Friday, December 29, 2017

Keeping Your Poinsettia Alive for Another Christmas

Keeping your poinsettia alive for next season is actually pretty easy. Here are three great tips for doing just that from Organic Life Magazine.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Tree Disposal by Carol King

Bottle Tree photo by Carol King
If you used a cut tree for your Christmas tree, chances are you are now trying to deal with disposal! There’s always the landfill of course; most trash companies pick them up without a thought. However, there are several options for your tree other than the landfill. 
Humane Society

Consider these:
  • Recycle your tree. Most municipalities in the Denver area have recycling available. Contact your own city or county; many use chippers to convert trees to landscape or garden mulch. Never burn your Christmas tree in the fireplace (the pitch content in the bark and needles can cause them to burst into flames from the intense heat).
  • Do something whimsical: right after Christmas, move the tree outside and decorate it with popcorn, fresh cranberries, peanuts in the shell, pine cones with suet and birdseed; apples, rice cakes, dried corn bundles. Use natural string, ribbon and raffia for hanging. The birds will use this material for nesting in the spring, after the food is gone. 
  • Call your favorite conservation group. They often will place trees in gullies and arroyos to slow soil erosion.
  • Trim off the branches, mulch those in the garden and use the frame of the tree to create a bottle tree. Place colored bottles of all kinds on the stub ends of your tree. Put in a location to glisten in the sun and enjoy! Tradition says that bottle trees protect the home from evil spirits by trapping spirits inside the bottles, where they do no harm. 
With a little imagination, dear gardener, your tree can provide enjoyment all year: the traditional tree at Christmas; a home for birds to gather and feed, garden mulch and finally a wonderful piece of folk art created by your family.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Solstice 2017!

Photo Sage Goddess
It feels like the days just can’t get any shorter, and it’s true. Today we celebrate the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. 

The 2017 December Solstice (Winter Solstice) will arrive at 9:27 am in Denver, today December 21, marking the moment that the sun shines at its most southern point (in case you are counting, the sun is about 91.473 million miles from earth today).  This day is 5 hours, 38 minutes shorter than on June Solstice. In most locations north of Equator, the shortest day of the year is around this date. To the delight of many of us, this means that the days will start getting longer, however incrementally.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

United States' First Christmas Tree Farm

Ever wonder where the first "farmed Christmas tree" came from?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Gardening Power to the People: Avoiding Critter Damage to Your Trees in Winter Video

Rabbits and voles love to snack on the trunks of small trees in winter. This video explains four easy methods to protect your trees from their destructive nibbling.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Holiday Plant Lore: Amaryllis by Carol King

Photo by Carol King
Amaryllis bulbs are everywhere during the holiday season. As one of the easiest bulbs to force and bloom, the United States imports more than 10 million bulbs from Holland and South Africa every year to keep up with demands.  We think of amaryllis as being a winter flower because they are commonplace during the holidays but in nature the amaryllis blooms in spring and summer.

Amaryllis is the perfect gift for a gardener in your life. Greek lore tells us the flower is named after a shepherdess, Amaryllis, who was madly in love with a gardener named Alteo.  As it would be, Amaryllis’s love was unrequited.  Alteo would not love her and said that he would only love a maiden who brought him a unique flower that he had never seen before.

Amaryllis went to the Oracle of Delphi for help in winning Alteo’s heart.  She followed his advice and appeared at Alteo’s door for thirty nights, dressed in white and piercing her heart each night with a golden arrow.  Alteo did not open the door until the thirtieth night and before him stood Amaryllis with a crimson flower that had sprung from the blood of her heart. When at last he opened his door, Alteo fell in love with the maiden surrounded by beautiful Amaryllis flowers.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Easy Tricks for Pretty Treats by Carrie Garczynski

Photo by Carrie Garczynski
We all have pumpkins this time of year – either for decoration or degustation. Instead of tossing or before composting, there are a few tricks you can do to elongate your autumnal enjoyment. Not only do you have luscious pumpkin flesh to create a tasty treat, you have a perfect decorative vase for the center of your table. Decor like this can also be composted when the season is over.