Monrovia - Plant Savvy
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design, inspiration and practical ideas from the plant experts. December 2013
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Dear Savvy Gardener,

Looking for some special gifts for the favorite people in your life?  Gifts that are useful, beautiful and that keep giving beyond the season? Look no further than your local garden center!  There you’ll find plenty of pretty plants and nature-inspired gifts, plus a wealth of distinctive holiday decorating ideas.. Wouldn’t you love to give (or receive) a beautiful Citrus tree?  In colder climates, grow dwarf varieties  indoors.  Know someone who loves Roses, but not all the work? Opt for the easy care Flower Carpet® or Knockout® Roses.  They’re both disease and pest resistant, and self deadhead. Too cold to garden right now?  Most garden centers have gift certificates, so your loved one can go plant shopping after the thaw. Or wrap up a few essentials like a gardening book or magazine subscription, trowel or gloves.

 


Picture this table setting without the plant.  It would still be pretty, but the lush conifer in a sparkly pot adds so much to your holiday décor.  Plus, the fragrance is marvelous.




 
Blue Princess Holly
for the birds

For the bird lover on your list, choose a few plants that have berries, seeds or nectar to feed their feathered friends, and present them in a bird bath (one with a heater for cold regions).  Holly is holiday festive and provides plenty of fruit for birds.  Red Beauty®  and Blue Princess will attract them with a profusion of red berries.  Crabapples provide lots of fruit for birds and a profusion of spring blooms for the butterflies. Look for the  Prairifire and Centurion®  varieties.

 
 
 
Raspberry Festival™ Cordyline
pretty easy

Beginning gardeners or those pressed for time will appreciate some easy-to-grow plants like Festival™ Cordyline, which have strappy, arching foliage that looks fantastic in a modern container. Try  Burgundy or our new Raspberry. Another foolproof plant is Brake Lights® Red Yucca and its bright red blooms attract hummingbirds. For colorful foliage and flowers, look for Kaleidoscope Abelia or Pipa’s Red Fringe Flower. And for a foolproof gift, a pretty container filled with Succulents.

 
 
 
Tabletop Topiaries
a shrub under the tree

Or a perennial!  Small pots planted with herbs make great gifts for people who like to cook.  Whether or not they have a green thumb, they can surely keep some Rosemary, Sage or Thyme on their windowsill, ready for recipes that call for fresh herbs.  Take as a hostess gift to your next party or as a thank you gift for a teacher. Small shrubs like this Grune Kugel Red Cedar or Little Gem Norway Spruce are perfect for the holidays.

 
 
 
Swane’s Gold Italian Cypress
porchscaping with topiaries

It’s like landscaping, but for your porch!  With a few topiary trees, it’s easy to make an inviting front entry.  Two large spiral-shaped Green Columnar Junipers on either side of the door make a stunning statement. Decorate them with twinkle lights, bows or colorful balls.   For a pop of color, try Swane’s Golden Italian Cypress.  They have bright golden-yellow new foliage. Emerald Wave Sweet Bay, shaped into a patio tree can be decorated with ribbons and ornaments. It's bright green rippled leaves can be used for cooking.

 
 
 
Variegated English Boxwood
tabletop topiaries

Tabletop Topiaries make memorable hostess gifts – or you may want to keep them for your own mantel, buffet or dining table.  Nestle the mossy terra cotta pots in some evergreen boughs or pinecones.  For a more formal look, put them into glittery silver or gold pots. Dwarf English Boxwood and Little Ollie® Dwarf Olive are perfect holiday choices.  Goshiki False Holly  in Japanese, Goshiki translates as "five colors." Its new leaves emerge red and quickly turn green daubed with spots of creamy white, gray-green, and yellow-green.

 
 
 
 
 
Place a mini Christmas tree on a mantel or side table. It will add fragrance to your home until you’re ready to plant in spring.
Another stunner for porchscaping -- Sizzling Pink Fringe Flower
Ludwig Spaeth Lilac

Plants to look for now:
Dormant Lilacs and Wisteria. Plant now or keep in their pots until warmer weather.  Gift recipients will love you when spring brings abundant fragrant blooms.

 
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