As the holiday season approaches, we are thinking of so many fun and creative ways to utilize our gardens and the abundance of nature to create unique gifts for those we love. A gift from the garden is a gift from the heart; it’s something that shows thought, care and consideration. It can be as simple as a freshly picked bouquet of flowers, or an intricately woven or decorated wreath. Here are some of our favorite ideas for gifts that can be given from the garden that are free or very low cost to make.
Custom Seed Packets
Are any of your favorite plants in the garden going to seed? Have the kids go on a seed scavenger hunt to collect the seeds and then design and make their own custom seed packets for gifting! You can find free printable seed packet designs online, or challenge the kids to get creative with recycled paper by trying different folding techniques. Be sure your seeds are completely dry before packaging.
Pick and dry fresh herbs that you have growing in your garden and package them as tea! You can use just one plant, like mint or lemongrass, or mix and match herbs to make different blends. Plants to use for tea can include: mint, chamomile, lavender, lemongrass, hibiscus flowers, mamaki, echinacea, mugwort, lemon balm, or catnip. You can place these loose blends in small recycled glass jars or make your own tea bags using cheesecloth or coffee filters.
Cheesecloth: Cut into a square, place one teaspoon of tea in center, gather edges, and tie with string. Attach a homemade tag or something creative to the end of the string, like a bead or a piece of seaglass.
Coffee Filter: Cut the sides off of a coffee filter so it creates a rectangle. Place loose leaf tea on the filter. Fold both long sides into the middle. Fold the filter in half. Trim the top. Fold the top corners down. Staple a string to the top folds of the packet.
Infused Sugar or Salt
Infusing the fresh flavors of your garden into sugar or salt is such a great way to share your garden with your friends and family. Be sure your herbs are completely dry before adding. Seal in an airtight jar and let sit for one week before gifting, to be sure the sugar or salt has taken on the full flavor and aroma of the herb.
Ratio: Approximately 1 teaspoon dried herbs (one herb, or a combination) to 1/4 cup sugar/salt.
Try with salt: Rosemary, Sage, Fennel, Basil, Oregano, Thyme
Try with sugar: Lavender, Lemongrass, Lemon balm, Mint, Dried Citrus Peel, Dried Coconut
To put the finishing touch on your gift, have the kids create homemade cards using leaf rubbings. By placing a leaf under white paper and gently rubbing a crayon sideways across the paper, it will transfer the leaf pattern onto the paper. This final thoughtful gesture will be sure to put a smile on your loved one’s face. And don’t forget: banana and ti leaves work great as a “wrapping paper!”
Our gardens and the land around us provide so much. Show those you care about this holiday season that you were thinking of them by gifting these simple, thoughtful gifts!