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Gifts that keep giving

Posted: 1pm 15 Dec 2021

GIVING loved ones the gift of greenery this Christmas is the perfect way to add colour, life and even a sense of fun to their home or garden.

Best of all, you can personalise the gift to create something truly unique, with or without Christmas touches.

We chatted with Redcliffe Garden Centre’s Tylor Elmsley and Kirsten Kemp about options for green and brown thumbs of all ages.

The centre has a range of flowering and fruiting plants, which are stunning this time of year and bursting with the colours of Christmas.

“The vincas we get this time of year are in reds and whites, the foliage is green so they’re perfect to put as a little centrepiece on your table. They can take the full sun and a bit of shade,” Mr Elmsley said.

“They’re also quite tough, so they’re great gift for someone who’s not much of a gardener who just wants a pop of colour in the garden.

“The ornamental chillis (we have) are great because the fruit changes colour, so you get an assortment of different colours in the same plant. It’s very Christmassy.

“You’ll get reds, purples, yellows, oranges, even green fruit as well. It looks almost like a little Christmas bush and you can also pick it and eat from it, so it’s a great gift for someone.”

To ensure the gift is the perfect heat for its recipient, check the ‘chilli rating’.

Succulents also make great presents because they are so easy to propagate and are literally the gift that keeps giving.

You can buy them grouped together and arranged in pots or bowls, as single plants or you can create a living masterpiece yourself.

If you’re looking for a versatile flowering plant, it is hard to look past gerberas which are in full bloom this time of year.

“They’re a nice little pot that you can bring inside and have on the table,” Mr Elmsley said.

“Once they finish flowering, just pop them out in the garden and they do very well out there.”

Euphorbia white sparkle is also stunning in summer.

“It’s just a little shrub that’s covered in tiny white flowers that looks like snow. People can plant them at the base of a larger plant, so it looks like a cushiony base. They flower for quite a lot of the year and they’re super tough,” Mr Elmsley said.

“They’re perennials, so prune them back, fertilise them and they’ll keep flowering.”

If you’re keen to gift a plant with wow factor, Redcliffe Garden Centre has a selection of hanging baskets and balls, and bowls packed with colour and variety.

They have been carefully crafted by ‘Christmas elves’ Raylee Williams and Kirsten Kemp, as have fairy gardens for little green thumbs.

Ms Williams is thinking of giving one to her nieces.

“I think little girls and little boys are really into the fairies. Every time they come in here, they always go straight to the fairy section,” she said.

A fairy garden is a present you can buy as a complete package or you can buy all the elements and make it yourself, or make it with your special little person to foster an early love of gardening.

So, why are plants great gifts?

“I think everyone just enjoys having a plant in their home, whether it’s a little tiny one in their kitchen or in their bathroom. I think most people just enjoy having some kind of greenery in their house,” Ms Williams said.

“It’s a bit more thoughtful as well, rather than just a gift card. Something that gives life and happiness to people.”

Indoor plants instantly give a room a lift and make people feel good about the space they are in.

“Instant greenery, fresher, cleaner air especially with a lot of people working from home these days. You want a nice space to sit in,” Mr Elmsley said.

And for those worried about killing their gift before they have the chance to hand it over …

“My advice would be to get it a week or two before Christmas, ask the people at the nursery how to care of it. If it’s something like a succulent, it will need minimal care anyway but if it does need a bit more care try your hardest to make it look the best you can before you give it to the person,” Mr Elmsley said.

Redcliffe Garden Centre is open on Christmas Eve for those not wanting to take the chance and would prefer to give a gift straight from the nursery.

Visit redcliffegardencentre.com.au

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