Monrovia Plant Savvy
design, inspiration and practical ideas from the plant experts. December 2012
Blueberries for Fabulous Fall Foliage

Dear Savvy Gardener,


 

If you're dreading the hectic shopping mall scene this holiday season... look for simple, meaningful ways to relax and enjoy family and friends. That means traditional décor with natural materials, and gifts that are useful and keep giving beyond the season. So this year, head down to your local garden center. There you'll find a wealth of distinctive holiday decorating ideas, pretty plants and nature-inspired gifts.

Here's a gift idea for bird lovers — choose a few plants with berries, like Snowberry, Winterberry, Cranberry Bush or Beautyberry — and present them along with a bird feeder, or place in a bird bath (one with a heater for cold regions). Check the Audubon's tips on what types of seeds to buy to attract different types of birds... and you can even adopt a bird in someone's name!

  Charming Fantasy™ Snowberry
The large, blush-pink berries that emerge in the fall on Charming Fantasy™ Snowberry provide much needed food for birds to help get them through the winter. Bright Fantasy™ is loaded with pure white berries.
Blueberries and More
  Painted Echeveria leafgif   make a succulent wreath

Succulents are so popular, unbelievably easy to grow and very versatile. If your ground is frozen right now, bring them indoors — these heat lovers will be just fine until you're ready to plant outdoors. Plant some in pretty glazed containers to give as gifts, or, make a long-lasting, living wreath, teaming with colors and textures. BHG and Martha can show you how. Hens and Chicks work well, and many varieties are kissed with red, pink or maroon.


 
  Dwarf Burning Bush
leafgif   the life of the party

Need a memorable hostess gift? How about a fragrant citrus, like Nagami Kumquat or a Meyer Lemon? Both can be grown indoors or out. Tabletop Topiaries look great on a mantel, buffet or dining table. Nestle the pots in some greens or pine cones; even hang a few small ornaments on them. The multi-colored Goshiki False Holly, Tuscan Blue Rosemary or Alberta Blue Dwarf Alberta Spruce are perfect holiday choices. Or, opt for a modern look in a metallic silver or gold container.


 
  Autumn Moon Maple leafgif   green thumb 101

Beginning gardeners will appreciate some easy-care plants like Pyracantha, Bush Lily, Sedum or Siberian Carpet. Then wrap up a few essentials like a gardening book or magazine subscription, trowel, pruners and gloves. Too cold to garden right now where you live? Most garden centers have gift certificates so your loved one can browse the plants after the thaw.


 
  Profusion Beautyberry

leafgif   a greener way to celebrate

With a living Christmas tree you won't have to worry about it turning brown and dropping needles. Plus, you can plant it in your landscape and enjoy for many years. For a traditional look, try a Dwarf Alberta Spruce. If your style is more modern, trees with blue needles look stunning when decorated with all blue, silver or white ornaments. Try Hoop's Blue Spruce, Montgomery Blue Spruce or Iseli Fastigiate Spruce.

 
  Magic Carpet Spirea

leafgif   holiday portal

To create an inviting front entry, place tall, upright plants in large containers on either side of the door. Spiral Junipers or upright varieties of Green Tower® Boxwood or Monterey Bay Brush Cherry set the stage... ready to be decorated with ribbon, ornaments or twinkle lights. For a casual, colorful look, the Compact Strawberry Bush is in bloom this month and covered in red fruit.
 
There are plenty of reasons to go to the garden center this month. See what surprises are in store for you. Happy Holidays!