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Holiday Gift Guide for Gardeners…

The holiday season is upon us. If you are scratching your head about what to give a gardening friend, or, someone else has asked you what you want, look no further than this blog. Our generous and supportive Fling sponsors have everything a garden blogger could want and more. And, they have a wide array of gifts for the non-gardeners on your list, too.

Year round, the arrival of a catalog from High Country Gardens is guaranteed to stop me in my tracks to look for unique plants that I can’t find locally. I like to push my USDA Zone limits, and am always looking for different varieties to try. One of my favorite features of the catalog and website is the attention to detail and excellent information provided about each plant. I don’t have to go searching for more information about plants that are new to me, because each plant write up includes a long list of conditions in which the plant will thrive. You’ll learn right away if the plant is drought tolerant or deer and rabbit resistant and whether it’s pollinator friendly.

Garden Design Magazine is a wonderful gift for the gardeners in your life. It’s also a special present for both family and friends who love beautiful gardens and design who either can’t or don’t necessarily like to get dirt under their fingernails. The in-depth articles and stunning photography draw you into an inspirational plant wonderland you just can’t put down. I’ve given Garden Design Magazine subscriptions to both clients and friends. With no advertising to interrupt the information-filled content, (an unusual occurrence in the magazine world), Garden Design Magazine explores amazing gardens, highlights beautiful plants and offers insights from the world’s best garden designers. It’s the perfect gift for winter holidays that keep you out of the garden.

Proven Winners searches the world to bring you vibrant flowering annuals, perennials and shrubs that deliver the most beautiful garden performance. When you grow Proven Winners, you’ll surely find garden success. Their plants have been proven in trial from coast to coast in the U.S. Check out the Proven Winners website to find which of your local nurseries carry their plants. The website will also give you great gardening ideas and information about fertilizing, container plants, recipes, and their top-selling shrubs, annuals and perennials. Have you ever used the Butterball turkey hotline? Well, Proven Winners even has a grower hotline you can call when you have a plant emergency.

Vivero Growers, a local independent Austin retail and wholesale nursery offers a wide selection of premium plants. Unlike some nurseries, Vivero grows the majority of its perennials, natives and adapted plants, right on site. The nursery is filled with vignettes of plantings, pairing just the right things for color, texture, contrast, size and overall WOW factor. They have many unique specimens and an impressive selection of succulents, agaves and cacti. You can find pre-made succulent planters and container combos for sale or they can help you pick the perfect plants to make your own planter. If you’re driving of flying to the Fling, a visit to Vivero is a bucket list must. For bloggers flying in, don’t forget your the plastic bags and paper towels you’ll to put some of these plants in your suitcase! You’ll find great gifts for your friends and for yourself.

Originally a wildflower farm, on the American Meadows website you can now find perennials, grasses, bulbs, ground covers as well as gardening tools perfect for aspiring or expert gardeners. They offer more than 110 annual and 78 perennial seed mixes for sale, specifically tailored to any region in the country. Check them out to see which plants or specialized blends are best for your garden gift giving.

One of hottest trends to hit the garden industry in years, succulents are all the rage. Some of us have been in plant-love with them for years, and now the rest of the world is catching up. You can find them in every possible container, from beer cans to shoes to teacups. East Austin Succulents carries the most extensive collection of succulents I’ve ever seen in all my nursery visits at 10 Garden Bloggers Flings and around the world. Don’t leave Austin without stopping by their fabulous store in…yes, you guessed it…East Austin. From spiky to gently trailing, you are guaranteed to find the perfect easy-to-care-for gift here, even for the gardening-challenged people in your life. You’ll find a wide assortment of pre-planted containers and a hoop house as long as a football field (well, maybe not that long), full of varieties of succulents you’ve never seen before. Be sure to pack them well when putting them in that suitcase!

Another long-time Fling sponsor, Botanical Interests, offers the highest quality US-grown seed and the most informative packets on the market. Each unique seed packet is not only beautiful, it’s filled with facts, tips, recipes and quality seeds. When planning a garden, all of that information right at your fingertips helps ensure your plants will thrive. Offering more than 600 varieties, all seeds from Botanical Interests are non-GMO and untreated with pesticides. Make your shopping even easier and buy one of their lovely garden gift sets, all ready to go. They also sell an adult coloring book to help extend your gardening zen to those cold winter days ahead.

Plant Development Services boasts the top-ranking plant brands: Encore® Azalea, the Southern Living™ Plant Collection and the Sunset Western Garden Collection®, available at nurseries nationwide.

The Southern Living Plant Collection is known as the go-to company for innovative new plants selected for their ability to solve specific landscape challenges. They thoroughly trial and test their plants for use in southern gardens. Their website also includes detailed information about how to design, plant, prune and care for their plants. A simple search will help you find local retailers that carry their plants so a quick trip to the nearest nursery will give you plant gift inspiration.

The Sunset Western Garden Collection is the first collection designed specifically for the Western Gardener. Their superior plant introductions are designed to ensure that plants in Western region of the country thrive. You’ll find a beautiful array of plants and inspirational design ideas on their extensive website. Look for their plants at your local retailers and see their website for care tips to share with plants you buy for holiday gifts.

The number one azalea brand in the world, Encore® Azalea, was bred at Plant Development Services. Plant Development Services owns and/or licenses more than 100 patented plant properties and boasts top ranking plant brands including Encore® Azalea, which are the only patented brand of azaleas to bloom in spring, summer, and fall. Their show of blooms goes on and on, giving gardeners an “encore” performance. Selecting an Encore Azalea from a local retailer will be a gift that lasts and lasts for 3 seasons each year.

Another fabulous nursery that should top your list of places to shop on your trek to Austin, Leaf landscape supply will make you want to take everything home. Leaf Landscape Supply works to turn their clients’ landscaping vision into reality through superior quality, excellent selection and individual customer service. At leaf you’ll find an excellent selection of succulents, agaves and yuccas, annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs. For the gardener looking for that special something to give as a gift, or even to give to yourself, their extensive collection of plants offer you many choices. Happy holiday shopping, garden bloggers! And check out Part 2 of our gift guide tomorrow! Diana


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