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The Alternative Advent Calendar

  • Posted on December 18, 2018 at 7:21 am

Alternative Advent Calendar 18Merry Midwinter’s countdown to Christmas with a difference!


Share a living gift.

Decide who you might like to give a living plant to this Christmas and make time to visit your local open air market or garden centre to choose one. Or perhaps you have an abundance of plants already potted up in your own garden? I particularly like to give pots of my scented geraniums as gifts, especially at this, the darkest, dreariest time of year. Fresh green growth and sweetly scented foliage brings a vibrant message of springtime, warmth, optimism and hope.

If you have a garden – or even a small back yard – you might like to plan growing some plants to give as gifts for Christmas 2019. This is really a project for the new year, but you may like to give it a thought now as an antidote to all the other Midwinter thoughts whirling around in your head right now.

Growing something from seed and watching it develop and flourish can be amazingly satisfying and bring much joy with it too. You needn’t tackle anything difficult or complicated. Culinary herbs are a perennial favourite and you can group three or four together in a broad-topped pot to make a really attractive and useful display – sage, thyme, oregano and chives are all very easy to grow (but there are lots of others too) and will happily co-exist together. When the time comes to distribute your gifts, clean the outside of the pot by scrubbing it with water and a stiff brush, allow to dry and then tie some brown (compostable) paper around the pot with a broad silk ribbon and there you have the perfect gift, all natural, useful, recyclable.

Whether you grow your own pot plants or buy them, giving the gift of a growing plant is a wonderful thing to do because it changes the whole ambience of any room or area it stands in, just as cut flowers improve and lift the mood and feeling of wherever they stand. A growing plant changes the energies around it and helps to bring us into right relation with our natural environment. They can help to balance and heal us, which is why we take flowers to a sick person.

So I will repeat, take a few moments today to think who you would like to give the gift of living growth to this week, and then have a bit of fun choosing the plant and ‘dressing’ it ready to present to it’s new owner. Remember to take some pleasure and fresh living energies from the task yourself. Who said that giving to others couldn’t bring its own rewards to the giver too?


N.B. If you are tempted to re-pot any plants at this time of year, think twice about it… they can catch cold… and certainly never pot anything up (or plant it out, for that matter) if the weather is very cold or frosty.