A Garden For Christmas.

What could be more inspired than giving a gift that flourishes forevermore?
I remember the first Christmas I had with my husband – my then boyfriend. We were due at my best friend’s for lunch, and my other half was running late as he ‘had to put the finishing touch on my gift’. As I sat with my mango daiquiri (I lived in Queensland at the time), looking at my watch, I wondered with delicious thrill what the new man in my life would surprise me with. Did he have an uncanny knack for jewellery making I was yet to discover? Had he not let on about his ability to sew up copies of Paris couture? Was he, at this very moment, indulging in his hidden talent for making leather replicas of Fendi handbags?
Turns out, it was even better. As I staggered home full of good cheer, I arrived to the sight of a hypnotic, glowing fish-tank in my living room. My other half had somehow hidden the sweet little dolphin fish, the electric blue yabbies and the rainbow-hued guppies from me all week. He had spent a large portion of Christmas day building their coral fairy-tale home. It was the most thoughtful, touching gift I’d ever acquired.
The following year, the stakes were high and the pressure was on. What could I possibly give in return that would not only equal his display? But also show the same level of affection? Well, my now husband is a keen cook – along with a couple of other million people on the planet. Luckily for all of you out there with budding chefs in their lives. Because the very best gift you can give an amateur chef is their very own herb garden.
Or you can go one better, like I did, and create a herb rockery. This was actually a little harder than I’d initially thought. My existing garden was in no shape to sprout treasure. A patch had to be cleared and I needed expert help to do so. But, like most people, I assumed that bringing in an excavator was a huge and costly job. Not so at all! Diamond Earth Movers simplified the whole venture for me. Bringing in the small version of a bobcat – known as a dingo – my new garden patch was hollow, ready and waiting in a couple of hours. And shockingly affordable.
Now it was just a matter of new soil, and some attractive rocks, which I utilized by plucking them out of the earth-moving. Admittedly, it isn’t easy to hide a pretty selection of chilli, basil and oregano. So I simply placed strategic little pots of the stuff in amongst the rockery late Christmas eve, for an instant garden. Oh, and I told my husband the earth-moving venture was for my new rose-bed. So be creative in your surprise fib!
If a rockery isn’t your thing, but a garden is, be wily and plant a vegetable patch that will sprout in time for Christmas, for your partner. Most nurseries are adept at advising which vegetables will grow in your particular Christmas season – depending on whether you’re in the southern of northern hemisphere. Again, tell your other half you’re planting bulbs or fig trees or Lilly-Pilly. Close to Christmas, you’ll only have sprouts, but when you fess up to your loved one that they’ll soon have eggplant for their vegetarian lasagne, you’ll be celebrated all festive season!