Nothing says ‘congratulations on your new home’ better than a living gift – one that will be enjoyed and fondly attended to for years to come. Yes, a housewarming gift that the new resident(s) can watch grow over the years is unique, memorable and unlike chocolates or wine, isn’t bad for the waistline. Read on.
How to select the right housewarming plant
Buying a housewarming gift can be difficult. You might not know what the house looks like or if the new owners or renters plan to redecorate. Trees and plants make a versatile gift that will be appreciated, regardless of decoration or plans.
How to choose the right plant or tree? We suggest you spend a little time thinking about the type of tree or plant your recipient will most enjoy. For instance, what are their likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests? Moreover, can you reflect these in your choice of plant or tree?
A tree, for example, is a ‘statement’ housewarming gift. Trees are known to live for hundreds of years, and therefore likely to outlive the new residents. With age also comes size so make sure that the new house has space for a tree. If the new house owners are short on space, you might consider buying a smaller tree or even a shrub that can grow in a pot.
Your recipient might be a foodie and therefore love to receive an edible plant such as Lemon, Tahitian Lime, Olive or Feijoa. Alternatively, they might love gardening and enjoy topiary or, get pleasure from insect-attracting shrubs with fragrant flowers such as jasmine or gardenia.
- Lemons love the sun and when they’re happy will produce enough fruit to keep your glass full of refreshing, zingy slices. They do not like the cold weather, so if your recipient lives in a place where there is frost, suggest that they plant the lemon in a pot. If it does get cold where they live, remind them that hot water with a slice of lemon is a wonderfully healthy and refreshing drink. You can use fresh or preserved lemon in numerous recipes.
- Limes – Again another sun-loving tree that, when cared for, will produce limes. However, with the Kaffir lime tree, it is the leaves that are the most desired. Kaffir lime leaves often feature in Thai cookery just as you would find bay leaves in European dishes to give an aromatic punch. A frost is bad news for the Kaffir Lime Tree, so suggest potting and moving inside if it gets chilly.
- Olive – As an evergreen, the Olive produces year-round colour from dark green to a silvery grey. An Olive tree will grow happily in a pot which you can move around to keep warm and bring inside over winter months if necessary. An Olive makes a great housewarming gift for those who love travel and food.
- Jasmine A perfect housewarming gift for those who love fragrant plants. The perfume from Jasmine will carry all around the garden, especially on long summer nights. Jasmine is a climber so works well against fences, walls or an area that needs covering such as a lamppost, frame or gate.
- Laurus (Bay Tree) Does the new homeowner have a kitchen or herb garden? If so, a Laurus is a great addition. If they have green fingers, they can shape it with a topiary frame. Otherwise, they can snip off a few leaves when needed and add them to stews and casseroles.
- Hydrangeas Big, pompom flowers made of paper-thin petals in blue, pink or white, what’s not to love? Hydrangeas grow well in pots or soil but need partial sunlight. The new homeowner will have to wait for the first blooms to know what colour flowers it will produce (the soil composition affects the colour).
- Crassula – a flowering money tree sounds like the perfect housewarming gift. As well as bringing money, this plant, also known as Jade or Friendship Tree is supposed to bring good luck, making it a plant that all new homeowners will thankfully receive. As an indoor plant, the Crassula is easy to care for and will tolerate full sun and part shade. It can be grown either inside or outdoors and is frost tolerant.
- Calathea – add a touch of the exotic to your friend’s new home with this indoor plant. The Calathea leaves have a striking dark olive colour with brown stems and crinkled edges. It also produces yellow flowers at the base of the plant and sprays of mauve flowers. The Calathea is an eye-catching plant that will liven up an empty room or distract the eye from one that needs redecorating.
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