The Most Fun I've Ever Had Giving a Gift (Spoiler Alert: Bulbs are great gifts!)
Is this thing on?
Hey! It's Katie! You've seen my name on many of the ETGB blog posts, but I'm usually writing with the royal "we."
Well, today, I am taking over the blog as myself, the gardener, the gift giver, the writer of stories, to share something that surprised and delighted me, and that will, hopefully, surprise and delight you.
Before that, let me show you a picture of my indoor garden. ('Cause that's what plant people do: we swap pictures of our gardens. Remember that for later.)
Those are my amaryllis bulbs this morning. (Yeah, I planted them in, oh, March.) They're still pretty. Two just finished blooming.
Oh, you wanna see one of those? LET ME SHOW YOU!
This is lovely Ms. Amaryllis Quito. She finished blooming a week or so ago, but gosh was she stunning!
All of this is relevant because, despite the fact that I am a gardener, despite the fact that I am constantly taking pictures of my plants, posting pictures of my plants on my Instagram feed, sending pictures of my plants to people, I did not really make the connection between that and sending a plant to someone until I sent 33 Easy to Grow Bulbs Amaryllis gifts to friends and clients in December.
I received, in February and March, 33 pictures of those very amaryllis growing, blooming, or right after receipt.
Here are the pictures I could track down from Facebook messages, emails, and my text stream on my phone:
My mom might be horrified that you can see her desk behind her flower. Aren't piles what make us humans, though?
Can you imagine how fun it has been to receive messages and pictures from happy and delighted amaryllis recipients, day after day?
It was super fun.
I sent coffee cake to a couple of offices with a bunch of people.
It's probably the best coffee cake I've ever had.
Let me tell you. I did not receive pictures of the coffee cake.
Gifts that Keep Giving
If you've ever sent cut flowers to someone, they've likely sent you a picture of them. That seems pretty standard.
But not progress pictures. Not "This is what the cut flowers looked like on day one" and "this is what they looked like right before I threw them away" pictures.
Oh, but I've received pictures of these amaryllis at every stage and I am TICKLED.
Why do people love these amaryllis gifts so much?
I think it's because growing an amaryllis bulb, or oxalis, or any of our indoor bulbs is like having a pet, but way, way, way less maintenance.
- Growing an indoor bulb gives people something to watch. Amaryllis grow REALLY freaking fast once they get going and that is awfully fun.
- Oxalis leaves fold up at night, and that's interesting.
Bulbs last longer than cut flowers.
- Growing a bulb gives someone a sense of accomplishment without a TON of work and angst and, well, we could all use that, right?
I loved giving these gifts because:
They created a deeper connection with the people I gave them to. A connection I didn't expect. It was a nice way to stay in touch.
- I know, without a doubt, that the recipients enjoyed the gifts. (How often do you send a gift and you wonder, "Did they even really like it?) So, uh, I don't have to guess about that with the amaryllis gifts!
Still Time for Growing Gifts!
I thought about this now because, while sitting across the table from my mom at lunch the other day (she is visiting me), I got the email introducing our new Garden Freak bundle.
More fun picture:
"MOM!" I said. "I REALLY THINK YOU WOULD LIKE THIS NEW THING FROM EASY TO GROW BULBS."
I was kind of excited for launch, but then, I helped pick out this product. I met Kim, the creator of Garden Freak gloves in Chicago a few years ago and I went BANANAS over her gloves. They're webbed. So you can mulch with them. (Ever tried mulching with regular garden gloves? Yeah. Not so fun. These gloves turn your hands into scoops, but not in a weird way.)
"MOM! YOU COULD USE THE PICKING POUCH TO CARRY THINGS DOWNSTAIRS!"
The picking pouch is the lightweight pouch that you can use for harvesting vegetables or weeding or cutting flowers, but that you could ALSO use to carry things around the house, hands-free. And if mom (or dad) needs to hold on to the railing while carrying things up or down stairs, Voila! a solution!
Plus, the bundle comes with gladiolus bulbs, and if there is anything easier to grow than amaryllis, it might just be gladiolus.
I ordered a bundle for her and one for me and I didn't even hunt around for a coupon code.
(I'm the person that spoils every gift surprise. I cannot keep a secret to save my life.)
I know she'll send me pictures of the bulbs growing.
Here's me with my mom and my dad, to prove we're human.
- Katie Elzer-Peters