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Simple homemade gifts and decorative delights from your garden can light up the season. Here we provide 'how to' tips on: choosing gift plants, using takeout containers as gift packaging, recycling rubber totes, and more. Photo 1: Growing GiftsGrowing Gifts Plants are an ideal hostess gift during the festive season. The range of poinsettias is increasing every year, and who can resist the joyful charm of paperwhites? Or the next time you’re looking for a growing gift consider an amaryllis – a little different, a touch exotic and always impressive. If you are the lucky recipient of an amaryllis in bloom, keep it out of direct sunlight, and as it tends to grow toward the light, rotate the pot a quarter-turn every two days to keep the plant straight.
Photo 2 - Takeout ChicTakeout Chic For years these simple white cartons (photo 2) were a staple in takeout restaurants – now chic designers are using them as trendy gift boxes. Here, Heather uses them to wrap up a collection of bulbs. Tied with raffia and finished with an evergreen sprig from the garden, this gift is ready to go.
Photo 3 - Gourmet GoodiesGourmet Goodies Canned pears and peaches (photo 3) are the focus of this delectable gift done up in an antique wooden-handled basket. A square of brown paper tied with string and fanciful beads gives the jar a homey touch, especially when tucked beside a favourite fruit dessert recipe and a pie dish to bake it in. Evergreens clipped from the garden and a few mandarin oranges add the finishing flair to this lovely, original gift.
Photo 4: Bird Lover's BonanzaBird Lover’s Bonanza For bird lovers, or those hoping to learn more about these frequent guests to urban and rural gardens, a book on the subject is central to this grouping (photo 4).

The small concrete birdbath is topped with a brush for scrubbing it clean, as well as a whimsical birdseed wreath and handy feeder complete with hooks to suspend fruit for easy access.
Photo 5: Start with the BasicsStart with the Basics Heather goes to the heart of the matter using a rubber tote made from recycled material in this grouping (photo 5). String, hand tools, gloves, soap, hand lotion, bulbs and an outdoor lantern make this gift a windfall for any gardener.