Hello all! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We are at the beginning of our annual winter hiatus of the Garden Time show, but that doesnít mean that we have been sleeping in late and eating Christmas cookies all day! We have been getting our stories lined up and clients signed for the new season starting in March of 2020. We are still out in the garden and celebrating with family and friends. On our website and YouTube we have a few new stories to share. We hope that you enjoy them.
PS. An update on our garden tour to Portugal and Spain for the fall of 2020. We have booked over half of the posts available for the upcoming tour!!!! Donít miss out. These are wonderful trips and we have many returning guests every year! Check out our website site for more details, www.gardentime.tv/tours.
This week we featured...
Holiday Plant Heritage
Ever wonder why we use holly in our holiday decorating? What is the story behind kissing under the mistletoe? Ryan and Judy covered the reasons why we use specific plants during the holidays. Hollyís origins are based on both Christian and non-Christian traditions. In one tradition, the holly protects the home from evil spirits. In another, the holly represents the crown of thorns of Christís passion and its berries represent the drops of blood. Christmas trees are a staple in just about every house during the holiday season. Though there are references to evergreen trees going back for thousands of years, the current traditions were starting to be established in the 1400s. The symbol of an evergreen tree represents rebirth, long life and strength. This is because it maintains its green color during the longest and coldest winters. Decorating became popular with Queen Victoria and started with fruit and candles. Now we use mass-produced ornaments and lights. The angel at the top of the tree reminds us of the good news of Jesusí birth. Mistletoe has a longer history. It has various meanings that include fertility, immortality and love. Once again, these meanings are due to the fact that it stays evergreen in the winter. Of course the best meaning involved kissing. In proper English society you could not kiss your spouse-to-be in public. During the holidays you could kiss under the mistletoe, but you had to remove a white berry every time you did. Naturally, twigs with lots of berries were highly prized! Finally, the poinsettia. This plant is relatively new to the holiday tradition list. This plant has a history dating back to the 16th century. The story is that a little girl wanted to bring a gift to her church for the Christ child. She had nothing to give, but had a dream of an angel collecting weeds and leaves by the roadside, and giving them to the child. When she did it, they turned into the red blooms that we see today. The flower was named for Joel Poinsett a US diplomat who fell in love with them and started promoting them in the US. Paul Ecke, a plant grower and breeder from California, helped popularize the plant and it has been a holiday favorite since then.
So next time you are decorating your home, take some time and appreciate these wonderful holiday plants now that you know a little more about some of their meanings.
Winter Garden Protection Tips
The winter winds are blowing! Actually, if you are a gardener, the winds are only part of the problem. Winter could also bring snow and ice too. Here are a few tips to help you and your garden survive the upcoming weather.
First, your plants in your garden beds. You can rake your leaves into the beds to create a layer of protection for your tender perennials, or have some mulch brought in from a quality company like Grimms Fuel. If you have a larger plant you can use an old shower curtain or a piece of plastic. Use something that will let light pass through it so your plants can continue to grow and get some sunlight. Donít use a blanket or towels. These retain moisture and block the warming sunlight, and can create more problems for your plants.
Then check the plants on your back deck or patio. If you have containers, move them up to the side of your house. The siding of your home will block to cold winds and the retained heat of the house, especially on the south facing side, will help them beat those chilly mornings. Remember that plants that are under your eaves will not get as much natural rainwater as your other plants and may need a drink or two over the winter months to stay healthy. A well-watered plant will be healthier and will be able to survive the extreme temps better.
Next, check our your broad-branched roses and perennials. Snow can load up the branches and pull them to the ground splitting and breaking the center of your plants. Do this sparingly. Some of these branches hold your blooms for the coming year, so try not to prune them off unless you have to. Roses can be safely cut down to about knee or waist high.
Finally, those tall landscape trees. Once again a heavy snow or ice storm can add a lot of weight to your decorative trees. Make sure to check to see if the branches can handle the weight. If you see a lot of branches bending, take a broom or rake and shake the snow off the lower limbs and then work your way to the higher limbs. If you start with the higher limbs the additional weight on the lower limbs may cause damage. Start low and work your way up, then work your way back down again, shaking the snow off as you go. If you canít remove the snow, or the layer of ice is too heavy, consider using pieces of wood like 2x4s to prop up those weighted limbs. If you do get some damage to your favorite trees, call a certified arborist (like our friends at Bartlett Tree Experts) to get professional advice for saving those trees.