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Gardening Advice

December 16, 2022
Many trees and plants were traditionally important to the celebration of the winter solstice (on December 21). Think evergreens, yew, oak, mistletoe, holly, rosemary, pine, and ivy. Learn more about their symbolic meanings. The Solstice Signals a Return of Light After the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year, the days will start to get longer again. But as the old…
December 15, 2022
My two cats, Fred and Ginger, are plant eaters and often chew on the leaves of my favorite houseplants, so I try to make sure that nothing within their reach is toxic. If your feline friends are also inquisitive (aren’t they all?), here’s a list of common houseplants that are considered safe for cats to gnaw on. I am both a gardener and a cat-lover. Unfortunately, there are…
December 14, 2022
Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? Of all the plants used in Christmas decor, not many have as long and as interesting a history as mistletoe. Discover the meaning of mistletoe and fascinating folklore behind it. First of All, What Is Mistletoe? With evergreen leaves, yellow flowers, and white berries, large clumps of mistletoe are usually observed growing high in the…
December 14, 2022
Have you decked the halls yet? Go natural this Christmas! It's time for nature's greenery to make a comeback. Look no further than your backyard and garden for a ready source of interesting foliage, berries, dried flower heads, and seedpods. See our ideas straight from nature! If you don't think it's worth the effort, check prices online and you'll find that the green in…
December 12, 2022
The folklore of winter weather is fascinating. You’re sure to know some of these weather sayings, passed down by generations of people who lived close to the land and nature. Which ones do you know? Winter is the harshest season. The natural world—clouds, birds, animals, and plants—all provided cues to predict what the winter will bring! Generations of hunters, farmers, and fishermen…
December 12, 2022
A flower that blooms in winter, the hellebore really steals the show as it pokes through the snow. Discover two common varieties, “Christmas rose” and the “Lenten rose,” both winter-flowering perennials that return year after year!About HelleboresHellebores bear glossy, evergreen leaves and rose-like flowers which bloom in winter or early spring. Though they are commonly…
December 11, 2022
Color is lacking this time of year, so I am always glad to see holiday plants for sale at my local garden center. Poinsettias and others are very enticing, but the one plant I can’t resist is the kalanchoe. The clusters of starlike, cheerful flowers are long-lived and can add a happy note to a gloomy day. Discover the kalanchoe! This beautiful blossoming succulent plant is very low…
December 11, 2022
Did you know that there are Easter, Thanksgiving, AND Christmas cacti? How can you tell the difference between these holiday cactuses? Look at when the flowers bloom, the way the flower blooms, and the shape of the stems and leaves. See photos and learn more. Holiday cacti such as the Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, and Easter cactus are hybrids of Brazilian forest cacti. The…
December 10, 2022
Healthy soil is fertile soil. Late fall is the time to show your soil some love—before winter sets in. Learn three simple ways to ramp up your soil’s health to set the stage for next season’s growing success! We’ll let you in on a little secret that it take many gardeners a few years to figure out: Soil is the bedrock of any successful garden and late fall is the best time for…
December 9, 2022
How did a tropical plant become an unlikely symbol of the Christmas holiday? The history of the poinsettia begins with an old Mexican legend and, later, a major American business venture. Discover the legend of the poinsettia! You say poin-set-ee-uh, I say poin-set-uh—but let’s call the whole thing off because the name of the ubiquitous holiday plant can be pronounced either way. America's…
December 8, 2022
Ferns are among the oldest living plants on Earth, having appeared over 350 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs. Despite their ancient age, they make gorgeous houseplants, adding elegance, rich green hues, and interesting texture to any indoor environment. Discover a few ferns for your indoor garden! Fascinating Ferns Ferns existed before there were flowering plants, which…
December 8, 2022
These days, many of us find our Christmas tree at a garden supply store or a local church selling them as a fundraiser. Ever wonder where they get the trees? Christmas tree farms, of course! But it’s not always easy. Growing Christmas trees is similar to producing any other agricultural crop. It’s a serious business that requires a lot of hard work that lasts years! Learn more about our…
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