Fresh Cut Fresh For The Holidays

Using living greens indoors during winter is an ancient tradition, shared among many cultures.  The tradition of placing living evergreen trees inside homes, as a symbol of their Christian faith, originated in Germany in the 16th century.  When German immigrants came to the New World, they brought the tradition with them.  The first Christmas trees in the colonies were found…

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A gorgeous Christmas (or is it Thanksgiving - let's split the difference and just call it a holiday) cactus.

Let Brazilian Rainforest Flower Fairies Brighten Up Your Holidays

The much-loved Christmas cactus is a member of the small genus Schlumbergera, which contains only six species.  Native to the rainforests of southeastern Brazil, Christmas cactus does not tolerate temperatures below 50°F.  While Christmas cactus is generally considered a very low maintenance plant, getting it to bloom does require some attention.  The bloom season starts in late fall, and the duration…

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Turkey enchiladas are a great way to change up post-Thanksgiving leftovers.

New Reasons to Be Thankful for Thanksgiving Leftovers

So the last stragglers have finally pushed themselves away from the Thanksgiving table.  As you survey the remains of the meal on the table and in the kitchen, you think the same thing you do every year – wow, there’s a lot of food left.  And, almost immediately after that thought – wow, how am I going to get rid…

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Parsnips taste like carrots that have been kissed with sugar.

Out In The Garden It’s Time To Settle In For Winter

Colder weather is on its way, but you still have a little time left to get a few things growing in the garden and prepare others for the threats of winter.  There shouldn’t be too many insect pests dining on your garden and landscape plants now that the weather is a bit cooler.  You should have decided by now which sections…

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You could just call this a gratuitous persimmon photo, since it’s usually so difficult for humans to harvest ripe persimmons.

Taking Care Of Fall Business

Believe it or not, you can still plant veggies for winter or spring harvest.  Many crops are generally pretty cold hardy in our area, and if they require protection, it’s usually as simple as heavy mulch, or protecting the leaves from ice by wrapping the plant or installing row covers if you have a lot of plants to protect.  If…

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Snapdragons offer amazing color in the garden.

Brighten Up The Cold Days Ahead With Pansies, Flowering Kale, and Snapdragons

Chrysanthemums aren’t the only richly colored flowers perking up the cooler days ahead.  Pansies, ornamental (aka flowering) cabbage and kale, and snapdragons are perfectly suited for our fall and winter climates.  They’re all easy to grow, and you can plant them as annuals in containers, or plant them in beds.  The ornamental cabbage and kale will put on a show throughout…

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Contemporary ink and wash painting of two of the Four Noble Ones.

Mum’s The Word For Fall Flowers

You’ll soon be waking up to brisk fall mornings, and contemplating how you’re going to decorate for fall.  And that usually means a trip to the nursery for some gorgeously plump and colorful potted chrysanthemums (aka mums).  Chrysanthemums are some of the most rewarding fall bloomers in the garden as well. Chrysanthemums, which are native to both Asia and Europe,…

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The demand for world traveler honeybees to pollinate fruit and nut crops around the world has put undue stresses on the bees.

To Bee Or Not To Bee – It’s Complicated (But It’s Not A Hamlet/Seniors RomCom Mashup Starring Bees)

I saw my last wild honeybee about eight years ago, while I was still living in rural/semi-suburban Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  In my community, I was the only person lamenting that loss.  For years, I had watched my neighbors come out of their houses, arms swinging, with all manner of insecticides, spraying at anything and everything that moved.  I could never…

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For centuries, if you couldn’t afford a house like this, you couldn’t afford a lawn.

Hot Time, Summer In The City (And The Burbs)

First, a brief history of lawns.  Then we’ll rant about how they are the single most wasteful use of water. (Just kidding.  But only a little.)  The word lawn may have evolved from the Middle English word launde, which described a naturally occurring opening between wooded areas, where a variety of low to medium height plants thrived in the absence of…

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The benefits of having Pothos and Spathiphyllum in the house are multi-fold.

Houseplants Do Far More Than Bring Nature Indoors

Many of us resort to houseplants that don’t need watering, can’t be killed, and will thrive at the back of our walk-in closet.  You do know those are fake, right?  It’s time we went back to the good old days of spider plants everywhere (but not in the macramé hangers, please).  It turns out sharing our homes with plants is just…

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