Tag Archives: Plant

A Bushel-Filled Birthday Gift

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I have a friend who has a birthday right around Memorial Day weekend. So this year, I decided to put together a gift with a red, white, and blue theme. Okay…it’s actually red, white, and teal–but that’s close enough! 🙂 I thought I’d tell you how I put this together in case you wanted to try this idea out sometime!

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I used this rustic bushel basket as a gift container…the red, white, and teal design was perfect, because the birthday girl, Alisa, loves red and teal. I wish I could say that I had painted this design on the basket myself, but I purchased it this way from an antique/gift shop. If you can’t find the right rustic basket from a shop, you could paint your own design on a new bushel basket or keep it natural and unpainted, depending on what your gift color theme is. Unpainted bushel baskets are pretty reasonable. If you just need one or two, your local craft store is probably your best resource. If you want to buy in bulk, here’s a site to check out–the Texas Basket Company. I haven’t ordered anything from this site, but it looks like they have a good variety of baskets to choose from. These baskets make great gift containers because they’re very reusable…they can be used as large plant containers inside or out on a porch, or used to hold other decorative or practical items inside the home.

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Next, you need items to fill the basket! My friend loves flowers, so I decided to get her a Vinca plant that she could either keep in a pot or plant in the ground. I included a pot in her favorite color, teal, and lined it with a plastic bag, putting the plant on top of that. If she decides not to pot the plant, it’s a cute enough pot for her to use as a pencil or brush holder, since she is a wonderfully talented, artsy person!

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I also had another gift item, a set of four vintage ice cream sundae glasses for her family of four, that I put in a gift box. Because this “bushel basket” gift had a red, white, and blue theme, I decided not to wrap the white box and just tie it with a fun red polka-dot ribbon.

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That’s about all that would fit into this bushel basket! I filled any open spots with some red polka-dot tissue.

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And voila! There you have it…a creative, eye-appealing gift that’s also very functional and practical!

It’s not hard putting a gift like this together–the key is knowing what the person likes, what their interests and hobbies are, and what colors appeal to them. Antique shops and flea markets are great resources for finding unique containers and smaller items to tuck into a gift container. Garden shops, craft stores, and sporting goods stores are also great places to find special-interest gifts. And, of course, handmade items and homemade goodies are always wonderful gifts, too. It’s fun when you find just the right things to make a one-of-a-kind gift for the person you’re celebrating!

Boxwood Basil

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This fall I decided to try growing a basil plant inside so I could use it for cooking during the winter. I have a really nice, large sunny window in one of my rooms and thought it would be the perfect spot for a pot of basil.

I decided to try a Boxwood Basil plant, which I purchased at Lowe’s. Boxwood Basil has much, much smaller leaves than other varieties of basil, but the flavor and aroma are the same. It’s great to be able to pick some tiny leaves from this plant and use them fresh in salads, soups and other things…there’s nothing like fresh basil! My little basil plant is doing so well by the sunny window, too. I just water it a little every other day.

If you’d like more tips on growing Boxwood Basil, check out this information at eHow.com.

Garden Update: Late Summer

I thought I’d better post a summer garden update before summer is over! 🙂 Even though we had a lot of hot, dry weather this summer, my flowers and herbs did pretty well. I have a lot of sun in my yard, so I always try to buy plants that do well in full sun. The plants I’m showing here all bloom most of the summer.

Here’s my basil, which really did great this year! I’ve enjoyed making a lot of pesto from the four small plants that I bought back in April, which have grown to be quite large. And I recently tried a new recipe with my basil, Creamy Lemon-Basil Pasta, which you may want to try…

One of my favorite bushes is my butterfly bush. It blooms most of the summer and the blooms have a light, pretty scent. They look a little like small lilacs…

Here’s a view of the entire bush–it’s so pretty when it’s in full bloom…

I have some flocks in my garden that I love seeing come up every year…

The daisies come up every year, too, and multiply like crazy! I planted a small patch of them from seeds, and now I have large clusters of them in many different places in my yard…

I have two lavender bushes–one in the front yard and one in the back. I love the smell of lavender, and I collect the buds and dry them so I can make lavender sachets and enjoy the scent all year long!

I’ve had these pretty yellow flowers in my yard for about five years…they come up every year and friends have asked me what they’re called, but I can’t remember their name! If any of you flower experts out there know, please tell me!

Last but not least, here’s a photo of a zinnia. They are such vivid, pretty flowers! I grew some from seeds that a friend gave me…

Well that concludes the “Late Summer” Garden Tour! Hope you enjoyed viewing all the summer plants!