For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Mar 27

Your Questions About Gardening

Sandra asks…

What activities to organise for annual dinner and how to do a gift exchange?

We had an auction last year and as for the gift exchange we had something call secret santa whereby the receiver of the gift do not know who is the gift from.Kindly help me out suggesting something different from last year. Thank you so much.

GardenersCardiff answers:

Just please DO NOT do that gift exchange when people have numbers and you can pick from either a wrapped gift under the tree or take a gift from a coworker. I’ve had soo many jobs do that. All it does it make people feel insecure when their gift isn’t traded 5 times. Or people get pissed when they open a great gift early b/c they aren’t going to get it in the end. In a group of 20, only one person goes home happy. Everyone else wishes they had those 2 hours back.

Plus I’ve had it happen once where we got to pick 3 different numbers so that everyone would have two chances to steal a gift. Problem was that several of us ended up with low numbers and went home with no gift at all. Yeah. That sucked.

Also don’t make things unisex. Most gifts appeal to either a man or a woman.

If you are going to allow gag gifts, make that the rule. All gifts must be under $15 and must be humorous. Or make a no gag gift rule. Between $10 and $20 and no gag gifts at all.

I like Secret Santa as long as you know each other. I hate buying gifts for people I don’t know at all and have never met. Especially if the person in charge doesn’t help at all. If you are going to run a secret santa, have every participant fill out a survey. The survey can change to different things. If you had any job, what would be your ideal job? What do you need for this job? This can allow a person to describe how they enjoy gardening, camping, or knitting. Include Things You have enough of (please no more bath products), favorite scent, favorite restaurant, favorite store. That way people can at least make an effort to Santa something they would like.

We did a 2 round Secret Santa. You pick a name. Go get the survey and get them a gift. Then check off the question that you got (for example–check off Favorite Scent). Put survey back. Then draw names and do it again. That also gives you the opportunity to regift that 1st round gift.

My sister’s company did a Christmas ornament exchange. It was great b/c no one had expectations. Everyone just got a simple ornament and hung it on the tree. Make sure you do not have non-Christians in the office when starting this tradition.

I think the best idea is a gift card exchange. Everyone bring a $20 gift card to different places. Then you can pick a new card or switch with someone else. You can only be stolen from twice. Everyone gets a gift card. Everyone will be happy with getting to pick something out at Best Buy, PetSmart, Target, etc.

Susan asks…

What gift can I make with shells I found on the beach?

I have these small shells I got on the beach, I was planning on painting them purple and making a gift from them but I need some suggestions, for a guy or girl it can be hearts or something, I have about two handfuls of them. Any help? Thx.

GardenersCardiff answers:

Try these sites.


If you want something fun and easy to do with small shells you can make candles. Buy cheap pillar candles, I liked the white. Use the tip of your hot glue gun to melt a spot on the candle and press a shell into the wax. You just have to hold it until the wax starts to set. If you do the bottom half of the candle this way and then tie a piece of raffia ribbon around the center it makes for a nice accent piece in a bathroom or anywhere.

Basically, you can glue them to any small trays, mirrors, frames, etc. You can also make jewelry with it. I took a box once and glued them onto it. Then I decorated the box. It was so cute

Well I would just recommend using a little imagination too. Good Luck!!

Donna asks…

What do you buy someone who has everything as a housewarming gift?

My sil and her husband are moving into a new house, my boyfriend and I want to buy them a gift for about £40, they are very well off and have everything they need already. What would be a thoughtful housewarming gift for them. If it helps they’re early thirties and have a 7 month old baby boy.

GardenersCardiff answers:

A large potted plant that baby can not topple over, vouchers for their favourite shops or a wine merchants.
Someone said baby sitting service which is a great idea, especially if they have not moved in yet you could take the little one whilst they are organising the new house. Do they have a garden get something for the new garden or a baby swing to put in it.
There are so many things you can still get them even if they do seem to have everything.
You could also treat them to a take away on the first night in to save any cooking.

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