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Buying a tree/plant as a gift - please help!

(15 Posts)
NickMyLipple Wed 04-Jan-17 22:42:03

Hello! I'm in no way green fingered, just to make that very clear from the start!

I'm coming to the end of a year long course of which I've become very close to my mentor. I won't be staying at my place of work, and I have hugely appreciated her guidance during the past 12 months.

She has a lovely large garden (Maybe 2/3 of an acre) which is East facing (not sure of soil type though) and she enjoys spending time in it, though she does also have a gardener. I was hoping to find something like a maple or acer where the leaves change colour to 'signify' the changes I've made whilst being her mentee. Bit cheesy but she will appreciate the sentiment!

Can anyone guide me to what you might consider in my position? Have about £30 to spend ideally, but pretty open to suggestions other than that! Thank you in advance!

Lunar1 Wed 04-Jan-17 22:51:56

What about a dwarf fruit tree? You can get something really nice for that budget and it's still a good time of year to get them in the ground.

I may not be the best guide though, I'm fruit tree obsessed. My friends got me an almost tree for Christmas!

Lunar1 Wed 04-Jan-17 22:52:30

Almond not almost!

shovetheholly Thu 05-Jan-17 07:39:28

What a lovely idea, you sound like the perfect mentee!

I love the idea of an almond tree - what a great present! They are so beautiful! I am planning to get one when the work on my house is done and eat all the almonds green. However, as a productive tree they are also a bit temperamental, so I wouldn't necessarily buy one as a present for someone. If you want them to crop, they need to be indoors during the winter, and then baked in the summer. Not everyone has a house where bringing a tree indoors is feasible! Of course, they will survive and flower quite happily outside in normal conditions - you just won't get nuts. However, a crop-free tree that can't thrive in UK conditions might not be the symbolism you are looking for, OP! (I don't think the idea of 'changing colours' is cheesy at all!)

The tree of fashion at the moment is the Amelanchier. It looks gorgeous in every season, but positively sensational in the spring, with berries in the autumn. Lamarkii is the one you see everywhere, but there is a version that has been bred for autumn colour, A. x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’. However, the trade-off is that it doesn't flower for long in spring.

An acer, your original suggestion, isn't a bad idea at all. I am partial to A. palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’, which has pink bark (really vivid towards the tips), some lovely leaves and brilliant autumn colour. However, there are several others that have lovely bark/leaf combinations - Bluebell nursery is excellent and stocks some rarer varieties. The other advantage with an acer is that they tend to come small and are therefore easier to giftwrap and transport smile.

NickMyLipple Thu 05-Jan-17 08:20:11

Thanks for the suggestions. Lunar your post was great - thanks. My worry with an acer (and maybe other trees which aren't evergreen) is that I will essentially be giving her a stick... they just don't look good this time of year I don't think (do they?!). How big do almond trees grow? I'll take a look at a Amelanchier - they sound like they might be a good bet.

I know you suggested Bluebell Nursery - is that online? Will I be able to get it delivered?!

VilootShesCute Thu 05-Jan-17 08:24:33

I was bought a weeping cherry years ago. It is stunning in spring and if pruned correctly (thank goodness for dh) they don't become too big. Or a crab apple. The blossom is just amazing.

Kr1stina Thu 05-Jan-17 08:30:26

It's a lovely idea

But remember that all deciduous trees and shrubs will look like a stick right now. And all deciduous plants will look like a pot of dirt.

It's tricky . However if she'd a keen gardener then she will be able to see what it will be next summer.

If you want something with pot appeal you will need to get an evergreen or something winter flowering . Winter flowering could symbolise that even in the dark times you will remember her words of wisdom.

cx5221 Thu 05-Jan-17 08:30:40

A lavender tree? I bought one for my mil it was so pretty and a lovely round shape, it's still going strong 10 years on and has kept its lovely shape not really grown much taller and it smells utterly gorgeous.
She planted it next to her outdoor table so when you're sat out you can just smell lavender all the time.

shovetheholly Thu 05-Jan-17 13:14:04

Kristina is right - if she is a gardener, she will be completely unfazed by receiving an empty pot or some twigs with no leaves. smile She will be far more interested in the variety, am I not right oh ladies (and gent) of this forum? In fact, now is the best time to plant trees, so in a lot of ways it is better to get them before they are in leaf.

Something that does look absolutely spectacular right now are winter-flowering cherries. These are incredible, and fill the heart of anyone who loves plants with joy in the dark days of the year. Prunus x subhirtilla 'autumnalis' is a great bet esp if you can find one at the peak flowering point in the garden centre.

pithivier Thu 05-Jan-17 14:58:38

I would buy this acer it is called Kangu Saku. It is suitable for a pot or the garden. It really is year round interest.

pithivier Thu 05-Jan-17 15:03:09

Nine is currently shoeing just its scarlet bark.

pithivier Thu 05-Jan-17 15:07:53

This a good nurseru

pithivier Thu 05-Jan-17 15:09:18

Sango kaku, sorry

Kr1stina Thu 05-Jan-17 17:21:36

Someone gave me a blue lace cap hydrangea when one of my sons was born. All the beautiful toys and clothes we were given are long gone, but the beautiful shrubs flowers each autumn and reminds me of the givers and that happy time 😀🍃🍂

shovetheholly Sat 07-Jan-17 08:45:59

That's so lovely, Kristina. I do think plants are a wonderful gift to remember people and events.

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