Jill Kerr is a plant buyer at Fryer’s, Knutsford, part of the Blue Diamond group of garden centres

WITH only weeks to go Christmas is very nearly here.

Plants make the perfect gift for Christmas and are ideal for providing colour both inside and out.

The traditional indoor plant is of course the poinsettia, named after Joel Roberts Poinsett who introduced the plant to the US from Mexico.

The poinsettia shouts of Christmas – the traditional red against the dark green foliage is the perfect indoor plant, table centrepiece, place setting or even tree decoration and makes the perfect gift too.

It is also easy to care for as it only requires warmth and a little watering, but keep it out of draughts. Look out for unusual colours such as glitter, marble, cinnamon, lemon and hot pinks which look as stunning as traditional red and white colours.

A real Christmas tree is also a must for bringing the scent of the festive season to your home. The Nordman fir is the UK’s best-selling variety as it has the traditional Christmas tree shape and is fantastic at retaining its needles, a real plus point if you have children and/or pets.

The Norway spruce is perhaps the most traditional variety of Christmas tree. Popular since Victorian times, it has the scent associated with Christmas.


Another popular variety is the Fraser fir, which holds its needles like the Nordman but slimmer in shape so perfect for smaller rooms.

Young and old love real Christmas trees and it has become quite the thing in many households to buy the youngest members of the family a ‘My first real Christmas tree’. This is a pint size, potted real tree that after Christmas can then be planted outside, so continuing to grow as the recipient does.

Look out for the social media competition which Fryer’s owner, Blue Diamond, is running on this.

With friends and family popping in, bring some colour into your garden with planted containers which include seasonal winter pansies and cyclamen. Planted containers make the perfect gift too and are much easier on the waistline than chocolate and wine!

Roses, although not in colour at this time of year, are another great buy. A rose is a gift that will last for many years to come and which will give months of colour in the summer months.

Choose a charity rose and in turn also support a charity. For every charity rose sold, Fryer’s and all other Blue Diamond garden centres, donates £1 to the respective charity. Charities include Tree Aid, Hope for Justice, Action for Peace and Reconciliation, The Royal National Institute for Blind People, The Groves Foundation and the mayor of Knutsford’s chosen charities.

Gardening can bring many gifts. It’s proven to have health benefits, in the form of mental well-being and in terms of physical exercise, but also to the world around us. Gardening encourages and promotes the love of nature, in turn promoting environmental awareness.

Fryer’s and Blue Diamond garden centres source UK grown plants, where possible, and encourage and support the use of regional suppliers throughout our centres, so minimising the carbon footprint whilst advocating buy British.

In 2019 why not give a gift to your little corner of the world?

Give growing your own fruit and vegetables a go, provide a habitat for bees and other pollinators and insist on less packaging or recycled packaging when shopping.

Gardening with a social conscience is the mantra for 2019 onwards.

Happy Christmas and happy gardening in 2019.