Shopping at nursery, he chooses white violas, sphagnum moss
for hanging basket garden

Photo: Recipient beams over her gift garden; card contains planting
directions. 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 includes
deep pot, soil, pruning shears, and packaged rose. Herb garden includes
decorative pot, soil, shears, herbs. Add books or instructions. Cost:
about $30 (for salad) to $50 (rose) and up


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