St. Louis Give a gift that keeps on living, at holiday time and throughout the new year.
Houseplants - most of them from tropical and subtropical climates - make for great little host and hostess presents.
They also deliver a caring message when given away to family and friends. That's because they cheer us up with color indoors even while our outdoor garden shifts into a gray-brown winter mode.
We went looking the other day for a few good tropicals for holiday giving and came away with many alternatives to the standard poinsettia fare.
Cactus is a year-round houseplant for some folks. At Recycled Rose, outside St. Louis, cactus also serves as window dressing.
Shop owners tuck each of a series of tiny, blooming cacti into large snail shells and affix a long wire hook that's accented with faux ivy or berries, or both.
"They take very little care," says Rose co-owner Sue Lombardo. "That's why I love them. I have mine in my kitchen window, and I just dunk it in a bit of water, once a week or so."
Bromeliad is a plant of the moment at Ahner's Garden and Gifts in St. Louis. Especially attractive are the Neoregelia bromeliads of a cultivar called 'Devroe.'