Gardening can bring so much joy and inspiration to our lives, so why not share that with others? Often, when plants are in season, they produce in abundance for a short period. Make the most of your garden’s seasonal offerings by creating eco-conscious gifts to share with your friends and family.
A good place to start is to get into the habit of preparing something small to take each time you visit a friend, whether that is some homemade baking, preserves, fresh produce, potted plants or simply a single cut flower from your garden.
If you have ever received a gift, even a small one, for no reason, you will know that it is such a heartwarming feeling. Giving gifts is just as fulfilling as receiving them, and you never know what inspiration and joy your small gift may spark. Below are 8 simple garden-to-gift ideas to get you started!
Fresh cut flowers
It is essential to grow flowers in your garden to encourage more pollinators and offer diversity. Fresh cut flowers make simple yet thoughtful gifts that brighten up anyone's day. Pick seasonal flowers, foliage and even fragrant herbs to use as gifts. Cut your stems with a sharp pair of Hoselink Secateurs to ensure the ends remain open to draw up water. Remove the bottom leaves and place them in a small jar of water. You can also wrap the ends in a damp cloth or newspaper to transport them.
Bonus: Why not make an edible bouquet? This offers a beautiful, fragrant arrangement with the bonus of fresh herbs to use in meals. Use edible flowers such as zinnias, lavender, rosemary, rose, cornflowers or nasturtiums and pair with fresh seasonal herbs.
Harvest your in-season fresh herbs and make small bundles to gift to your friends, family or neighbours. The act of giving can set off a chain of reactions and inspire others to offer gifts or small acts of kindness in return. Tie your herb bundles with a ribbon or string and keep them fresh in a jar of water until it is time to gift them. Herbs are a great introduction to growing food as they offer easy and instant ways to add fresh flavour to any meal.
Bonus: Make custom herb bunches to suit:
- Cocktail lovers? Put together a bunch of herbs or flowers that can be used to make delicious, fresh drinks. Try herbs such as mint, basil, lemon balm, lemongrass, lavender or rosemary.
- Pizza-loving friends? Put together a bunch of herbs such as basil, thyme, parsley, chives, oregano or coriander to top a pizza for added flavour.
- Sunday roast herbs: Make a roast dinner even more special with the addition of sage, rosemary, thyme or parsley.
Herbs grow in huge abundance during the spring and summer seasons and often produce a lot more than we can use. Dry your excess herbs using a dehydrator or by hanging bunches upside down somewhere warm and dry. You can then make small batches of mixed herbs as Tea Blends to use as gifts from the garden. Place the dried herbs in small jars and add a label with what herbs are inside. Dried herbs are so versatile and easy to use and offer much more flavour than store-bought herbs. Some great herbs or flowers for tea blends are mint, basil, lemon balm, lemongrass, lavender, calendula, rose or rosemary.
Do you want to create your own tea garden? Read more here.
If you have an excess of fruits or vegetables, preserve them by making jams, chutney, sauce, canning, or dehydrating. This is a great way to enjoy your seasonal produce throughout the year. Jams and preserves also make great gift ideas!
Gifting preserves or produce from your garden allows you to stop and think about each individual's likes. Sometimes, we can forget the small details in our busy lives, so this may help you be more intentional and thoughtful with your gift-giving. Would they enjoy hot sauce, cake garnishes or sweet treats?
Add another layer of thought and care by creating fun customised labels and names for your preserves. You can make homemade labels by printing designs on to regular paper and pasting them on to a jar or bottle by brushing with milk and allowing it to dry. This is a quick and easy way to make individual labels to suit.
Propagating plants or taking cuttings can be a great way to produce a lot more plants for free. Try propagating house plants, succulents or herbs and share your plants with others. A continuous flow of propagated plants can be a great way to create low-cost gifts on hand for any occasion. Plants make beautiful gift ideas and can carry the sentiments from whoever gifted them for many years to come.
Cards or labels
Once you start making cards and labels from your garden, you will never look back! Cards can be made using tree bark and leaves for sustainable and unique eco-friendly options. Look for large thick leaves and flat, smooth bark to write your special notes on. Leaves and flowers can also be pressed ahead of time to create flat, dry surfaces, which are easier to write on. Pressed or dried leaves and flowers can be kept as decor for many years. Use smaller leaves for labels to simply write ‘to’ and ‘from’ names or ingredients.
Infused salts or sugars
Infused salts or sugars make perfect gifts from the garden. They are easy to make, plus they store well and are easy to use. This means whoever you give them to will be able to get plenty of use out of them. Infused sugars can be great for finishing off cakes, desserts, cookies, cocktails, or other sweet treats. Try adding mint sugar to a cup of hot chocolate for a delicate minty flavour. Infused salts can be used to finish off any savoury meal. There are two easy ways to make infused salt or sugar:
- Mix dried herbs and flowers with salt or sugar and place them in a jar.
- Blend equal parts (1:1) fresh herbs or flowers with salt or sugar and lay flat on a tray and allow to dry completely in a dehydrator or oven at 40°C. Once the herbs are dry, you can loosen the mix back up and place it in a jar.
Note: Blended sugar will turn into a fine powdered sugar, similar to icing sugar. If you want granular salt or sugar, just blend a small amount with the herbs and mix the rest through at the end.
Infused sugar ideas: Citrus zest, basil, edible flowers, strawberry, mint.
Infused salt ideas: Basil, rosemary, mixed herbs, nasturtium, sage, lemon zest.
Pictured: Mint sugar, mixed herb salt with chilli flakes, calendula and lemon zest sugar
Bundle up your extra in-season produce and gift them to others. This is such a great way to reduce the waste from your garden if you have surplus seasonal produce. If you can't keep up with your zucchini or your lemons are falling off the tree, create a hamper of edible goods to gift. This can include fruit, vegetables, herbs, jam or chutney, infused salt blends, plants, cuttings, fresh flowers or home baking. It is amazing how adding a few items to a box or basket soon adds up and creates a beautiful gift from your garden. This can spark so much inspiration in others to start growing their own or gift their extra produce.
Gifts shouldn't be about how much you spend but more about letting someone know they are appreciated and loved. Gift-giving doesn't have to be reserved only for special occasions. Every day should be celebrated, and so should your garden’s produce. Surprise gifts offer an extra layer of joy, so start sharing more gifts from the garden and spread the love!
I hope you feel inspired to share more gifts from your garden and brighten up someone's day. Happy gardening!