One of the very best things about Christmas is the gift giving, and how much nicer if those gifts come from the heart as homemade treats? The garden is a great source of material for unique homemade gifts. That’s what we have been doing this week. The Genus fruit and vegetable garden provided us with the chance to make:
- Herbal sugars:add fresh herbs to jars of sugar, after 2 weeks the sugar imparts great flavour to drinks and baking
- Jams and jellies: blackcurrant jam has been this year’s major hit, we had such a large crop
- Pickles:we persevered the best of the salad crops tomatoes, and made pickles out of tomatoes, nasturtium capers, and cucumbers.
- Fruit liqueurs: we wrote a blog about this a couple of months back. Now we can gift delicious blackcurrant rum, redcurrant vodka and rhubarb schnapps.
- Pressed and pasteurised home grown apple juice, a brilliant new discovery. This year our Genus apples were sent to Richard Padget at myapplejuice.com who returned our own bottled juice.
The flower garden has been press-ganged into use for making other presents and seasonal decorations:
- Packets of seeds: given to our gardening friends, home saved seeds from those plants most coveted and presented in pretty packets
- Christmas tree decorations: silver spray paint the most ornamental seed heads from the garden to add as decorations to the tree
- Christmas wreath: cornus prunings (willow is traditionally used) twisted together into a wreath decorated with sprigs of holly and the trimmed lower branches of the Christmas tree
We have really enjoyed creating so much Christmas cheer from the garden, well-being lifted all round. Now back to fulfilling our Christmas orders for gardening clothes!