By Mary Reid Barrow
Here are some random gift ideas for nature and gardening lovers, young and old.
A Monarch in Winter, Biography of a Butterfly – This is a new book just out by local author, Abbey Pachter. Abbey tells the story of a monarch that she raised through the winter. On a freezing New Year’s Day, she found its chrysalis about to hatch on some milkweed she had in her house. With an eye for scientific detail, Abbey writes a diary of the life of the butterfly, she named Spot. Spot lived out its life for three months in her home and kept her company through a Covid winter. Available on Amazon.
Hori Hori Gardening Knife – Use this for planting plugs, cutting invasive vines off plants, chemical-free weeding, creating rows for planting seeds, and more. The knife even has measurements on the blade to aid in seed planting, said Landscape Designer Trista Imrich, owner of Wild Works of Whimsy and Southern Branch Nursery, a native plant nursery. Trista, who once worked for LRNow, doesn’t go anywhere without her knife, her Felco hand pruners, and Atlas nitrile garden gloves. All are available on Amazon and locally.
Gift certificate for native plants at Southern Branch Nursery – LRNow Director Karen Forget suggests that you accompany the gift certificate with the booklet, Native Plants for Southeast Virginia, including the Hampton Roads Region. Books are available at the LRNow Office or Gift certificates are available online HERE.
Nature’s Best Hope, How You Can Save the World in Your Own Yard by Douglas W. Tallamy adapted for young Readers by Sarah L. Thomson – Trista Imrich plans on giving this to her young son. The grown-up version would be nice for a nature lover if they don’t already have it. Available on Amazon and locally.
Bluebird Beach Bungalow – A gift for young and old alike, the bluebird house is made with reclaimed wood “by people with disabilities to support people with disabilities.” Terri Gorman, LRNow’s Pearl Home Coordinator, gave one to her grandson two years ago and his mother painted it. Terri said that her grandson calls in the spring when the bluebirds return, and the family enjoys taking photos and videos of the birds throughout the nesting season. Available at the Sugar Plum Bakery in Virginia Beach.
Resurrection plant – Last year, my friend Lesley Hildreth gave me what looked like a mudball, but when it was watered, it “came alive.” The desert plant is a weird, interesting gift for kids and grownups like me. Available on the Internet.
Indoor plants in general – A Christmas cactus, or other unusual succulent, a collection of air plants, a hanging pitcher plant, or even an orchid. These are gifts that keep on giving and help make dark winter months bright.