So, the festive season is upon us, and the only bargains you picked up on Black Friday were for yourself - and besides, you’d prefer to avoid contributing further to the prevailing culture of empty consumerism. Santa can’t get you out of this one. If you find yourself struggling for inspiration, may we suggest that the gift of a well-chosen potted plant can be a meaningful and novel alternative to the usual tired clichés and all-too disposable consumer goods?
There are plenty of reasons why plants make great gifts, from the sentimental - serving to remind the owner of the giver each time they water them; to the practical (many houseplants serve to actively improve the environment they live in. Plant's can be fascinating and beautiful companions, are an ecologically responsible choice and can even help us to feel needed! People really do develop a relationship with the plants in their homes and the best part is that a well-cared-for plant will continue to improve as time goes by.
Choosing an appropriate plant can seem a little bewildering, but there really is something for everyone, be they children, experienced gardeners, batchelors or even seasoned plant-killers . Or, perhaps, you might prefer something with a strong Christmas association, like a festive Cyclamen, Sparkling Poinsettia or a White Christmas Azalea. All will do well when it's cold and grey outside if kept on a windowsill or table, and with the appropriate attention will last until next Christmas rolls around.
Of course, a plant isn't just for Christmas and nor should your gift-giving be limited to festive varieties: it’s fine to just go for something fun and attractive, or even tasty – a chilli plant is a practical and low maintenance choice for adults and kids alike. If you think green fingers might be really lacking, the Christmas Cactus is particularly tough and should last for many years. On the other hand, you could make it even easier and give a self-watering planter (like a Boskke Cube), with a plant already installed. Just remember, if you are thinking about buying plants for children, make sure you pick something suitable and safe, such as Aloe Vera or African Violet. Older kids of all ages are sure to love the gruesome appeal of a Venus Fly Trap or Pitcher Plant.
Whatever you decide, it’s a good idea to take extra care when wrapping, and remember it may be a few days before your gift is safely installed in its new home, so do make sure it’s been watered. It’s also advisable to include some simple care instructions, just in case. And if you can’t find a suitable plant but have a plant lover (or killer) in the family, you can always pre-order them one of our Boskke Totems to help them with their plant-friendly new year resolution.
So, sidestep the high street and head for the garden centre this season. Giving a living, growing, beautiful gift is a wonderful way to say Merry Christmas to someone you love – and it might just provide the spark for a lifelong fascination!
Joss Spry, November 2017