Monrovia Plant Savvy
design, inspiration and practical ideas from the plant experts. November/December 2011
gifts that keep on growing

Dear Savvy Gardener,


The best advice for giving great gifts is to give something you would like to receive. And, since you're reading this issue of plant savvy, it's likely that you are among the many who prefer plants or other gardening related goodies as gifts. So head down to your local garden center and use your imagination. Winter blooming plants will brighten anyone's day. Camellias are good choices, like the pretty red Spring's Promise Ice Angels® and Yuletide, or snowy white varieties like White Doves and Northern Exposure. Hellebores like Gold Collection® Cinnamon Snow has creamy white flowers suffused with warm rose and cinnamon. Plant a few in a pretty container and voile... gift is done. Some varieties of Heath bloom from winter through early spring, like Mediterranean Pink with lavender-pink blooms or Kramer's Winter Red with magenta red flowers.

Plants make great gifts. Wouldn't you love to receive a beautiful blooming Camellia? Spring's Promise, above, has big blooms and is more cold-hardy than other Camellias.
giving living
  Blue Princess Holly leafgif   for the birds

Garden centers have plenty of gifts for the bird lover on your list - from birdbaths and houses to plants that have berries, seeds or nectar to feed our feathered friends. Holly is holiday festive and provides berries for birds. Red Beauty® and Blue Princess will attract them with a profusion of red berries. Santa's Delight® has deep blue-green leaves bordered by a wide creamy-white border which changes to pink in fall. Its bright red berries complement the foliage and persist well into winter.

  Tabletop Topiary Rosemary
leafgif   herbs as gifts

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 snipping off when a recipe calls for fresh herbs. Take as a hostess gift to your next party or as a thank you gift for a teacher. Roman Beauty Rosemary blooms in the winter in warmer climates with small purple flowers. Or try fragrant Variegated Lemon Thyme or Tricolor Sage with its green leaves and white, pink and purple markings.

  Swane's Gold Italian Cypress leafgif   porchscaping for the holidays

It's like landscaping, but for your porch! And when better to get inspired but around the holidays? Topiary trees are a great start. Two large spirals on either side of the door make a stunning statement. Junipers, Spruce and Cypress are good choices. Then decorate them with twinkle lights, bows or colorful balls. For a pop of color, place a pair of Swane's Golden Italian Cypress at your doorstep. They have bright golden yellow new foliage with deep green underneath.

  Pewter Pillar™ Winter's Bark


living art

Try some plants that have interesting branches and flower in the winter. Persian Ironwood would make an interesting addition to your patio. It has outstanding fall color of yellow, orange and scarlet and then red anthered flowers cover the bare branches in late winter. Pewter Pillar™ Winter's Bark has a nice upright shape and clusters of pretty white blooms. Noell Grevillea is festooned with rose-red and white flowers on trailing branches.