Whether you are looking for the perfect holiday “something” for a gardening family member, wracking your brain for the perfect hostess gift for that friend who always stops and looks at the butterflies, or is wanting to inspire wonder when taking a unique gift to a curious child, Okies for Monarchs has you covered! Check out this winter-wildlife-wants “wish list” guaranteed to bring holiday cheer! From seed bombs to pollinator puddlers – you can be the coolest elf this season.
Okies for Monarchs, an initiative of the Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinators Collaborative, has a passion and mission to engage, educate and inspire Oklahomans to help pollinators and restore habitat. A few key things needed by pollinators, indeed all wildlife need, are water, food, shelter and a place to raise their young.
In that spirit, and in time for the season of giving, the Okies for Monarchs team recommends a few unique holiday gifts that “give” to nature and are guaranteed to inspire others:
- “Bee” the best secret Santa with a surprise bee house! Made of wood, reeds, bamboo, and other natural materials, many unique shapes and sizes are available for pole or wall-mounted bee “homes” or “condos” that provide shelter for solitary and beneficial bee species. Or, make your own! Check out a few styles at https://www.almanac.com/content/bee-houses-solitary-bees
- How about providing a “water feeder” for nature under the Christmas tree or to take as a hostess gift?! Sometimes called “puddlers,” these saucers (big and small) can be hung from a limb or set on a surface and are just the right size for butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators to hydrate. See examples at https://www.gardeners.com/buy/butterfly-puddler
- Visit your local nursery, or one of the many great native plant growers across our state (in person, by phone or online) to order “ready to plant” milkweed or other native plants for delivery to your door (via mail) or to a spring plant festival near you (delivery w/out the shipping charges). Check out some of the many insecticide-free Oklahoma nurseries and vendors at http://www.okiesformonarchs.org/what-to-plant-where-to-buy/. Gift certificates may also be available from many growers. Shop locally when you can!
- Buy non-GMO wildflower seeds just right for Oklahoma native (or migrating) birds, bees and butterflies through certified organic growers. Check out the native varieties available at www.Johnstonseeds.com.
- Some butterflies and bats like upscale digs too. Check out a variety to purchase (or inspirational styles that you could DIY) at https://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/RTProduct.asp?SKU=BN-BTFLY-RED
- On a budget, or simply like to give gifts with a personal touch? Looking for a project to do with the children or at a party with a conservation-starter twist? Need a teacher gift? Wildflower seed “bombs” are fun to make, give and plant. You can research best perennial seeds for your Oklahoma eco-region (at www.plants.usda.gov) and then make your own bombs for stocking stuffers to keep your friends or the kids in your life bragging on you until spring! Check out this amazing step-by-step video from Payne County Master Gardeners – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhgLSF4x1Ac
- Make a donation to Okies for Monarchs and support the advancement of pollinator-friendly gardening, best land management practices, and habitat enhancement across Oklahoma. Our volunteers can buy seeds, travel to provide education to schools and community groups, and print resource materials with financial gifts made through the Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma Foundation. Donate or learn more at www.okiesformonarchs.org.
Do you have more great gardening gift ideas or pollinator projects that would make holiday festivities more fun? Please share your ideas (and photos) on your social media feed and tag #OkiesforMonarchs.
About Okies for Monarchs
An initiative of the Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinators Collaborative, Okies for Monarchs, is a statewide campaign to educate, engage and support Oklahomans in the creation of more habitat and food sources for monarchs and pollinators. Their website, okiesformonarchs.org, is a robust online resource with free access to a comprehensive set of tools, calendars, and resources for all Oklahomans including residents, corporations, government, farmers/ranchers, tribal nations, teachers/students, utilities and energy right-of-way land managers.
About the Contributing Writer
Mary Waller is the director of the Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinators Collaborative. She is a 20-year-veteran communications consultant, award-winning writer, and “not by the book” gardener. She hopes Santa will bring her a bat house this year.