When you have an interest in gardening, even the teeniest, tiniest interest, it seems to solve a problem of what friends give you as gifts. I collected a number of gardening books over the years as a result, and since I don’t have a large garden, many of the books became redundant and found their way into a charity shop. I am still being given gardening books! However, a recent gift from a friend has been a bit better thought out. I don’t have a garden I can grow much in so I depend on containers. I am happy to turn anything into a growing area, if I can’t go outwards, I go upwards. My new book is for the benefit of small spaces and best of all, it shows upcycled uses for recycled material. I am already familiar with the suggestions in the book but at least it’s good to serve as a reminder and give fresh inspiration for reviving some creativity in the garden.
There is no excuse for not being able to grow something even if you don’t have a garden, although it is all the better if you can grow something edible and get the benefit of it. The worst coming to the worst, air plants can make a lovely display and you don’t even need compost, the only requirement is a quick misting and the occasional dip in water, (the plants not you). They are nice although non-productive otherwise. An old baking tin, some acetate glued to the front and fill with any decorative medium, the plant only needs it to hold it in place. Sedums can also be grown in a similar display but they need a little bit more water.
No windowsill? Then there might be room for a sky planter, an upside-down pot with something like chilli peppers, herbs or small tomatoes growing downwards but there are a host of other plants which can be used the same way. No need to go to the expense of buying specialised pots, re-use wine bottles by drilling a hole in the bottom, and put the plant in.
Pots are another item friends think I just can’t do without, regrettably, I can, I could open a shop with the amount of plant pots I have, they just never seem to go away. I give a lot of plants away but use plastic drinking cups for them, they don’t take up so much room or use so much compost, so my collection of plant pots grows quickly, I think they must be breeding.
Then there are the seeds or bulbs, usually sale items at the end of the season that friends think I might be able to make use of. I never have the heart to say I don’t have anywhere to put them and usually find I keep them to save hurting their feelings so have to store my preferred seeds or give the bulbs I already bought, away to someone else. I would rather keep my friends, and use the seeds I wanted to sow, another year. So if any of my friends are reading this, I would like to drop a hint and say what really would be very useful as a gardening gift – is a bag of compost.
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