Give the gift of a flower-arranging class
These are some of my favorite picks this year among holiday gifts for the botanically inclined. Some of them are profoundly impractical trinkets; others are implements your plant-and-flower-loving friends will use for years. There are gifts for those who just like to gaze at plants and flowers, and gifts for those who like to work with them, most under $100.
Practical and Pretty
• 1 I love to give gifts of things to do, and for a flower-lover there is nothing better than a flower-arranging class with a favorite designer. Lots of small local businesses are offering classes these days. Look for one in your town; if you're in the Bay Area, check out the workshops offered by Soulflower ($175) and Studio Choo ($150) (their lovely holiday centerpiece is pictured in the top photo).
• 2 Japanese shears from Paxton Gate ($39) are both gorgeous and indispensable for anyone growing a cutting garden. I kind of want to frame them, but I suppose I'd rather actually use them. The price is decent, too, considering the quality.
• 3 Toting this copper watering can around the garden will transport you straight to Provence. It's so pretty that you don't even need the storage space for it; just hang it on a hook in your kitchen. From Terrain ($98).
• 4 Vintage gardening and flower arranging books are fun to read, often seeming hopelessly quaint, but also full of practical age-old wisdom and tricks. Visit your favorite antiquarian bookstore and put together a bundle for the gardener in your life. Or if you're short on time to shop, choose the pretty bundle in the photo from Ethan & Ollie ($30).
• 5 I love to collect flower frogs of all kinds, but these are especially fun; they're designed to fit on the tops of glass jars to help you guide your flowers in place. Package these with a set of nice old glass jars you've collected yourself and you've got a great unique gift. From Bragging Bags ($15 for a set of 3).
• 6 Okay, so maybe garden labels aren't that practical—after all, who really needs help to tell the difference between lavender and thyme?—but they sure are nice-looking, especially these antique spoons from Hammerman ($59 for a set of 9).
• 7 If you know (and maybe envy) someone who grows a kitchen garden with lots of vegetables and herbs, botanical recipe cards from Rifle Paper Company are the perfect practical stocking stuffer ($15 at the Curiosity Shoppe).
• 8 A plant-lover who's slightly eccentric in the décor department will love this mushroom wreath from Terrain ($40), with its rich textures and otherworldly shapes.
• 9 I love to use milk bottles and jars for flowers arrangements because of their narrow mouths, which make it easier to place stems. These porcelain versions from West Elm ($19-$24) are a bit more modern and whimsical.
• 10 The xerographica, a giant among tillandsias (air plants), is an elegant decorative statement all on its own or in a beautiful ceramic bowl. It's easy to care for indoors, with just a light mist of water weekly. From Flora Grubb Gardens ($45-$60, depending on size).
• 11 The versatile tarnished metallic finish of Indian lassi cups make them an excellent workhorse for someone who likes to have lots of cut flowers around. You can also plant little succulents inside them for a sweet exotic look. Also from Flora Grubb ($34.95, with a succulent plant included).
• 12 Someone who loves plants and flowers but isn't at all a green thumb might appreciate the Studio Choo calendar ($22), with photos of favorite arrangements from their year of floral designs.
• 13 Felted planters from Rare Device ($36) provide perfectly snug little socks for your houseplants.
• 14 Succulent-lovers will swoon over this recycled silver sedum ring from Terrain ($152).
• 15 Poppy pod hoop earrings from Paxton Gate ($110) make a simple and beautiful statement.