Anyone at any age can enjoy plants and botany. Summer is a great time to enjoy nature, take walks, plant a garden, or just enjoy public gardens. Winter makes it harder to enjoy these things. It also makes it harder to find the right plant and botany-related Christmas gift. However I have made a list of some wonderful Christmas 2007 Plants and botany-related gift ideas.
1) Top gift is a greenhouse or a terrarium. This can be as big as a freestanding building outside with glass windows and vents, or for those of us who do not have Thousands to spend, it could be a small indoor small portable terrarium. There are a lot of theme indoor terrarium kits available. Here are some fun and interesting kits:
1) Biblical Garden Terrarium Kit, create an ancient Biblical landscape with plants used and talked about in the Bible. A good theme for a Christmas gift. These Terrarium kit is $23.95 at www.discoverthis.com.
2) Princess Garden Windowsill Greenhouse Kit, grow beautiful, blooming plants in a setting overflowing with magical treasures. Kit includes glitter glue, silver flower beads, and jewel dragonflies. The Princess Conservatory will start sprouting in a week and will bloom within three months. These Terrarium kit is $23.95 at www.discoverthis.com.
3) Fairy Triad Garden Kit, create a fairy wonderland. This amazing kit comes with everything needed to get your indoor fairy garden growing and attracting fairies to your home-Lobelia to attract fairies, Thyme to enable you to see them, Evening Star to make fairy brews, and more. These Terrarium kit is $23.95 at www.discoverthis.com.
4) Witches' Woods Terrarium Kit, grow legendary witches' plants with this new, enchanting terrarium. This mystical garden contains plants used to make flying potions, ward off the Evil Eye, attract money, and help to see the future. Witches' Woods also contains plants used in love charms, healing rituals, hex-breaking, and much more. These Terrarium kit is $23.95 at www.discoverthis.com.
5) Graveyard Gothic Garden Terrarium Kit The Gothic Garden celebrates plants that are strange, ugly, and unusual. Even the seeds of some of these plants are bizarre. These Terrarium kit is $23.95 at www.discoverthis.com.
6) TickleMe Plant Growing Kit. This kit includes all the supplies that you need to start growing your own TickleMe Plant Family. Kit contains (1) Jiffy Mini-Greenhouse (5"x4"x2.5"), (6) peat pellets, (1) seed packet, and Easy to Grow Instructions. This kit is $9.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
7) Healing Garden Kit. This windowsill growing kit provides seeds, decorative sensory stones, natural gravel, and more to help you create your own healing garden. This kit is $14.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
8) Exotic Jungle World Alive Carnivorous Plants. Plant the Venus Fly Trap, Mimosa, and Mixed Coleus seeds included in this kit. Watch them bloom into insect eating wonders of the plant world. This kit is $30.00 at http://scientificsonline.com.
9) Desktop Desert Hothouse Kit. Grow dessert plants in a windowsill greenhouse. Seed pack includes Aloe, Joshua tree, Agave, Pony Tail Palm, Ice Plant and mixed Cacti Seed Pack. This kit is $14.99 at www.thinkgeek.com.
10) Carnivorous Creations Terrarium Kit, grow a collection of feared and famous meat eating plants. Make an authentic bog with the included peat planting mix, blue Swamp Rocks, three Bog Buddies and full color decals. This kit is $24.95 at www.physlink.com.
11) Culinary Herb Garden. Learn how to grow, harvest, and use many popular herbs! Sprouts in days and ready to use in under two weeks! Contains basil, cilantro, sage, dill, and parsley. This mini garden is $24.95 at www.physlink.com.
12) Dinosaur Park Garden. This prehistoric kit contains a growing greenhouse, Asparagus fern seed, 2 toy dinosaurs, red and black lava rock and red gravel. This garden is $14.95 at www.physlink.com.
13) Plant-It-Earth. Perfect for Creating Your Own Terrarium. This unique creation by Spherical Concepts lets you turn the Planet Earth into your own personal terrarium. These hand-sculpted transparent spheres are elegantly silk-screened with the Earth's continents in translucent white to let the beauty of your plants show through. Plant-It-Earth spheres are crafted of museum-quality cast acrylic to give the appearance of fine crystal. Included are a signed and dated Certificate of Authenticity, helpful instructions for planting, and a clear base to display your creation. This is $80.00 at http://scientificsonline.com.
2) Plants and seeds: These are always great gifts. You can find some great plants and seeds at any local garden store or in a garden department. However it is fun to find and give the unusual that may not be available locally.
Mini Pet Cactus. This is a pet cactus that comes in its own little terrarium with a strap to attach to a jacket, cell phone or anything so that it can be taken everywhere. All it needs is to be watered once a month for about a minute, instructions are on packaging. This is $8.99 at www.thinkgeek.com.
Grow A Peanut Bush. Includes 3 Spanish peanut seeds, a starter cup, red yarn and complete instructions. At least one seed is guaranteed to sprout in 2-4 days. This is $2.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
The Amazing Desktop Dinosaur Plant. This one-of-a-kind plant has lived on the Earth for over 290 million years and has the ability to “come back to life” over and over again for hundreds of years. Simply place this seemingly dead ball of foliage in water and within hours it transforms into a vibrant green evergreen. This plant is $7.99 at www.thinkgeek.com.
Unusual seeds are a great stocking stuffer.
1) Sensitive plant seeds. Botanical name: Mimosa pudica. Origin: Brazil. This package of seeds is $2.50 at www.physlink.com.
2) Brain Plant Seeds Dwarf plant has 10 inch flowers. Cut flowers last for years. Botanical Name: Celosia Amigo Mix. This package of seeds is $2.50 at www.physlink.com.
3) Banana Tree Seeds. The banana is not a tree; it’s actually the world’s largest herb. This package of seeds is $2.50 at www.physlink.com.
4) Black Dragon Coleus Seeds. There are an amazing amount of varieties with different leaf colors and shapes with this plant. This package of seeds is $2.50 at www.physlink.com.
5) Mexican Cigar Plant Seeds. As the flower of the plant matures, it extends a thin threadlike pistil that looks like the fuse on a firecracker. It flowers all year round and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. This package of seeds is $2.50 at www.physlink.com.
6) Aloe Seeds. The first mention of using the aloe plant as medicine dates back to 1700 B.C. Cleopatra supposedly bathed in the juices of the plant to maintain her youthful appearance. This package of seeds is $2.50 at www.physlink.com.
7) Pony Tail Palm Seeds. This fantastic plant gets its namesake from its long thin leaves. The trunk of the plant is palm-like when young and as it ages it forms a bulbous base that holds water. This package of seeds is $2.50 at www.physlink.com.
3) Microscope and accessories: To take a close up look at plant life. This is a lot of fun to see how plants work.
Edmund Scientifics Illuminated 30X Pocket Microscope. This is one of the more popular educational handheld microscopes. This is $10.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
MicroMax 60x-100x Zoom Pocket Microscope with light. A powerful 60-100x magnification microscope with an extremely lightweight and portable design, the MicroMax features a built-in light that provides a bright, clear image and a rubberized eyepiece for comfortable viewing. This microscope is $14.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
Konus Youth Microscope Set Microscope, Viewer, Projector & Camera Attachment - All In One. The Konus Youth Microscope functions as a zoom microscope, viewer, wall projector, paper projector and camera attachment. Its durability makes it a great first microscope. This set is $49.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
Motic DigiScope 150 or Motic DigiScope 300. These are beginner models and are LED field microscopes with built-in CMOS digital camera. Used alone, they are completely portable microscopes. Combined with the camera and a computer, the possibilities are nearly limitless. Designed for younger students with software developed to engage their minds. These sets are each $169.00 at http://scientificsonline.com.
Biological Specimen Sliding Microtome. This has a fixed blade, clear plexiglass guard and sliding specimen holder for extra-safe operation. Slide the holder from top to bottom along the rail to cut extremely thin specimens to 40 to 50 microns. Feed screw advances 0.5mm per rotation. Includes 3 double-sided blades. This is $119.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
Beginner Slide making Kit. This kit contains 12 glass microscope slides, 100 individual glass 18mm cover slips, mounting medium and dropper. This kit is $17.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
Books are great gifts, easy to find and can be used even when there is snow on the ground. Here are a couple of books I found. However there are so many books on this subject that can be found in your local bookstore that all you have to do is go in and find one that looks interesting.
“Seeds: Time Capsules Of Life”. A remarkable collaboration of art and science celebrating the diversity of seeds. This is $39.60 at www.chapters.indigo.ca.
“Rainforest”. Join photographer Marent as he captures images of rainforest life and tells the story of his journey through spectacular, full-color photos. Includes a 70-minute audio CD of the unique sounds of the rainforest. This is $33.00 at www.chapters.indigo.ca.
“In Your Greenhouse - A Beginner's Guide” book. This is an easy-to-read 75-page greenhouse gardening book guide for the novice greenhouse gardener. This book is $10.95 at www.birchpublishing.com.
“Encyclopedia of Exotic Plants for Temperate Climates.” This book is $49.95 at www.timberpress.com.
5) Slides, Models, and Learning tools: These can be a lot of fun.
Here are some pre-made slides.
Slide, Set/10, Roots & Stems of Flowering Plants
Slide, Set/10, Fungi, Mushrooms & Algae
Slide, Set/10, Growth & Reproduction of Cells
Slide, Set/10, The Wonderful Structure of Plant Cell
For each set $29.95 http://scientificsonline.com.
Biology Knowledge. Cards With questions on one side and answers on the other, these 48 fact-filled Knowledge Cards are a great source of condensed information. These are $8.95 at www.physlink.com.
Cross Section Plant Cell Model. Learn more about how plants are actually structured through this interesting plant cell model. Made of durable soft foam and realistically detailed, this model depicts all the major organelles of the plant cell. Parts of the cell are labelled on one side of the model. This model is $16.95 at www.physlink.com.
Root-Vue Farm. A fascinating garden lab that let’s you view the underground development of seeds and roots. Watch carrots, radishes and onions take form. Kit includes a sturdy grow box with an acrylic see-through window. Kit includes a light shield, soil mix, seeds, identification labels and instructions. This kit is $25.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
Young Scientists Science On a Nature Walk Field Experiments Galore kit. This kit includes all the necessary tools such as binoculars, butterfly net, magnifying glass, whistle, chromatography paper, data entry book, plaster, tracking guide, and waist belt pouch to carry some of these items. This kit is $23.95 at http://www.discoverthis.com.
6) Stuff for Gardening: Things for gardening can be a lot of fun.
Hands & Knees TubTrug Gift Set. It’s practical and fun. The Knees & Hands gift comes in the brightest of color combinations. These sets are $42.00 at www.gardenscapetools.com.
7) Theme gifts. You may not be able to give a garden of flowers for Christmas but you can still give theme gifts.
Celtic Birds, Hounds and Flowers Greeting Card is $1.07 at www.medievalmagic.ca.
Celtic Birds, Hounds and Flowers Greeting Card is $1.07 at www.medievalmagic.ca.
I Fought the Lawn Gift. This fun lawn gift set has a "I Fought the Lawn and the Lawn Won" t-Shirt , a pair of Lawn Aerating Sandals", and a pair of Fiskars Grass Shears. This is $65 at www.gardenscapetools.com.
1) Cluster Pin Set. Set of 3 cluster pins a flowerpot, daffodil and watering can all in pewter. This set is $15 at www.gardenscapetools.com.
2) Sterling Silver Celtic Thistle Brooch Peridoet Center. This brooch is $38.51 at www.medievalmagic.ca.
3) Trowel necklace with beads in pewter hung from a black cord. 2" Trowel. This necklace is $18 at www.gardenscapetools.com.
4) Pewter Tri-Sunflower beaded necklace is $13.37 at www.medievalmagic.ca.
5) Watering Can key ring in pewter. This key ring is $12 at www.gardenscapetools.com.
6) Garden Flat Bracelet. Six garden pieces are linked together - claw, glove, trowel, seed packet, pruners, and another glove to form a 7.5 " bracelet. This set is $28 at www.gardenscapetools.com.
7) Vegetable Push Pins. Four different pewter veggies (2 of each style) to use on the bulletin board. This is $12 at www.gardenscapetools.com.
8) Watering Flowers Earrings are $12 at www.gardenscapetools.com.
9) Sterling silver ring has a simple Celtic pattern with flowers is $15.24 at www.medievalmagic.ca.
Written by: Lori-Lee Craig