Plants to Give a Gardener

Plants to Give a Gardener

Gardeners have a reputation for being hard to shop for around the holidays, but we don't think that's quite fair! Every gardener we know has an extensive wish list filled with plants, either typed out on our phones, scrawled in a garden journal somewhere, or — more likely — simply floating around inside our heads. But we're pretty simple, really: You can't really go wrong with plants, but a really unique plant is always preferable. That's why we've put together a list of sought-after plants that we think any gardener would be happy for Santa to deliver. (And if you're a gardener, we won't stop you from forwarding this list to the people in your life who might be looking for a gift for you — or even treating yourself to one of these fantastic finds!)

Plus, be sure to check out our annual Holiday Gift Guide for more ideas on what to get the gardener in your life apart from plants!

Unique Growth Forms

Occasionally, nature creates some weird and beautiful wonders that grab our attention. A particular plant may defy the norms of its species' growth patterns in favor of something dwarfed, narrow, or maybe even weeping! Others, like the zig zag camellia and contorted flowering quince, may grow twisty branches that can't decide on a single direction. Unique, sculptural plants like these make great gifts for gardeners because they're brimming with character. No two in a lineup will look the same.

Unusual Edibles

There are a lot of gorgeous edible plants that make great gifts. (Citrus, anyone?) But there are some plants we don't get in quite as often, and that also have the advantage of being able to live in the ground year-round in our climate. Is the gardener on your list a tea lover? Consider giving them their very own specimen of the shrub that supports a multi-billion dollar industry and let them try their hand at brewing what they grow. Or, for something deliciously ornamental, a persimmon is hard to beat, offering bright orange fruits in fall and winter that adorn the tree's bare branches.

Winter Interest

We're firm believers that every garden could use more winter-interest. All it takes is a few key plants to light up an otherwise dreary landscape during the cold months when not much else is going on. In the case of many of the plants below, they somehow manage to muster up the energy to flower when everything else is sleeping — an impressive feat to say the least. Manzanitas are fantastic West Coast natives that fit the bill, and they are joined on this list by garden classics like mahonias, edgeworthia, and winter daphne — the last of which also just so happens to be fragrant. Other plants still offer colorful bark or foliage this time of year. While there are several gorgeous conifers take on striking hues in the winter, Chief Joseph lodgepole pine is an easy favorite among Oregon gardeners, as this cultivar of our native Pinus contorta offers downright gorgeous golden needles.

Fall Interest

While it's probably safe to say that more gardeners have fall covered than winter, no gardener would turn their nose up at more autumn color. And sometimes that color can come from unusual places! The Pink-A-Boo Camellia is a newer introduction that is a sport of the famous fall-blooming Yuletide, bringing a soft hue of pink to the autumn garden that plays beautifully off of the oranges, reds, and yellows that dominate this time of year. But if you're looking for an unusual source of those fiery hues, an enkianthus might be the perfect choice! These shrubs aren't as commonly grown, but we think they should be, because not only do they offer reliable fall color, but charming bell-shaped blooms earlier in the season.

Flower Power

While spring has its share of flowers, few shrubs offer the kind of bodacious blooms as rhododendrons and camellias — the latter of which often starts blooming in winter! While these aren't uncommon plants, necessarily, there are a few we have at the Farm right now that seem to grab gardeners' attention. And these picks are also evergreen, only adding to their utility in the garden.

Fragrance For Days

Gardeners are visual people, and so it makes sense that we are drawn to showy flowers and bold foliage. But often times, we forget to account for the invisible — but very real — dimension of fragrance! With the simple gift of a few fragrant plants, you can help the gardener in your life experience and enjoy their garden without ever having to open their eyes. The following are a few of our favorite sweet-smelling plants that we have in stock this time of year, including the unusual-and-airy azaras, which produce inconspicuous — but delightfully-perfumed — flowers in January and February, as well as an array of more classic varieties like daphnes and gardenias.

Tropical Looks for Temperate Climes

If you know that the gardener in your life appreciates a bold, tropical-looking aesthetic, there are several plants we can reccomend that fit the bill. And the good news is, because they're fairly distinctive, it's easier to ascertain whether or not your giftee already has any of these in their garden already. It would be pretty hard to miss a towering monkey puzzle tree like the one beside our family's Farmhouse, after all! We don't always have them in stock, when we do, these specimen trees tend to go fast. And the same can be said for many of the plants below. As gardeners ourselves, we're particularly fascinated by hardy scheffleras, which are one of the newest classes of plant to take the horticultural world by storm, and if they aren't on your garden-loving loved one's radar, they definitely should be.