Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Southwestern Deserts
December, 2007
Regional Report

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'Gemini' rose performs well in the desert.

Gift Plants for Gardeners

Have you ever received a plant gift that you didn't like? Me neither! Giving a plant is a surefire way to bring a smile to a gardener's face, and you can make the event more personal by matching the plant with the person.

A Rose By Any Other Name
Years ago I interviewed a woman who had a lovely rose garden filled with dozens of varieties, but the first one she pointed out to me was the hybrid tea that also happened to have her first name. It obviously gave her pleasure and I've remembered that over the years, remaining on the lookout for plant varieties that match the names of my friends.

Rose varieties are bestowed with monikers of all sorts of famous people, but there's also plenty of "regular" names from which to choose. Other plants provide options as well. I've had luck finding daylilies, glads, sweet peas, veggies, and even citrus with an appropriate name. Generally, I have to do a little poking around through online catalogs and databases, but that's part of the fun! Another good place to spot named varieties is at a major plant and flower show. England's Chelsea Flower Show was a treasure trove of possibilities, although I had to be content with seed packets. If matching someone's name proves elusive, consider their hobbies, interests, and even astrological signs.

Plant Collectors
The plant collector can be the easiest or the hardest person to buy for. On the one hand, any plant in their chosen addiction will likely please them, but if they already have a shade house stuffed to the gills, you may feel hard-pressed to come up with something unique. Casually ask what it is about this group of plants that excites them, or if there's a special species or variety they've been seeking. Who doesn't like to talk about their favorite plants? You'll soon have a good idea of what quickens their pulse, and they'll be touched when you later present them with the very plant they've been yearning for!

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