I’m pretty excited…I think I’m going to go for a real Christmas tree this year and move Old Faithful downstairs into the TV room. I have my eye on a pretty little Noble Fir and if it doesn’t get sold at the nursery tomorrow I am going to stuff it into the car and bring it home with me!
I’ve managed to get tree sap all over me each time I work with the Christmas trees. Yesterday was no different but I was in a rush because my parents were coming over for dinner so I didn’t wash up before I left the nursery. I had to run speedy quick into the grocery store to find something that looked homemade for dinner.
For the love of Pete, if you see a lady with frizzy grey hair and pine needles sticking out of it, tree sap all over her hands, pants, jacket and hair and somehow…charcoal rubbed onto her NOSE (I have no idea how I did that…maybe it was from the firepit at the store) please let me know!! I thought people were getting into the spirit of the holiday with all the chuckling and smiling, though the lady with the two young girls who grabbed them and moved quickly away from me did give me pause, they were probably just fleeing the crazy lady. Enough about my hijinks…let me give you your list!
Trees and Shrubs
Prune any of the three d’s…dead, damaged or diseased. If you have nice bushy conifers, take some cuttings and use them in some simple swags, wreaths, winter planters or even just bring them in and put some cut stems in a vase. You can plant new hardy trees and shrubs as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Be sure to water in any new even if it’s raining to get rid of air pockets.
If it's not freezing or raining, it is can also be a good time to apply a Dormant Oil & Lime Sulphur Spray to your fruit trees. This spray smothers over-wintering insects and can help prevent pests and disease during the coming year. Follow the directions on the box for best results.
Christmas Tree Care
For those of you with an awesome, amazing, traditional, top quality REAL christmas tree from Art's ... (as opposed to those 'everlasting' types...), remember that it will last much longer if well watered and kept in a cooler location away from heat sources like fireplaces and heaters. Never let your Christmas tree stand run out of water or the tree will sap up and dry out much quicker. A decent size tree can take up to a gallon or more of water per day. If you have a small stand, consider getting a larger one to make your life easier. Always turn off Christmas lights if you are away as a precaution. For live trees, now is a good time to bring it in for the holidays. Remember to acclimatize it to the outdoors after the holidays.
Best not to do a lot of tromping on garden beds, though you can still plant bulbs if you would like to for a burst of colour in the spring. There are usually great sales on bulbs right about now and they can even go in after Christmas. Make sure you give them a gentle squeeze in their package to check they are firm and not dried out or squishy. Many are also available potted at this time of year.
Add Winter Interest To The Garden
Most of us visit garden centres in the Spring and Summer. As a result, our gardens look incredible in those seasons, but rather drab and boring in depths of winter. Consider adding winter interest like Holly, stylish Conifers, Hellebores, Mahonias, Witchhazels, Camellias and even the colourful stems of shrub dogwood. Any evergreen plant will add nice interest at this time of year.
Move the Outdoors In
Plant an indoor garden – check out some cool Terrariums on Pinterest! They are shockingly easy to make and breathtakingly beautiful to look at. Succulents, airplants and cacti are incredibly hot these days.
Plant up winter blooms – from Christmas Cactus, to Amaryllis to Paperwhites and even Orchids… there is nothing so lovely and unexpected in winter than a plant in bloom.
Pots & Planters
Add some greens and sparkle to your pots with cut evergreen stems, berries and even some lights or weatherproof glitz! If you have leftover hanging baskets or moss baskets from the summer you can create works of art! No need to empty…just cut off the dead branches and use the remaining soil and roots as a kind of florists oasis.
Make sure it’s good and damp…easy work with this weather. Fill with cut greens, twigs, berries and pine cones, add a touch of sparkle in your theme colour and hang from a low hanger - winter planters are best brought below eye level so you can look down at them and really appreciate the texture and colours.
Feed the Birds!
Peanut butter spread on pinecones and then rolled in seeds are an easy and tasty treat for our feathered friends. Tie on loops of jute string and hang in branches…especially where you can watch and enjoy! Bird feeders make great prezzies!
Daydream, plan, research. Now is the time to plan your next garden project!
Go get outside…even if it’s just for a little bit. Go for a walk and you will be surprised by the beauty of the season, even in the rain. Trust me…its good for you! Take a little time for yourself this season. I wish you a warm, wonderful and safe Christmas!