Monthly Archives: December 2011

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish readers a very Merry Christmas.  This is the time to celebrate God’s greatest gift to us–Jesus Christ–and his life-giving sacrifice.  Thank you God for sending your Son to save us all.

I’m inspired by God’s gift to us and by the bounty of my garden to share some homemade gifts from my garden this year with friends and family.  I’m not really one for stores anyway, so making gifts at home is just right for me.  I’m finishing some things up this week and then we’ll be observing Christmas and celebrating with family during the Christmas break.

A year ago I committed to writing a blog for one year.  That time is now up.  I have decided to continue blogging in 2012.  It’s been a blessing to me and hopefully to others as well.

I’m currently six months pregnant and expecting a baby boy at the end of March.  Of course I plan to garden next year.  I’m just not sure how often I’ll be able to post to the blog.  So, bear with me in 2012.  My family is growing!  A true miracle and blessing indeed.

Thank you for reading and sharing in 2011.  I’ll be back in January with seed catalogs in hand ready to plan the next garden!


Video: Watch my garden grow from start to finish!

During the season I took photos of my garden as it changed from week to week.  Though I may have missed a week here or there, this video shows how the garden waxed and waned throughout the spring, summer and fall months.

Praise God for his amazing creation and the gift he gives us in the opportunity to get our hands dirty and grow things to eat and enjoy.  I am so thankful for this gardening season and look forward to 2012 and all it brings.

What a Gardener Gives at Christmas

Strawberry-Rhubarb jam makes a nice Christmas gift.

By this time of year my garden is pretty much packed up for the winter.  I do have some parsley out there that I have continued to use in my cooking, but that’s about it as far as edibles go.

But it’s a good thing I’m not too busy out in the garden because now is the time when a gardener puts all those goodies that have been dried, stored, and preserved to good use by blessing others with gifts from the garden.

Lavender has been tied into bundles and dried.  They make nice fire starters and sitting by the fireplace they have a pleasant smell somewhat like pine.  Tied up with a beautiful bow, they make a very nice gift for anyone with a wood-burning fireplace.

A few weeks ago as I cut my sage down I remembered the wreaths I’d seen Martha Stewart make out of sage.  What a nice hostess gift at Thanksgiving, or if you can keep it in the garden longer than those of us in Wisconsin, it’d make a very fragrant and welcome Christmas hostess gift as well.  I think I’ll remember this for next year and plan to have wreath-making supplies ready when it’s time to cut the sage.

Months ago, when strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb were in season, I spent a day making jam.  Now I’ll be pulling jars out and wrapping them up as gifts for pastors and teachers.

One year, I used a bumper crop of basil to make basil jelly.  That was a unique item!

My rosemary plant has been brought into the house.  It’s still lush and fragrant.  I’ll be using fresh rosemary to make rosemary cheese wafers.  Homemade treats make a nice gift, and at a time when sweets abound I find that many people appreciate a savory snack.  Paired with bottle of local wine, I can imagine many who would be happy to receive this gift.  I know I would!

There are so many great ideas on the internet and in gardening books.  I really enjoy researching these ideas during the growing season as I make plans for the holidays.  As I garden, it’s helpful to think of others and the act of giving to them that I am planning.  It’s just another reason to garden and another reason that gardening is so satisfying.

I’d love to hear what other gardeners are giving this year.  Please leave comments if you are using what you’ve grown to bless others this year.