November 12, 2021 9 min read

To help you out this holiday season, Cornell Farm has put together a comprehensive guide to gifting in 2021! See if you recognize anyone on your list among the descriptions below, then keep reading to see a few of our recommendations for each one:

For the Gardener Who Has Everything...

Chances are that if you're reading this list, you either are this person or you know someone who is. They love to garden, but they seem to have it all. Short of bending space and time to expand the bounds of their garden or give them more time to spend there, it can be hard to know what to give a gardener this time of year, but we have a few tried and true gift ideas to help you out.

Invest in Winter Interest

You might be thinking to yourself that a dormant perennial in a pot isn't exactly the most impressive looking gift to wrap and put under the tree — and you would be right — but there are plenty of plants that make a fantastic showing for the holidays. Every garden could use more winter interest, and plants that are evergreen, bloom in the winter, or boast colorful bark and stems solve the issue of handing someone an "empty" pot. We've put together a list of Winter-Interest Plants like Camellias, Winter Daphne, Hellebores, Red Twig Dogwoods, native Madrone, potted Citrus, and more for occasions such as this. (If you're having trouble choosing or want to let your gardener pick out their own plants once the ground warms up in the spring, we also offer gift cards!)

"Deck Out" Their Back Deck

Garden accents like rain chains or coir mats are also great gifts that you don't have to keep alive until gifting day, and if you know a gardener particularly interested in supporting local wildlife, bird feeders, bat houses, and bee hotels offer food and protection for our most frequent garden visitors. You might be surprised to learn that overwintering hummingbirds will continue to drink from feeders throughout the winter here in the Pacific Northwest, so a beautiful glass hummingbird feeder not only helps to support these magnificent pollinators this time of year, but also makes for a beautiful decorative piece to hang near a window.

Save Them Time & Effort

Gardening is full of joy, but there are some garden to-dos that aren't exactly what you'd call fun. Having the right tools for the job can make these chores easier and faster so that gardeners can back to the parts of gardening that fulfill them most. This fall, we put together a list of our staff's Favorite Tools from the multi-functional Hori Hori knife to our favorite water wand, but there are plenty of great options for gifting: A Dandelion Weeder is a gardener's best friend when it comes to pulling out those tough-to-pull weeds with breakable taproots, and there's no better broom than the functional-yet-beautiful Better Broom for getting those pesky remaining fall leaves off of your patio or porch. (It even works on snow!) A Garden Kneeler is another great idea to save a formerly spritely gardener's knees when working close to the ground.

Inspire Them

Sometimes gardeners — like painters — have looked at their own canvas for too long and need a set of fresh eyes to help them envision what could be. A Garden Coaching Session is a great way to help them breathe new life into their landscape with the help of a professional to bounce ideas off of and problem solve alongside. Our landscape contractor and designer Bill Clodfelter enhances and transforms landscapes on a daily basis and is full of great ideas to help home gardeners get the most out of their space. He can also help with larger design, hardscape, and planting projects down the line.

For the Houseplant Parent...

Not all heroes wear capes, and not all plant lovers have backyards. For those that don't, there's the big wide world of houseplants! If you're shopping for someone who does more gardening indoors than out, a visit to our greenhouse just might be in order this holiday season.

Expand Their Collection

Houseplant parents are collectors at heart, which is why the interiors of many of our homes could be mistaken for some far-off jungle. But if there's one thing we know, it's that there's always room to squeeze just one more plant into even the most overstuffed of collections. If you're not sure where to start, our staff are always happy to help you pick out the perfect houseplant, whether you're shopping for someone who likes flower power, needs to keep things pet-friendly, or who only has space to make room for something truly rare and unusual, like a highly sought-after Pink Princess Philodendron. For those truly strapped for space, consider a decorative terrarium with easy-care air plants that could easily sit on a coffee table!

Give Them a Fun Project

If your houseplant parent is more of the crafty type, we've got all the supplies you need to put together a truly awe-inspiring terrarium kit for them to make their own miniature world! Give them an excuse to exercise their creative muscles and create something totally unique, and a "Plant Parent" pin to help them show off their love for their hobby wherever they go.

Illuminate Their Hobby

If you know someone whose houseplant collection has expanded well past their windowsill and away from natural light, you can help them conquer even more territory for growing plants — or lend a lifeline to the ones that are already there — with indoor grow-light solutions. Or shine some metaphorical light on their expanding hobby with a book on houseplant care or a journal for keeping notes so they aren't left scratching their heads the next time they wonder when exactly it was that they last repotted their beloved Anthurium or how they should go about doing it this time.

For the "Homebody"...

We don't blame anyone for wanting to stay home every now and again — especially when venturing outside our homes in the winter means contending with the cold and rain. For those that would rather not brave the elements, there's nothing like a few simple creature comforts to help cultivate their own private oasis at home.

Help Them Get Cozy

It just takes a few warmly scented candles to totally transform the ambience of a room and create a more inviting escape, and we've got candles and environmental fragrance diffusers to do just that in scents ranging from feminine florals to masculine pines. But for those moments when the focus needs to be less home and more body, we offer lotions and soaps to keep those comforting fragrances close at hand — literally! And if you're Secret Santa for someone who could use a bit of extra help unwinding, a CBD-infused bath bomb is another great way to help them ease into relaxation mode and settle down with a good book or a botanically-inspired puzzle.

For the Sentimental One...

Whether it's your mom, dad, best friend, or grandparent, we all have that person in our life whose strong emotional connections extend even to the objects they surround themselves with. Give back to the person that helps keep you connected to your emotional side with a heartfelt gift they're sure to love.

Have Them Reaching for the Tissues

For the person who has a story for each and every one of the trinkets on their shelves, why not give them something that will remind them of you whenever they look at it? A beautiful botanical tea towel printed with the design of a peony like the ones that grew in your grandmother's garden has all the makings of their next cherished keepsake. And a hand-painted glass ornament in the shape of a greenhouse is sure to remind them of that one trip you made to the botanical garden together whenever they go to pull down the boxes of holiday decorations from the attic each year.

Share the Love

Sharing is caring, and it's not a lost art, either! If the sentimental person in your life was also gifted with a green thumb, consider giving them a beautiful, blooming Christmas Cactus — a perfect passalong plant that can be propagated to provide loved ones near and far with those same festive blooms year-after-year, like a relative that always manages to show up just in time for Christmas dinner. Or give them a repository for a few of their precious memories, family recipes, and more in the form of a beautifully-bound journal so that you can all remember them long from now.

For Locals New & Old...

Sometimes, a place just resonates with you so deeply that you wouldn't entertain living anywhere else — that's how we feel about Oregon! And if you're shopping for someone who loves where they live as much as we do, we've got some great ways to help them tap into the unique flare of our community.

Help Them Explore

No matter how deep your roots run in a place, the exciting thing is that there's always something new to be discovered in your own backyard! Help foster a sense of adventure at home in the Portlander you know with a guide to biking in the city or our network of urban trails. And if this person on your list could be described as anything close to a hiker, you can help them connect with the wildlife and wildflowers that live and grow all around us with a handy field guide specific to our region.

Let Them Show Their Pride

Repping our state doesn't just mean sporting gear from local teams or sipping from a mug with "I OR" printed on the front. It also means supporting local artists, artisans, and businesses. That's why we continually search for goods made right here in Portland and across our great state to feature in our gift shop. If that's a curatorial ethos that would resonate with someone on your shopping list, be on the lookout for a few of the following gifts in our displays to help you shop local:

  • CBD-infused products like bath bombs and lip balms from Life Flower
  • Lotions, candles, and bath bombs from DANI Naturals
  • Brightly colored soaps from Lion & Rose
  • Nature-inspired kitchen towels and decorative pouches from Bird Mafia
  • Cards and stickers featuring art, photos, and designs from Elyse Breanne Design, Ingrid Arnett, Jordi Pugh, KPB Design, Maija Rebecca Hand Drawn, Michele Maule, and Tender Loving Empire.

Give Them a Taste of Home

At Cornell Farm, we don't just offer our guests some of the finest plants through our Nursery; we also have a delicious onsite Cafe that's serving up fresh, local fare day in and day out! A Cafe gift card is a great way to treat someone you know to a special brunch, a lively round of tapas and cocktails, or just a quick espresso on the go. And if they want to enjoy the same rich coffee they do at brunch, our Cafe also offers individual bags of coffee beans from the prized Sleepy Monk Roasters of Cannon Beach to take home. Also be on the lookout for other local offerings: Wildwood Chocolate and Nature's Best Oregon Honey.

For the Curious Young Mind...

If you're shopping for someone on the younger end of the age spectrum this holiday season, you'll definitely want to check out our "Kids' Corner" for an assortment of gifts sure to offer hours of delight, and perhaps even inspire the next generation of gardeners.

Engage Their Brain

Our selection of garden- and plant-themed kids' books and puzzles provide families with the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together while learning and problem solving. And for more hands-on experience, we offer a handful of science kits and activities like a leaf and flower press that might even help a budding horticulturalist along their future vocational path!

Let Them Play

Kids' brains benefit from unstructured play time, too! We have a wide selection of super-cute felt animals they will love playing with, as well as a shirt or two to make sure they look good doing it. And because a little dirt never hurt, why not offer your aspiring botanist a selection of gardening tools made for little hands? If you're looking to plant seeds with the little one on your list, look for options that grow quickly and easily — like nasturtiums, radishes, and sprouts — so they can watch the progress more easily.

No matter who you're shopping for, we hope you've found some useful inspiration in this year's holiday gift guide. Our staff are always happy to assist you in tracking down any of the items mentioned on this list or making your final selections. Although some of the items mentioned above are available online, we invite you to come look around in person to see what speaks to you. There's plenty of gifts to discover at the Farm that wouldn't fit here!