Plant a gift —and a surprise

Sunset  – August 17, 2005

Holiday gift giving becomes much more meaningful when the gift keeps on growing. Each of the pots pictured here contains a surprise garden – whether salad mix, paper white narcissus, or wildflowers. Choose an attractive container from the nursery, plant it with ground covers or flowering plants, then add the seeds or bulbs. Give the pot before seeds or bulbs germinate; with regular water, the plants emerge in a few weeks. Attach a gift card to the pot or basket, explaining how to care for the plants.

TIME: 15 to 20 minutes

COST: $25 to $30


  • Container (we used a 12-inch-long basket and 16-inch-wide bowls)
  • Sheet plastic
  • Potting soil
  • Plants, one sixpack (or use 2- or 4-inch plants)
  • Bulbs (three large) or seeds (one package)


Fill the container with soil. Or line the bulb basket with plastic, then fill it halfway with potting soil.

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