The latest thinking on ecological landscapes. Useful tips to improve our environment

Kim Eierman

Kim Eierman

Founder of EcoBeneficial!

Available for virtual and in-person landscape consulting, talks and classes.

Buy a copy of
The Pollinator Victory Garden!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Bumble bee_Clethra2

Last Minute Gift Idea: Think Native Woody Plants!

Stuck trying to find a last minute holiday gift?  Why not give an easy gift that keeps on giving to your loved one and the environment?

A coupon for a native tree or shrub will do the trick!  Make it simple by creating your own coupon on a holiday card: “Good for one native tree or shrub.”

In the spring, take your loved one to a local nursery and pick out a low-maintenance native tree or shrub that boosts the local ecosystem.  You can even offer to plant it for your non-gardening family or friends.

For as little as $25 at many nurseries, you can buy a containerized native woody plant that can support beneficial insects, butterflies, and/or birds and other wildlife.  Your loved one, and the local ecosystem will thank you!

Happy holidays from Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!

Photo: Bumble bee on Clethra alnifolia (Sweetspire)
Photo credit: Flickr_Dendroica cerulea


  1. paula diaz aka gardenerd on December 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    have many times given native trees or shrubs to commemorate weddings, births, anniversaries, and deaths as well–any gift giving occasion. every future year the recipient can remember the occasion, or the person they lost, as the plant continues on. I try to find one which has a season of bloom or special coloration or berries at the time of the date to be remembered. for example a friend was married in October and received an American beautyberry as a gift, along with planting help. each year it will remind them of their wedding anniversary when they see those luscious berries.

  2. Judy Wagner on December 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Could you please steer me to a nursery in the catskill Mountains in NY that carries Sweetspire? We have just purchased a little cabin in Phoenicia, and I’d like to buy some. Thanks, Judy
    PS Happy New Year!

  3. Kim Eierman on January 4, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Paula – this is such a great gift idea and one which lasts for many years after other gifts are forgotten. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kim Eierman on January 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for your question Judy. A great nursery for you to check out would be Catskill Native Plant Nursery in Kerhonkson, New York: They have a nice selection of native perennial and woody plants and also offer educational lectures in the growing season. They close during the winter and typically open again in April.

    With regard to Itea virginica (Sweetspire), there are a couple of cultivars which are widely available – ‘Little Henry’ and ‘Henry’s Garnet.’ I also like to include the straight species plant in a native garden for greatest genetic diversity.

    Happy planting and happy New Year!

More from EcoBlog

Why Locally-Sourced, Locally-Grown Native Plants Matter

Have you visited your local farmer’s market lately or picked up your weekly allotment at a CSA?   If you are a locavore, like so many of us, you might be asking some pretty specific questions of your suppliers when you are vetting your food choices, such as: Where was this…

Read More
Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

Easy Native Perennials to Start from Seed: Economical and EcoBeneficial!

Biodiversity is critical to the health of ecosystems but species diversity is crashing and getting worse in the face of climate change.  How can you help?  Skip the clones of native plants (grown from cuttings or tissue culture) and plant native seeds to increase genetic diversity to support our challenged…

Read More

The American Gardener: Book Review of The Pollinator Victory Garden

Book Review from The American Gardener: The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening Kim Eierman, Quarry Books, Beverly, MA. 160 pages. Publisher’s price, paperback: $26.99 Having worked as a garden designer for 15 years, I’m aware of the importance of native plants, but communicating…

Read More