Plant-Adjacent Gifts to Myself


My family stopped long-distance gift-giving long ago, so holiday shopping for me could’t be easier – what does Susan want?

So last week I bought myself a spanking new bike! Not gardening related, but it does let me tour neighborhoods at the right speed for garden-observing, and at a faster clip, see lots more parks by bike trail than I could on my old clunker.

Martina modeling “In Bloom – Burst of Color”

Then over the weekend my shopping at the local Holiday Craft Show took a decided plant turn when I came upon textile designer Martina Sestakova, whose company name is “joy” in Czech (her first language) and has the mission of “sharing the stunning beauty of our world via painting and photography.”

I learned that plants are her primary inspiration, which is true of the two scarves I bought. The tag accompanying “In Bloom – Burst of Color” explains: “I am an admirer of anything flora. Thousands of flower photos on my computer are the evidence.  So, I committed to a watercolor drawing of a bloom, added a few computer-generated magical touches, and now you may have fresh flowers (well, almost) around your neck at all times.”

“Pine Cone”

I also couldn’t resist her “Pine Cone” scarf, especially after reading its story: “I have a thing for pine cones. I love the layers, so immaculate yet so unique. I love the colors, light on the top, darkest black in between the layers. I love the texture. With my camera nearby (always!) I snapped a photo of a pine cone that would prove to be the perfect basis for this striking black-and-white scarf! Are you into pine cones? I think so.”

Wow! I’ll be looking at pine cones in a new way from now on.

The same Holiday Craft Show is my go-to source of jewelry, and I snapped up some “Tree of Life” earrings.

As for actual plants, I’m excited about the hot pink Amaryllis that White Flower Farm sent me.

No Christmas tree for me, though my cats would sure love one. But this year I get to enjoy the smell of fresh-cut conifers – the sadly overgrown junipers I wrote about in “Can these Junipers be Saved?” Most commenters recommended ripping them out but I’m having too much fun pruning them with the fabulous new loppers I bought for the occasion – an actual gardening gift to myself.


    • I took a photo of a pine cone – an extreme closeup – and used it to build this textile pattern. I quite enjoyed the shadows between the layers, nice variations of grey and black.

  1. Hi Susan! Can’t wait to see you buzzing around on the new bike! My very first two-wheeler (training wheels and all) was turquoise like that, and my very first car (1955 Thunderbird) was, too! Did you know that juniper is also a cooking ingredient (aside from flavoring gin)? Merry, happy season!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here