Tired of the annual holiday hunt for a parking place at the mall and pushing your way through all the shoppers?
Try a gentler, less-frenzied approach this year at least for some of the people on your shopping list. Got gardeners, great or gourmet cooks, seniors or shut-ins to shop for? Need sustainable corporate/business gifts that aren't from a catalog and shipped individually across five states?
Then give some horticultural therapy! It's as close as your local garden center.
Gardening is a chore and anything that makes it easier, faster or less labor intensive is a welcome treat for any gardener. Things as simple as a new pair of gardening gloves or herbal hand lotion go great in a stocking. Would your favorite gardener like more ergonomic tools that he might not buy for himself, but would mean less strain on his back? What about new hand pruners or the smaller version used to dead head flowers? They're practical gadgets and gizmos gardeners love.
• Deliver a no-calorie amaryllis bulb that's ready to grow to clients who probably cringe when yet another box of candy arrives.
• Create an herb garden for your favorite cook. This gift of good taste keeps fresh herbs always at hand. Garden centers usually pot up the plants at no extra charge when you buy the plants and container.
• Give a whimsical fairy garden to a shut-in. Gardening can be enjoyed - and therapeutic - even in a single container.
• Take small flowering plants to residents of a retirement center or nursing home. When even a picture of a landscape has been proven therapeutic in hospitals, just think what a live plant can do!
A fragrant arrangement or centerpiece filled with holiday greens is a thoughtful hostess or corporate gift that says the season. Or an early gift of a natural wreath or garland for the mantel can be a thoughtful touch for a friend who might not buy one herself.
• Are there seniors in your life who can no longer load the lawnmower into the car to take to the service center? A practical gift is to take it to the shop for a full service so the mower is ready to roll come spring.
• Help with holiday lighting. Keep someone, who has no business being on that ladder to string lights, safe by hiring an insured contractor to do the work safely.
• Give a landscape service like a one-time tree pruning, spring yard clean-up or a season of lawn care to someone who loves their nice yard, but can no longer do all the work.
For gift-giving this year, think creatively and sustainably. Plants keep our ongoing connection with Mother Nature alive and growing!
Courtesy Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company based in Silverthorne that is a member. You may contact them at (970) 468-0340.