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6 Holiday Gifts From the Garden

2014.12.15


Your garden holds an abundance of gift ideas for your nature-loving friends — wreaths, bee houses, framed photos and more

If I won the lottery, I’d give all of my friends new sports cars for the holidays, but I’m not sure that would mean as much as making something from my garden with my own hands. It’s amazing what the garden can give us in every season of the year — so much beauty, life and hope in each seed and stem. If you have some wildlife-loving folks near and dear to your heart, or you love wildlife yourself, the following gifts might fit the bill.

Urban Hedgerow

Build a hub for bird nest material. Hollow out a log or branch and fill it with seed fluff, grass and twigs. Then attach a screw eye or picture wire to hang it outside. Birds will come in spring to pick out what they’d like to build their nests with. It’s fun to watch.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens


Weave an artful wreath. My friend Bob Henrickson makes lovely wreaths for local folks. Using seed heads found in the wild from some common native plants, he created this wonderful and, dare I say, seasonal and festive, wreath to decorate a centerpiece or door. You could even place a pillar candle in the middle of one your make yourself.


Urban Hedgerow

Bring the bees home. Many of our beneficial native bees nest in wood cavities and hollow-stemmed plants. Build a structure and insert stems in it until they’re snug. Vary the widths of each stem, since some bees prefer large holes and others prefer small ones. Make sure any wood you use is untreated, which will ensure it’s not toxic to bee larvae.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Even simpler, bundle the hollow stems you gather, cut them to similar lengths and tie them with an artful ribbon. I didn’t use an artful ribbon for this one, so I’m sure you can do better. (Please share pictures in the Comments if you do.)


Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Make a living ornament. There isn’t much to dislike about milkweed (Asclepiasspp). It puts on an especially beautiful show in autumn. Gather some of that fluff and put it into a clear holiday ornament. Whomever you give it to can display it on the tree or elsewhere inside. After the holidays they can remove and sow the seeds outside.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Arrange a winter bouquet. I don’t pretend to be a floral designer. Still, I put together this simple arrangement featuring native little bluestem grass, pink turtlehead and anise hyssop. This could serve as a dinner table centerpiece or something nice for the coffee table. Try to mix textures — I went with the large leaves and dark seed heads of turtlehead to contrast with the fine, feathery texture of little bluestem.

 

Source: Houzz

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