There’s the usual list of family, friends, and colleagues, as well as the ever-expanding group of teachers, teacher’s helpers and tutors. Gifting quickly becomes an expensive experience when you recon all these people into your shopping list. Luckily your garden can come to the rescue!
Even the humblest garden can provide wonderful gifts. With only a little bit of planning and a Saturday morning set aside, you can easily tick off most of your festive gift shopping without having to don your mask and brave the crowds and queues.
If you have a herb garden, you can make herb-infused oils, bath salts and even scented bags to use as plastic-free car-deodorizers.
Lavender Bath Salt
Lavender bath salts are a classic. (Make enough to keep a jar for yourself!)
- 3 cups of Epsom salt
- 1 cup of Himalayan Pink salt
- ½ cups of Baking Soda
- 1 cup of dried Lavender (finely chopped)
- 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Rose Geranium Essential Oil
- 5 tablespoons of good quality Olive Oil
What to Do
Mix all the ingredients together and spoon into smaller glass bottles. Ad a ribbon and attach a card or print a sticker with a thank you message, and your done!
Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil
Rosemary and garlic infused Oil can be used for cooking, as a marinade for meat or as the base of a salad dressing.
- 250ml good quality oil with a high smoking point like Avocado Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Three or four whole garlic cloves, peeled and lightly bruised to release flavour.
- Two long sprigs of fresh Rosemary, washed, with any dead leaves or dried flowers pinched off.
What to Do
Place the three garlic cloves and the sprigs of rosemary into a clean glass bottle. Pour the oil over the herbs and garlic and tightly screw on the lid. Place the oil bottle in a bowl or pot with hot, recently boiled water in and allow it to slowly warm up and the infusion process to start. Remove the bottle once the water is cold, ad a ribbon and attach a card or print a sticker with a thank you message, and tick off yet another gift, straight from your garden.
A succulent terrarium is an easy way to give someone the illusion of flowers without spending hundreds of rands on a bouquet. It also lasts longer but isn’t finicky to keep alive, like many store-bought houseplants – so they won’t hate you by January.
- A deep glass bottle with an opening big enough to fit your hand in, or a tall vase. (This can also be made in a shallow tray-like ceramic bowl for a different look.)
- A few scoops of different shades of sand and potting soil.
- Decorative pebbles or rocks.
- Succulent cuttings. (Spekboom or Desert Roses work well, but you can use whatever you have in your garden.)
What to Do
Layer the different shades of sand in contrasting layers into the glass pot or vase to create a pattern. Plant your succulent cuttings firmly in the pot, using the decorative rocks to finish the arrangement. Water the soil and sand gently, so as not to disturb the neat layers. Voila! It’s done.
The possibilities are endless – celebrate your garden and your creativity this festive season and stretch your budget all through January.