Unique Christmas Gifts For Plant And Nature Lovers
It’s that time of the year when gift-giving and merry-making climb to the top of our to-do lists. Ideally, we like to give our loved ones presents that complement their hobbies and lifestyles. Books for the book lovers. Baking supplies for the sourdough crew. Plants for our green-thumbed friends. But just in case you think the houseplants-lovers in your life have enough plants (they don’t!), and you want to surprise them with something new, we’ve put together a list of unique Christmas presents that will make sure you get on everyone’s “nice” list.
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1. For the homebody plant lover
What plant lover wouldn’t consider this a unique Christmas gift? Marimo balls are fuzzy, squishy, and very pretty to look at.
In fact, they’re not a moss at all, but a species of green algae known as Aegagropila linnaei that can be found in freshwater lakes in Japan, Europe, and Australia.
It used to be that only aquarium hobbyists knew about Marimo balls - these vibrant green structures are preferred in aquascaping due to their easy maintenance and absorbing properties. But nowadays they’re becoming popular as home decor in and of themselves. Marimo balls can only stay outside of water for a few days before they dry out, so your best bet would be to gift them in a water-filled glass vessel.
Marimo balls are slow growers, adding only a few millimeters each year, so you can err on the side of choosing a small jar or bowl for them.
Depending on how much time you have, you could make a succulent arrangement yourself. But don’t sweat it if you’re running out of time. You can buy beautiful succulent gardens in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Our favorites are arrangements set in carved out wood logs, tiered cake stands, and vintage tea kettles. But you can find all sorts of other combinations, such as succulents in cookie tins, champagne flutes, teacups, terracotta pots, mason jars, and even old light fixtures and carved out books.
2. For the geeky plant lover
You don’t have to be a chemistry geek to enjoy this gift, but it certainly helps. Cyanotype (sun printing) is an old photographic printing process that produces cyan-blue prints, called blueprints (extra geeky fun fact - this is the etymology of the word blueprint).
This used to be a very expensive and complicated process that required the use of a dark room. But nowadays hobby cyanotype kits are affordable gifts that keep on giving. You can make beautiful prints using natural elements (leaves, plants, flowers, petals, yarn) by pressing them on canvas or paper, adding the reactive chemical solutions that are included in the set, and using sun-light exposure.
If you’re looking for high-quality kits, choose ones that contain 100 percent natural fibers, so your prints are archival and don’t fade over time.
Before the internet, before social media, and before blogs, people who wanted to learn about houseplants used to get their information from books. And before Instagram, studying a detailed hand-painted illustration was the only way to see what an unfamiliar plant looked like.
All joking aside, we think your geeky plant-loving friend will really appreciate receiving a vintage botanical illustration as a Christmas gift. And the good news is that you can find so many options depending on what the gift-receiver is into - from ferns to trees, from roses to bonsai, from fruit to butterflies. Most vintage botanical illustrations available for sale online are reproductions, so you won’t get the added bonus of old-paper smell. But if you put in a bit of work and if you’re prepared to pay more, you can find original one-of-a-kind botanical illustrations saved from old textbooks or botanical atlases.
3. For the active plant lover
Membership to a botanical garden
We’re not going to lie. This would be a dream gift even for us, the people working with houseplants all day, every day. Buying a yearly membership to a botanical garden or an arboretum is the perfect way to add value to someone’s life without adding any objects to their home. And in a post-Konmari world, we’re all about gifting experiences.
Before you purchase a membership, make sure the gardens are within a reasonable distance of the recipient. And also pay attention to details such as: are they equipped for accessibility (if necessary), do they offer other programs (such as exhibitions, classes, and workshops), and is it possible to bring guests with you (most gardens allow 2-4 guests per membership).
A class or a workshop
Now we’re taking ‘active’ to a whole new level. If you know that your plant-loving friend or family member likes to get their hands dirty and try new things, this is the perfect gift for them. Here are a few ideas of classes and workshops to get you started: macrame, terrarium-making, herbalism, aquaponic gardening, container gardening, aromatherapy. With the exception of classes where you would need access to expensive specialized equipment (such as pottery), you can find an online version for most of these workshops.
And you know what’s even more fun? Taking the class together with your friends and spending some quality time with them.
4. For the lazy plant lover
Terrariums are really fun to make (check out how to make one for your Pilea), but you can also buy them ready-made if your plant-loving friend prefers a finished product. If you’re undecided, you can opt for a terrarium kit, which will contain all the materials you need - saving you some time and money, but still allowing you to use your hands and creativity to put them together.
Terrariums are closed or semi-closed mini-ecosystems that require very little maintenance, so they’re the perfect gift even for the laziest of plant-parents.
Moss art is spectacular, and if you’ve ever seen a moss painting in a hotel lobby or company headquarters, you know what we mean. Small scale moss wall art is becoming available (and affordable) for private homes too. Everything about it is striking: the deep green color, the rich texture, the undulating shapes. It truly brings a feel of the natural world indoors.
And what’s nice about moss art is that it needs no maintenance whatsoever. Moss is a long-lasting and very hardy living material that remains soft to the touch throughout its lifetime.
If you’re prepared to pay a little bit more, you can even order a customized moss pattern.
There you go! We hope your loved ones will find these gifts fun and useful. And maybe you were able to find a few gift ideas for yourself on this list!