Gift-giving can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Make your holiday gifts this year more meaningful and more fun, and at the same time avoid overspending. Friends and family don’t need to you to blow your bank account on fancy gifts. Something you grew or created will be much more appreciated, and as a gardener, you have a lot of options. Here are the top 10 gifts you can make from your garden:
1. Dried herbs. Make up pretty bundles of herbs from your garden that you have dried. Use a nice ribbon to tie them together and present them with recipes.
2. Tea or culinary herb blends. Take it one step further and make custom blends with your dried herbs. Make herbal tea mixes, like peppermint or lemon balm, and mix together herbs for specific recipes, like roast chicken or vegetable soup.
3. Pressed flowers. Preserve the best of your garden by taking the prettiest flowers and foliage and pressing them. Create two-dimensional, framed arrangements to give as gifts.
4. Jellies and jams. If you grow fruit, preserve them in festive jars for the holidays. Raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, peach, apricot, and other types of jams make delicious and useful presents.
5. Infused oils. For the foodies in your life, make infused oils with the spoils of your garden. Herbs, spicy peppers, and garlic are all good choices for creating tasty oils that look pretty in clear bottles.
6. Infused vodkas. And for those in your life who prefer cocktails to cooking, infused vodka is just as easy to make. Use a clear, unlabeled jar and add herb combinations, citrus, or chili peppers.
7. Plant cuttings. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Take cuttings from your favorite plants and root them in pretty houseplant pots.
8. Seeds packets. If you collect seeds from your garden, seed packets can make great gifts. Select seeds from plants you think each person will like or save seeds from your heirloom and hard-to-find varieties.
9. Pickled vegetables. Surely you are preserving vegetables from this year’s harvest, so why not make some fun pickles? These make great gifts that will last through the winter.
10. Soaps and lotions. If you’re really crafty, use your flowers and herbs to make pretty soaps and sweet-smelling lotions to hand out over the holidays.
Making your own gifts may take a little more time, but your loved ones will really appreciate it. As a bonus, you’ll spend much less money this year and ensure that the fruits of your garden labors will not go unused.
By Mary Ellen Ellis | December 14, 2019